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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
Today we have unveiled this monument to famous poet, writer, publicist and frontline soldier Sergei Mikhalkov. We all know that he was an unforgettable and outstanding person and a true and devoted patriot of our great country. His public work and his unique creative heritage are already part of our country’s history, part of our great culture.
Sergei Mikhalkov always considered service to the Fatherland as his foremost task in life. We just heard some wonderful lines from a children’s poem that underscore the poet’s view of life. His feelings are firmly bound up with the country’s fate. He was the author of two national anthems, as you know. We can say what we like on this count, but this was in keeping with his nature: he linked his own life to the fate of his country and to its development in the different forms it took, but he always loved his homeland and always found deep and penetrating words. It is not by chance that his words are engraved on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and fill the hundreds of wonderful books he wrote, on which more than one generation has grown up.
Sergei Mikhalkov’s works are relevant for all ages, as are the words of any great poet. At the same time, he was always particularly infused with the spirit of his times and was always at the forefront of events, at the vanguard of the era. His works harmoniously blend present and future, and this is one of the secrets of his creative success.
Sergei Mikhalkov wrote everything from drama to satire, fables, and poetry, but he achieved fantastic success as a children’s writer. Hundreds of millions of copies of his works for children have been printed in various languages and continue to be reprinted today. I think that I can be confident in saying that he lit the childhood of each and every one of us with the warmth and wisdom of his thoughts, ideas and marvellous words.
It is symbolic that this monument is being unveiled in the run-up to International Children’s Day. Sergei Mikhalkov remains today a friend, mentor and teacher for children. This is the true and undying recognition that young readers give him.
Today, as we unveil this monument, we feel pride that our culture and literature knows the great name of Sergei Mikhalkov.
I am sure that this monument fits harmoniously into the city landscape. Thank you to [Mayor of Moscow] Mr Sobyanin for choosing such an excellent site. This ordinary Moscow yard makes an especially heart-warming choice. I congratulate everyone on this event. I am sure that this monument to Sergei Mikhalkov in central Moscow will give the city special charm.
Thank you very much. My congratulations!