Derbent is one of the oldest cities in the world and the only city from the classic period that has remained in its historic location; the city joined Russia in 1806. Today, it is the second largest city in Dagestan.
The Executive Order on celebrating the 2000th anniversary of the city was signed by the President in 2012, and celebrations took place on September 19, 2015. Restoration work was conducted on the Naryn-Kala fortress in preparation for the celebration.
The goal of the Derbent, Dagestan, Russia exhibition is to show the path of the city and republic’s cultural and historical development, to educate people on the life and traditions of local residents, and demonstrate Dagestan’s modern image and achievements.
After viewing the exhibition, Vladimir Putin spoke with representatives from the Republic of Dagestan’s scientific, cultural, religious and social organisations.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening!
I would like to congratulate all of you on this anniversary. The city is transforming and the republic is gradually changing. I hope that this can be clearly seen and felt. Of course, the city is becoming better and better. When I was there for the first time, I saw the state of the Naryn-Kala fortress, and its state was pitiful. I hope we will see positive results from the joint efforts by the federal and regional agencies, as well as Dagestan natives who are working, operating businesses and earning money throughout all of Russia, and that they will invest a little bit into their home republic, their birthplace. And as far as I know, this is happening, which makes me very happy. I hope that all this will happen on a large scale.
Of course, everything depends on the people living in Dagestan, the Dagestanis themselves; these are very talented people who are devoted to their work, their republic and all of Russia. We are all well aware of this. This is a people of great spiritual wealth and I am very pleased to recognise and state that in spite of all the difficulties – there have always been many difficulties, and will probably always be many more – the republic is nevertheless experiencing consistent development and the situation is gradually improving, little by little. I am very happy to see this.
I want to once again congratulate you on this anniversary. The head of the republic told me that the events were very festive and beautiful.
Dagestanis love their homeland, their republic of Dagestan – as well as our large, common homeland of Russia – very much. I greatly value the Dagestanis’ devotion to their homeland. They are ready to show these qualities when life calls for it, as they did in 1999.
I completely agree with what you said about the idea of somebody intimidating us. The Russian people overall, and especially Dagestanis, cannot be intimidated by anyone; this is absolutely “an exercise in futility,” as attorneys like to say. There is no chance it could happen.
Indeed, our goal in Syria and anywhere else is to fight terrorism, first and foremost in this direction of our work. We are ready to cooperate with all forces that fight terrorism, regardless of their faith. And I want to inform you that we are carrying out this work quite intensively.
As for our domestic affairs, much remains to be done to develop our own nation. I would say that we have a unique situation, unique conditions to do this, life has unfolded such that those who wanted to get in our way are actually helping us, because we are forced to focus our efforts on our own internal development.
Yesterday, we easily purchased certain things using so-called petro-dollars, but today, we are thinking about how to produce them ourselves. And to do this, we need to work in fundamental science, applied science, and in the high-tech areas of manufacturing. We will do all of this, naturally, with active support from all our citizens. Indeed, I feel this attitude and what you sad about this mood in Dagestan is very important.
Thank you very much.