At the award presentation ceremony in the Grand Kremlin Palace, Mr Putin said that in Russia, the Army and Navy had always been a school of patriotism, courage and selfless devotion to the homeland. Today, the personnel of the Russian armed forces continue the traditions of loyal service to the Fatherland; they are safeguarding the peace of their compatriots, and upholding Russia’s territorial integrity in the North Caucasus.
The title of Hero of Russia was conferred posthumously on Maj.-Gen. Mikhail Malofeyev, who died during the liberation of the city of Grozny.
Col.-Gen. Konstantin Totsky, the Director of the Federal Border Guard Service, and Lt.-Gen. Alexander Shabanov were awarded the Order for Services to the Fatherland, 4th Class.
Marshal of the Soviet Union and Ministry of Defence adviser Viktor Kulikov received an Order for Military Merits.
High awards were conferred on member of the Academy of Sciences Yury Osipyan, head of the Lazurit design bureau Nikolai Kvasha, chief designer of the Russian MIG aircraft building corporation Nikolay Matyuk, and performers from the Russian Army’s Central Academic Theatre Vladimir Zeldin and Fyodor Chekhankov, among others. Archbishop Alexander of Kostroma and Galich received an Order of Honour.