President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear friends, colleagues,
Greetings to you and to all citizens of this country on Russia Day. This is a national holiday that is dedicated to our country, that is filled with pride for its history and belief it its future.
The importance of unity for our people, our society, our country is as clear to us today as ever. Our ancestors gifted us this unity, our loyalty to the Motherland, and a responsibility for its future. We know the strength of these century-old traditions, moral values, and spiritual foundations, which have reaffirmed themselves throughout the entirety of our multiethnic nation’s thousand years of history, bringing us together today. Our nation has long considered this sincere and deep patriotic sentiment to be sacrosanct.
We are proud of the achievements and combat victories of our ancestors, and all those who aspired to press forward and did so to make new discoveries and ensure progress for our Motherland, as well as those who defended it on the battlefield and cemented its well-deserved place in the world.
In all these respects, Emperor Peter the Great, whose 350th birth anniversary we celebrate this year, holds a special place. Peter I is rightfully called a great reformer as he achieved profound transformations in various areas, above all in state governance and the economy, forming a powerful, invincible army and navy, with colossal breakthroughs in education, healthcare, and culture. Alexander Pushkin wrote in his poem that “now academic, now hero, now navigator, now carpenter, with an all-encompassing soul, he was an eternal worker on the throne”.
Debate is still ongoing about Peter I and his reforms, yet one must admit that under his rule Russia became a strong and great world power. Today, we pay tribute to his mighty personality, the integrity of his character, his unique knowledge, audacity and perseverance in pursuing his plans, as well as his boundless and amazing loyalty to our Fatherland.
These high sentiments of patriotism are inherent in all of you, my friends, colleagues, comrades – outstanding sons and daughters of Russia. First of all, I will name those upon whom the Hero of Labour title was conferred, an award that recognises the years-long significant merits of our country’s citizens.
Yury Barmakov, a prominent scientist in the area of microelectronics and computer-aided design systems, is rightly among them. He is famous not only as a founder of an unparalleled research school involved in the design of nuclear munitions and their control mechanisms, but also Mr Barmakov is the author of many ideas related to the use of defence technologies in the civilian sectors of the economy.
Profound knowledge, experience and innovative approaches are also a trademark of Alexander Perkash. He dedicated his life to aircraft design and at present is a successful manager of one of the enterprises where equal care is given to increasing air equipment quality, modernisation of production, and developing the human resources potential.
I am happy to present the Hero of Labour badge of honour to outstanding film director Nikita Mikhalkov, a person of staggering creative abilities, astounding capacity for work, and who possesses a very keen sense of Motherland. Each project by Nikita Mkhalkov throughout the decades, be it film, TV shows, or roles in theatre, became a milestone event in Russian culture and in the public life of our country.
Among the Heroes of Labour is also a world-renowned cellist, Yury Bashmet. Despite a packed tour programme, the maestro devotes a lot of effort and time to supporting young talents, children.
Raising new generations of masters in another field is what Vladimir Mikhailov, a dairy farm operator from Yakutia is doing. For over fifty years he has attained top results under the risky conditions of animal farming in the north, thereby making a big personal contribution to the food security of our country.
The title of Hero of Labour is conferred to Rossiyskaya Gazeta columnist Irina Krasnopolskaya. She writes about Russia’s achievements in medicine, always placing a premium on patients’ interests, making it a point to get personally involved in the lives of the characters of her reports.
It is with special feelings that I greet the National Awards winners.
Nearly three centuries ago Peter I issued an order to institute the Academy of Sciences. Since that time, the works, research and discoveries of our scientists have been serving the progress of Russia and all of humankind. I am delighted to introduce today’s winners of the National Awards in Science and Technology.
Talented designer Vladimir Travush is rightly acclaimed as a master of high-rise construction. The reconstruction of the Ostankino Tower, the erection of Moscow City skyscrapers and the Lahta centre in St Petersburg, as well as the Olympic facilities in Sochi were made possible thanks to his precisely calculated masterful engineering solutions.
