Vladimir Putin presented the Volunteer of Russia 2018 award to Anton Korotchenko from the Smolensk Region for his Healthy Village project.
The award ceremony was held as part of the International Volunteer Forum, the final event of the Year of Volunteer in Russia.
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Speech at the award ceremony
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
It makes me so happy to address you as friends, because many people would like to have friends like you.
Greetings on the Volunteer Day.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
I would like to greet all Russian volunteers who are with us today, in the audience and behind me, as well as our guests from 120 countries. Warm greetings to you all.
Friends, the volunteer movement embodies the best human qualities such as sympathy, kindness, cordiality and a civic stand. The latter is very important, and this is why.
By doing what you do, that is, by helping people in hospitals and hospices, helping people with disabilities, by taking care of our forests, our wildlife and our nature as a whole, by helping to open up our country to our guests from many countries during major sports or political events, you are doing an extremely important thing not only for yourself or those you are helping, but also for our society as a whole.
When people see what you are doing, they not only take the cue from you but they also interpret this as a sign of stability and social reliability. This is making our society better and all of us more balanced and more resistant to internal and external stress. There have always been many things that can stress you out anywhere, including in our country. This is why we are grateful to you.
This does not mean that the volunteer movement ends when the Year of Volunteer ends in 2018. Of course, the volunteer movement will continue, and government support for volunteers will certainly continue, too. Soon my colleagues at the State Council and I will talk about it and think what can be done to help you further.
I want to wish all of you – those who help other people – happiness and good luck. I would like all of you to be personally happy.
Thank you very much for everything.
Host of the Volunteer of Russia 2018 award ceremony Dmitry Guberniyev: Mr President, last year you presented the main prize, the Volunteer of the Year award. Let's continue this tradition, with our wonderful young people chanting “thank you.”
Host of the Volunteer of Russia 2018 award ceremony Ksenia Vasilyeva: And the volunteer of the year is – Anton Korotchenko, 24, Smolensk, the Healthy Village project! Let’s give him a round of applause.
(Vladimir Putin presents the award.)
Dmitry Guberniyev: Anton Korotchenko has received this prestigious award from the hands of the President of Russia. And now, we give the floor to Anton, so that the entire country can hear our main volunteer live.
Anton Korotchenko: Thank you very much. But this victory is not only mine – it is a victory of a large team. It is thanks to these people that I am now standing on this stage.
Guys, you are the best. Thank you!
I am sure that every volunteer here in this hall, every volunteer now helping someone in some remote part of our country deserves this statuette.
After all, everything we do is valuable and important.
Dmitry Guberniyev: Thank you!
Vladimir Putin: Anton is right: each of you deserves this statuette – those who are here in this hall and those who are not with us today. Because the entire volunteer movement would not be able to fit in here, in one hall, even a very large one. Therefore, congratulating you all on the Volunteer Day, congratulating you all on your personal results, I would like to ask a question that is probably rhetorical: will we continue doing good deeds?
Vladimir Putin: Thank you!