As part of the reception, Vladimir Putin awarded the Presidential Prize for contributions to strengthening the unity of the Russian nation to head of the Interethnic Relations Research Centre of the Sociology Institute Leokadia Drobizheva and presented state decorations to 16 foreign nationals.
* * *
Reception marking National Unity Day
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Happy National Unity Day, a holiday that marks the unity of our people, our sincere deep love for our Motherland.
It is loyalty to our homeland that nourished the will and determination of our ancestors, who united in a people’s volunteer army over four centuries ago, overcame turmoil, saved our country from disintegration, and liberated it from invaders.
They left their descendants an unfading example of a great deed, when the interests of our Motherland, its fate and future prevailed over everything else. Defending them became a unifying cause for people of different ethnicities, social strata and religions.
This powerful overwhelming spirit of unity was passed down from generation to generation. In hard times, our people always stood shoulder to shoulder and selflessly fought for the Motherland’s freedom and independence, for those historical, spiritual and family values that are so dear to all of us.
We are now preparing to celebrate an anniversary that is sacred for us – the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The exhibition and forum Memory of Generations: The Great Patriotic War in Pictorial Arts that opened today is part of that extensive preparatory work.
The exhibition was created with the active participation of regional museums and picture galleries, and its scope is definitely impressive. The works on display are imbued with the deep spiritual power of the people who achieved the Great Victory.
The unique talent of each artist is amazing, as is the fact that they managed to convey across generations the heroism and sacrifices of that incomparable deed.
The most solid and reliable foundation for Russia’s progress is the unity of our society and loyalty to the values of peace, trust and mutual respect between different ethnicities. The entire history of our great country has bequeathed to preserve these traditions. And we are perfectly aware that only together will we reach the highest goals, solve the most complicated tasks and give a proper response to any challenges.
Following tradition, a prize for contributions to strengthening the unity of the Russian nation will be presented today. I am happy to congratulate this year’s winner, Leokadia Drobizheva.
I have a vivid memory of your remarkable, substantive and convincing reports at the Council on Interethnic Relations. It was evident that the reports were being given by a researcher with deep knowledge of the subject. And yet you perceive Russia with all your heart. You are a worthy citizen of your country, Ms Drobizheva.
You were among the founders of Russian ethnosociology, and you devoted your life to the study of the national, ethnic and civic identity of Russia. Thanks to hard work and large-scale research, you have made a huge contribution to the formation and improvement of our ethnic policy, to enhancing interethnic peace and harmony.
I would like to thank our compatriots and our friends from other countries present here. You do much to promote multifaceted ties with Russia, to expand educational, business, cultural and just person-to-person relations.
Your presence often creates an atmosphere of mutual confidence, which is scarce in today’s world. We appreciate you sincerity and openness, your warm feelings towards our country. I would like to wholeheartedly thank you for that. Thank you.
Friends, those in this hall and all Russian citizens, let me wish you a happy National Unity Day once more.
Thank you for your attention.
Vladimir Putin: Dear friends, prize winners,
In concluding the ceremony, I would like to point out that many – almost everyone who made a speech – talked about the role of the Russian language, Russian culture and the Russian world.
I would like to note that all the integral parts of this Russian world are always inward looking and are always very multifaceted. From the onset Russian culture and the Russian state developed as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state. This is what the Russian world looks like inside, and this is how it reveals itself to the outside.
The Russian world and Russian culture are always open to cooperation, interaction and general prosperity.
I would like to thank our citizens who mark this holiday today and all those in this hall, and our foreign friends for making a tremendous contribution to expanding cooperation between Russia and our international partners.
Once again, my greetings to all of you on this holiday – the Day of National Unity.