President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends, Muscovites, Mr Sobyanin,
My heartfelt congratulations on City Day!
This year, unfortunately, we are celebrating this holiday without traditional large-scale public events. I am confident that city residents and guests will understand these circumstances, and the restrictions we have to follow will in no way diminish the immense meaning of the holiday for both the city and its residents, as well as for the entire nation. The centuries-long history of our country and Russian statehood is inextricably linked with the city of Moscow. We, Russian citizens, feel this unity strongly, and value and love our dear capital.
Moscow is a major global metropolis that stuns with its magnificent yet warm beauty. It is an attractive, modern and dynamic city that boasts the energy of new ideas as well as engaging breakthrough solutions which translate into specific actions and achievements and – I would like to emphasise this – transform Moscow with every year.
Now, following the challenges of the epidemic, Moscow is confidently regaining its dynamic pace of life and development, which is so typical of the city but uncommon for many other regions. All local businesses have resumed operation. I would like to note that the construction of Moscow Metro did not stop for a single day. Work is underway to build residential blocks and roads. The housing relocation programme, which I know some people were sceptical about, has been advancing. I am confident that with the efforts underway, most people involved in this programme will be happy with its results, with residents moving into newly-built modern flats.
Small and medium-size businesses are steadily returning to their pre-crisis levels. There are still issues and problems there, as well as in the service sector, but everything is gradually returning to normal.
School and university students have begun attending classes.
With their diligence, knowledge, talents, and I would even say assertiveness, Muscovites have once again proven that they are capable of tackling the most challenging tasks. This has become particularly evident amid the epidemic. We remember very well that our capital was the country’s first city to be hit by this dangerous disease that was totally unknown at the time. Here, together with federal authorities, necessary efforts were promptly made to prevent the spread of COVID-19, treat patients, ensure the city’s life and, most importantly, its residents’ safety.
It is obvious that some small faults could not have been avoided while making these tremendous efforts – yet, as I was closely following the city authorities’ work and took part in it, I can confidently say that all services were working competently, promptly, consistently and efficiently in general, which was not easy in such a huge metropolis with its millions of residents. We saw capitals of other countries face difficulties as well. But Moscow made it. Of course, people took all these restrictions differently, and we could see it very well. But overall, Muscovites have shown a great level of awareness, unity and discipline, and this experience has been essential and crucially relevant across the country.
Our capital, caught in the epicentre of the epidemic, has made it through this difficult and responsible period, and has done a lot to support other Russian regions, with Moscow Mayor heading the State Council’s working group and having done a large amount of work there.
(Addressing Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.) Mr Sobyanin, thank you very much. This is obvious, and I could see you working closely with the regions and the Government; you worked together with the Russian Government, which was very important and relevant for exchanging the information on the virus and ways of tackling it.
I would like to particularly note that Moscow doctors held numerous online training seminars and travelled to regions on many occasions. The capital provided medical equipment and medications.
As it has always been, Moscow was with Russia, and Russia was with Moscow.
Members of Moscow’s medical community and volunteer movement are present here, in the Zaryadye concert hall today. Let me say this once again: all of you and your colleagues are true heroes of our time.
This time required your utmost commitment, readiness to risk your health and even your lives to save others every day, sincere generosity and compassion towards those who needed care and support. All this was required in a practical everyday work.
More than 60,000 doctors, nurses, paramedics, emergency employees and drivers fought the outbreak in Moscow. Everybody worked selflessly on the medical front, which was the toughest part of the battle. This is how it was. When we are dealing with life and health, how can it be any different? And all of you became the vanguard in this crucial and difficult battle.
Volunteers earned great esteem among Muscovites as well. During the self-isolation period, more than 22,000 people of different ages, professions and social status participated in the movement. You could see quite well-known people, actors, musicians among those who delivered food and medicines to the elderly. Nobody disdained this work – on the contrary, what made me happy, it was a pleasure to watch – everyone was rightly proud of it.
All volunteers were united by their aspiration to be useful and to contribute to fighting the outbreak. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for your courage and solidarity, your compassionate, kind hearts.
Congratulations, once again, on the holiday! I wish you good health and all the best.
Congratulations on Moscow City Day, day of the capital of our Motherland, day of the capital of our beloved Russia!