Many years of work by the outstanding doctors David Zaridze, Alexander Rumyantsev and Ivan Stilidi were dedicated to the preservation of the health of our nation. Their research and broad medical practice in epidemiology, oncology, and haematology made it possible to create innovative methods of prevention and treatment of severe illnesses, which saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
Efforts by Russian biologists Alexander Archakov and Andrei Lisitsa are also dedicated to healthcare. They are engaged in an extremely complicated task – analysing the proteins the human body is made of and designing their molecular profile, which will allow for detailed diagnostics of a person’s health. This work is a major step in the global programme on human genome studies, which has united the efforts of around 20 countries, with Russian scientists being the unquestionable leaders according to a number of parameters.
I am happy to see here the National Awards winners in Literature and Art, and among them Pavel Nikonov, a brilliant painter, one of the founders of the so-called “austere style”, which became symbolic of artists of the 1960s. His role is universally acknowledged in the progress of the Russian and world visual art, which he has dedicatedly served for almost 70 years.
Gulzada Rudenko has been given the award for her contribution to the study, preservation, and popularisation of Russia’s historical and cultural heritage. Under her leadership, the Yelabuga State Museum-Reserve has emerged as one of the leading museum complexes in Russia, and has served as an example of how to preserve historical heritage in a contemporary developing city.
Viktor Moskvin’s life is also connected with the preservation of Russia’s history. Founder and director of the Alexander Solzhenitsyn House of Russia Abroad, he reconstructs the lost pages of our country’s history, brings back names, facts, and archive materials, all of which make up the unique heritage of Russian emigration, and makes it all accessible by skilfully combining traditional museum formats with current multimedia technologies
The Award for Achievements in Human Rights goes to Margartita Urmancheyeva, the founder of the St Petersburg Association of Civic Organisations for Parents of Disabled Children. I remember a public meeting with residents of Svetlogorsk where she spoke about the need to organise assisted living for people with disabilities. She was so convincing that her initiatives are now being implemented across the entire country.
Another example of an empathic and active civil stance is the activity of Yelizaveta Oleshkina, winner of the National Award for Outstanding Achievements in Charity Work. Over 35,000 senior citizens are looked after by the Starost v Radost [Happiness in Old Age] Charity Foundation, which she established and heads. It is Yelizaveta Oleskina that originally proposed that a system of long-term care for the elderly and those who are unable to live without assistance be created. This system is currently being introduced in 24 regions across the country.
The National Award for Outstanding Achievements in Humanitarian Activity was awarded to Metropolitan Korniliy of Moscow and All Russia of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church. I would like to emphasise his tremendous contribution to the harmonisation of relations between the state and all faiths, to the promotion of the inter-faith dialogue, and to the protection and advancement of traditional values. Metropolitan Korniliy is also widely known for his tireless educational efforts and his desire to strengthen international spiritual ties and improve interaction with compatriots abroad. Dozens of Old-Rite families have returned to Russia under his immediate guidance and connected their future and the future of their children with their historical |Motherland.
Each of you is one of a kind, and each of you has his or her own road to success. But you are all similar in that you are greatly talented, exceptionally hardworking, and sincerely devoted to your causes. Your brilliant achievements are a paragon of loyalty to your calling and your civil duties. I will allow myself to say, without exaggeration, that the entire nation is proud of you.
I congratulate you again from the bottom of my heart on the high awards of the Motherland and I wish you all the very best.
Thank you for our attention.
Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues,
We are having a festive and grand ceremony.
In his speech, Nikita Mikhalkov conveyed to us an amazing thing, an amazing tale of how the times and generations are connected. One of his ancestors was a seal-bearer of the first Tsar of the Romanov dynasty. At about the same time, which is recorded in church documents, my ancestors were plain peasants, and later common workers. It is a great honour for me to be present at today’s ceremony.
But as they used to say in olden times, it is the connection of the city and the countryside, the connection of science, creativity, real production, the arts, and showing care for people, the connection between our traditional brotherly and sisterly religions – all of this makes us a cohesive, powerful, invincible, and forward-looking people.
Yury Bashmet said that he is trying to persuade himself that he is indeed a hero. Today’s winners, Heroes of Labour and Heroes of Russia, do not need to persuade themselves that they are heroes and outstanding citizens of our country. It is enough that the country recognizes this and thanks you for your labour, for your deeds, and for your results.
We are very hopeful that you carry on, now and in the future, making yet another huge contribution to Russia’s development.
Thank you. Happy holiday!
(Russian anthem playing)