Executive Order declaring 2024 the Year of the Family in the Russian Federation was signed by the President on November 22, 2023.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
Welcome everyone to the All-Russian Family Forum, which kicks off the Year of the Family, a natural continuation of the Year of Teachers and Mentors. For these nationwide projects dedicated to children, we are implementing everything we have just talked about with these large families now standing behind me.
The main purpose of the family is about having children, about procreation, and thus, the perpetuation of our people and our centuries-old history. Our culture, identity, national character are rooted in the family. A person’s family teaches and educates them, passes on traditions and knowledge, including professional experience.
Families pursuing the same careers for generations can be found in every region of Russia – there are famous military, engineer, steelworker, doctor, teacher, or cultural worker dynasties. These people may be of different ethnic backgrounds, but they remain faithful to their chosen profession and are proud of their work.
Many such families are here at your forum, which has brought together more than a thousand active, energetic, enterprising people. These families have made a significant contribution to the development of our country, and to their region, city, or town.
I know that you had an extensive business programme, and you certainly discussed your concerns. Let me emphasise that your meaningful initiatives and proposals aimed at supporting the family will definitely be considered. We will work on all your ideas and proposals.
Moreover, I am confident that the results, the effectiveness of the government’s work should be assessed primarily through the lens of the interests of Russian families, the improvement of their well-being. The family should be at the centre of all state policy. And that is what we are trying to do.
Your forum has a wonderful name, the Family – Loved Ones, which sums up the meaning of family clearly and succinctly. Like most Russian families, you prove it in practice with your lives.
I have just met with the winners of the Family of the Year contest and participants in the This Runs in Our Family contest, which is a fairly recent event, but has become widely popular. Most of the families that attended the meeting were large families. They are now here, behind me, on this stage, as I said before. Let's welcome them.
Our conversation was substantive and productive. Of course, everyone has their problems, but these people’s positive and optimistic outlook is crucial. For the overwhelming majority of large families, family is about one’s home, happiness, and mutual support.
It is important for us to have more large families, and I must say that the numbers have grown by about 26 percent in recent years, and the number of children being raised in large families has increased by exactly 30 percent which is good.
As you may be aware, the Executive Order on state support for large families was signed yesterday and released today. It defines the status of a large family as a family with three or more children, established indefinitely. The social support is provided to each of the children under 18, or under 23 if they are full-time students at a university or college.
The decision to make the status of large families uniform nationwide is primarily important to ensure that such families have access to social support measures in every region in Russia, so that they can travel or move from region to region and be sure that they are entitled to the same measures of state support everywhere.
At the same time, all the constituent entities of the Federation should come up with their own additional solutions, because improving the well-being of families with children is our national priority for years to come, something that is absolutely clear.
Your forum is taking place at the Russia exhibition, which features the achievements of our entire country. I am convinced that the institution of the family and our traditional values rank first among our achievements, among our national wealth. They are under state protection and are enshrined in the corresponding articles of the Russian Constitution.
It is important that the family is again acquiring a high moral value in Russian society. Today I would like to thank the spiritual shepherds of Russia’s traditional religions, schoolteachers, representatives of public organisations – everyone who contributes to preserving and strengthening our traditional family values, such as strong and reliable ties between generations, respect for parents, care for elders, and our grandparents’ love, which remains with us forever.
It is gratifying that in recent years people have showed more interest in the history of their family. They study it, restore it, and tell their children about the life and destiny of their ancestors. All this gives stability to the family and adds value to the best family traditions and moral principles.
As I said, we will continue to give priority attention to strengthening the institution of the family, improving the prestige of motherhood and fatherhood, to comprehensive protection of childhood and demographic programmes. And I want to stress that for us this is not just a key area of the country's development, of the work at all levels of authority, but the most important part of our sovereign worldview, our vision of the future of our people.
As you know, today some countries are cynically destroying the institution of the family and common, simply normal human values are cynically broken down and replaced by false ones. Traditional family values drop out of favour in these countries. But we, on the contrary, will preserve, strengthen, and pass them on to future generations. This is our country’s unconditional choice.
And we believe that traditional values, as well as peoples’ desire for true freedom, justice, and sovereignty, will serve as the foundation for a multipolar world. This multipolar world is taking shape, gaining momentum.
The family gives each one of us an understanding of many simple but important truths – in your father’s advice and guidance, your mother’s all-consuming love and your siblings’ care for each other, and those family values that you can embrace and deeply absorb only in the family. Further down the road, they become our moral guidelines that help us understand the complexities of life, support us through difficulties, help us take responsibility for ourselves, our families, and the Fatherland.
Family values are fostered from childhood and not forgotten the minute we leave the parental home – they are embodied in our further deeds and actions. They are reflected in our devotion to our country, in the courage of soldiers and officers – today’s fighters in the special military operation – in each person’s work for the common good. This includes the selfless effort of volunteers, and the people’s heartfelt support for our heroes, our fighters on the frontlines.
Undoubtedly, family values consolidate society. I will say more: Russia itself is indeed a huge family, a family of families. That is how different ethnic groups have lived here together in peace and perfect harmony for centuries, and the diversity of their cultures, languages, and customs never divided them, no – on the contrary, it keeps Russia together. Because we share the values of a large, close-knit family – they make us stronger, more confident, and united.
Any difficulty can be overcome when such a vast country rallies together, and any goals can be achieved when we are together; when wonderful children like ours grow up in a large family, where there is always mutual help and support.
Accordingly, I expect Russians to take the most active part in the upcoming events of the Year of the Family. Even if your region or municipality already has plans for this project, the work certainly does not end there. If you have interesting and useful ideas, please talk about them with your deputies, with other representatives of the authorities, and promote your proposals and initiatives.
The most important part of the Year of the Family is the broad involvement of families in the project. Only together can we make progress in our joint work, and move forward, thus improving the future of our entire Motherland.
I want to congratulate you, all citizens of our beloved country, on the start of the Year of the Family!