The President spoke with Private Ivan Kalashnikov, Corporal Alexei Ivliyev, Private Vyacheslav Tarasov and Senior Sergeant Viktor Khamaganov (he took part in the meeting via videoconference).
On August 22, the Russian motorised infantry repelled an attack by a superior enemy force comprising 12 assault unit fighters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near Urozhainoye, Donetsk People’s Republic. The President signed an executive order awarding Ivan Kalashnikov the title of Hero of Russia. Alexei Ivliyev, Vyacheslav Tarasov and Viktor Khamaganov were awarded the Order of Courage.
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President f Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, comrades.
After a recent visit to the zone of the special military operation, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov reported to me about how bravely you fought. He not just told me about you but also showed me a video.
This is undoubtedly one of the most significant and positive examples of courage and heroism. I understand that nobody thinks about that in the heat of the battle. You probably think about how to fight better and how to repel enemy attacks. But you acted exactly as I have described it after learning about your actions. This is heroism in the literal sense of the word.
I would like to express my gratitude to you for that and to wish you success. I would also like to ask how you, those who are fighting on the frontline, assess the situation there, what you think about the organisation of our actions, our combat operations, if anything has changed recently, if there are any shortages, and what your immediate commanders and more senior officers, who hold higher positions in the armed forces, should give more attention to.
I know that two other men were fighting together with you, were in the same trenches with you, and that they were former prisoners who volunteered for the army. They have died.
First, I would like to say that all of us are human, and everyone can make a mistake. These men erred, but they have given their lives for the Motherland, thereby redeeming themselves completely. This is the first point.
Second, we will certainly do everything necessary to help their loved ones. There is no doubt about this. You probably do not know this, but one of these men will be interred today. So, I suggest that we pay our last respects to them with a minute of silence before we begin our conversation.
(Minute of silence.)