President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Comrades, friends,
I am going to present state decorations.
I would certainly like to start by saying that service in Russia’s law enforcement agencies requires bravery and endurance. Regardless of what some people may occasionally say, the first thing they do when an emergency happens is go to the police and appeal to Interior Ministry officers. That is precisely why the people serving in this ministry are professionals who, as in any organisation of this kind, make up absolute majority. And some of your colleagues are at the frontlines not only in the fight against crime, but against terrorism as well. The Minister just talked about this: in addition to protecting individuals, Interior Ministry personnel protect the security of the nation overall.
I know that most of you carried out assignments in combating crime, as well as seeking out and eliminating illegal armed gangs in the North Caucasus. Thanks to the bravery of those who completed these heroic feats, their self-sacrificing actions helped in saving peaceful citizens, preventing significant losses of the Interior Ministry’s personnel, obliterating armed criminals and confiscating weapons.
Unfortunately, in performing these duties, some of our colleagues perish. Police Lieutenant Colonel Magomed-Kazim Guyirkhanov and Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Maslov fulfilled their combat mission heroically. Their actions are posthumously recognised with the highest state decoration, the Hero of Russia Star.
I would like to address their widows. Dear Bayrte and Natalya! We are all deeply saddened that the lives of your husbands were disrupted so soon. We mourn with you and express our sincere condolences. I am certain that the memory of your husbands will live on not only in your families, but also in the hearts of the people they saved.
I thank them. Let us take a moment to remember them, as well as our other comrades who have died while carrying out their call of duty.
Moment of silence.
I am certain that the acts of bravery by Police Lieutenant Colonel Guyirikhanov, Lieutenant Colonel Maslov and others – those who will now receive decorations – will serve as a model of professional conduct for everyone who serves in the Interior Ministry.
I sincerely thank everyone for your honest and impeccable service.