President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Laureates, friends!
I congratulate you all on the Russia Day national holiday.
By tradition, this is the day we officially present the National Awards, and it is always a special occasion that fills me above all with a sense of pride in our country and its rich intellectual, scientific and cultural potential, and of course also a feeling of immense respect for people’s talent, devotion to their work, and outstanding achievements that affirm the tremendous value of creative and educational effort and contribute greatly to our country and its development. The laureates’ successes are inspiring examples for us all, and especially for our youth, for Russia’s young citizens.
Let me say a few words about each of today’s laureates.
Valentin Rasputin truly reveals the Russian people’s character in his novels and short stories. His work reaches philosophical pinnacles and puts the true sense back into concepts such as Motherland, memory, conscience, mercy, and patriotism. His name has become a symbol of the values that he has defended throughout his life. The fates of his heroes leave a deep impression. His characters are all different, but what always triumphs is the idea of staying true to one’s roots, the power of the spiritual beauty, and the importance of understanding between people.
These things are important in any field. This can be seen in the success of big teams that know how to combine tradition and innovation, experience and boldness. This goes in full measure for the group of laureates here today, the nuclear scientists Alexei Dub, Georgy Karzov, and Yaroslav Shtrombakh. The high radiation-resistant materials for nuclear reactor pressure vessels that they have developed ensure reactors’ reliable operation. I add too, that their work is ahead of similar research in many other countries.
Another research and development group is represented here by the specialists Yefim Mezhiritsky, Sergei Nikulin, and Viktor Shurygin. Their achievements have direct benefits for Russia’s defence sector. This is a sector of great importance, not an easy sector, and it comes with tremendous responsibilities before our people. The Yars strategic missile system that they developed makes a huge contribution to strengthening our strategic capability and guaranteeing our security.
Another scientific team, this time in the environmental field, is that of the biologists Dmitry Pavlov, Andrei Adrianov, and the world-famous soil scientist Gleb Dobrovolsky. Sadly, Mr Dobrovolsky passed away recently at the age of 97. He spent practically his entire life literally making our land cleaner and tried to change people’s attitudes towards our natural heritage.
The lives of scientists, researchers and devoted people such as these are beacons and examples for young people thinking of making science their career. All of the laureates have devoted their entire lives to their chosen scientific fields with love and dedication.
We see all of these qualities reflected in the work of historian and archaeologist Anatoly Derevyanko. His research and publications on the earliest history of humans in Eurasia and the formation of anatomically modern humans have earned scientific recognition around the world as fundamental studies of great humanist significance.
By looking through the depths of history, people form their views and moral foundations and sense the pulse of time. The arts help to give all of this emotional substance, and this includes documentary film. Sergei Miroshnichenko, a great master in this field, is also one of the laureates today. His vivid and honest works will give future generations a means to learn about our country and the people living today, and they will look to his films to find answers to the questions on their minds.
I am sure that the work of National Artist of Russia Tair Salakhov will be just as significant for future generations. His works reflect several periods in our history and speak in a language we can all understand about events and people and the lives they lived.
It makes me very happy to see renowned director and head of Mosfilm Karen Shakhnazarov among the laureates today. People all around the country know and quote his films. But I particularly want to note the part he has played in preserving Mosfilm as one of Russia’s biggest and most important film studios. It was in large part thanks to his effort and talent that Mosfilm did not sink into the past but has become a flagship of the Russian filmmaking industry today.
I could speak a long time about each of the laureates and their achievements.
Friends, your lives and your efforts dedicated to the work you love inspire the deepest respect. I sincerely wish you new achievements and success.
I congratulate you from all my heart on receiving this National Award and propose that we now begin the presentation ceremony.
Thank you very much.