The message reads, in part:
“Both in our country and abroad you are known and respected as a worthy representative of the legendary team of Soviet cosmonauts, an outstanding professional, a tough and courageous man who was the first to walk in space.
You have made a great contribution to Russian cosmonautics and have promoted its outstanding achievements. You have shown your talents and exceptional abilities both in public life and your creative work.”
Alexei Leonov made two space flights and was the first man to walk in space. During his first flight on March 18, 1965, Leonov piloted the Voskhod-2 spacecraft with Pavel Belyayev and made a spacewalk, spending 12 minutes and 9 second in space and pushing out to the end of his 5.35-metre umbilicus. During the second flight on July 15–21, 1975, Leonov was the flight commander and took part in the first joint spacecraft docking between two nations, the Soyuz-19 (USSR) and an Apollo command module (US).