The President visited the Vishnevsky Central Military Clinical Hospital of the Russian Federation Defence Ministry where Armed Forces service personnel wounded during the special military operation are undergoing treatment. Vladimir Putin presented state decorations to the servicemen and talked to them.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: To start with, I congratulate you on your state decorations and today's holiday, Russia Day.
Of course, we cannot gather here all men taking part in combat actions in the special military operation zone – it is impossible to have them all in one place, not only in this hall, but anywhere. That’s the first thing.
The second thing I’d like to say is that the commander was awarded the Star of Hero; the rest of you received the Order of Courage. The Order of Courage is a high decoration, but judging by what and how you describe things – artillery shelling, then tanks, then armoured vehicles, infantry – these are tough battles, which suggests that in fact the level of the decoration is certainly symbolic in nature. I think Yury Zhulanov would also understand: everyone here has done the same kind of combat work that Yury Zhulanov was doing. By and large, each of you is a hero in this sense.
If I were to explain all this in detail to a person who is far from the army and from the service that you have chosen for yourselves, then in the eyes of any normal person, each and every one of you is a hero, just like the other men who are fighting at the front, fighting in the special military operation zone. Artillery fire, tanks, armoured vehicles – all this is not a movie, it is all happening in reality.
So I want to emphasise that this awards ceremony today – of course you each deserve it, obviously, but it is to a certain extent a symbolic act, to emphasise the importance of the combat work that all the personnel in the special military operation zone do, all of them without exception.
My special gratitude to you, of course, for your service, for your loyalty to your oath, for your loyalty to your Motherland, for your loyalty to Russia. I don't have to tell you how important this is for the country, for it to be independent, strong, to protect the people in these territories. They are our people, they feel like part of our nation, and it is our duty to stand up for them, which we are doing and which you are doing, risking your lives and the lives of your comrades, risking your health.
We will certainly do everything we can to make sure your rehabilitation progresses as quickly as possible so you can get back on your feet and face the future with confidence.
I talked to Yury Zhulanov on the phone and asked him what he wanted to do next, what kind of life he wanted to live. He said he would like to return to the Armed Forces. Yes of course, certainly, go ahead. I think those of you who want to, can take the next step and go to study. The country, the Motherland, and the Armed Forces undoubtedly need people like you. If someone sees their future with the Armed Forces, it would be correct – the Defence Minister is listening to us, this is his position too – that the future command staff of the Armed Forces should be made up of people like you, people who have experienced what combat operations are like and have not wavered, who have fulfilled their duty to the end. Of course, the Armed Forces need people like this who have been tested by fire in combat operations.
Therefore, for those who want to stay, the best thing to do would probably be to take the next step in their military career, which is to get a proper military education. If one has a military education already, then they would continue training in their respective specialty.
And the state, of course, does and will do everything to support you and your families, and the families of our fallen comrades. This is a holy cause: we will do everything we can in this respect.
I wish you a speedy recovery and rehabilitation. They will work with you individually considering your wounds, so that your future will be good, so you feel that you did not fight in vain. Everything will be all right with you, everything must be stable. We will work on that individually.
I congratulate you on both your state decorations and this holiday, and I congratulate you on being real men. I would like to conclude by thanking your parents. The fact that you are the way you are is, to a considerable extent, may be even primarily, the result of the influence of your families and parents. We don’t even notice it sometimes, we sometimes don’t understand it, but in the end, everything comes from the family, from the parents, from the closest environment. So, a word of gratitude to them.
Congratulations again. Get well. All the best to you guys!