Vladimir Putin: Dear award winners, dear friends, dear Russian citizens!
First of all, I would like to offer you my heartfelt congratulations on the Day of Russia. And, of course, my congratulations to all the winners of the most prestigious Russian national awards.
As the years go by values such as civic consciousness, patriotism, morality and responsibility assume increasing significance for our citizens. And the Russian people’s social well-being, their education, health and quality of life is one of public policy’s priorities.
We are paying increased attention to both the revival of science and culture and promoting morality and spirituality among society. And we understand that developing the nation’s intellectual capacities and creative potential is fundamental for achieving our country and strengthening state sovereignty.
Without any undue exaggeration, Russia’s historic role and independence is in part due to its rich and unique cultural heritage. In today’s global world we must do everything possible so that the newest achievements of Russian academics and creative community constitute a progressive force and an integral part of world civilisation. Modern Russia is a country that is open to the world at large. The free exchange of ideas and the broader information and cultural platforms in today’s world create visible advantages but, first and foremost, they also require that all of us compete at a very high level.
Russian academics and cultural figures are well aware of this. And they understand that Russia’s cultural wealth and dignity rely on the economic, intellectual and creative resources of our people. And therefore it is natural that we honour the winners of national awards by holding a ceremony on the Day of Russia.
Millions of people associate the name and work of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn with Russia’s fate.
His academic research, outstanding literary work and, in fact, his entire life have been dedicated to the Fatherland. As he once eloquently put it: “We are Russia. We are its flesh and blood, we are its people”. And he always has and continues to emphasise the uncompromising nature of life’s principles. And this honesty and ability to defend his own opinions are characteristic of not only of an academic but also of a true Russian citizen.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s study of the Russian language holds a special place in his vast cultural and historical activities. Solzhenitsyn’s Dictionary of Linguistic Expansion is a compilation of rare words and ones that have that unfortunately fallen out of use. This represents an enormous contribution to developing and preserving the Russian language. And in 2007, the Year of Russian Language in Russia, such fundamental research is of incalculable value.
An outstanding surgeon, a surgeon with an international reputation, Aleksandr Nikolaevich Konovalov, has won a national award in science and technology.
The Burdenko Institute of Neurosurgery that Aleksandr Konovalov has directed for more than thirty years is one of the most advanced in the world. High-tech methods to treat various brain diseases are developed and employed here. And Mr Konovalov’s institute is rightly considered an invaluable member of the world’s scientific communities.
And of course the results of his work — more than 15,000 complex operations that have restored people’s lives and health, restored human destinies — are truly invaluable.
The 21st century has rightly been called the high-tech era. And today we are honouring famous Russian scientists who have done a great deal to develop the most advanced fields of science.
Iurii Vasilevich Guliaev and Vladislav Ivanovich Pustovoit were able to create an absolutely new field in physics, that of acoustoelectronics and acustooptics. Their work is the basis for successfully developing nanotechnology and for global monitoring of the atmosphere and hydrosphere.
We have always had enormous respect for work relating to Russia’s defense capacities. Sergei Nikitich Kovalev, David Guseinovich Pashaev and Igor Dmitrievich Spasskii have created three generations of strategically important nuclear underwater missile carriers. Their work is comparable with tremendous discoveries in nuclear energy and the aerospace industry. And I would also mention another achievement relating to the substantial reduction of noise made by submarines — and the specialists will know what I am referring to.
I would add that another national award for a special topic in science and technology is being awarded. I will simply say that it is for those who developed the tactical Iskander-M missile and associated weapons.
There are award winners in this room whose artistic achievements have not only benefited the world at large but have also preserved as great pieces with cultural value for Russia itself. They include employees of the National Film Preservation Foundation Nikolai Mikhailovich Borodachev, Irina Valerevna Vasin and Vladimir Iurevich Dmitriev.
They are collectors and historians of a vast reservoir of audiovisual culture, culture that has a global significance. And it is thanks to their meticulous restoration work that this vast collection will be transferred to future generations in its entirety. Our experts and restorers have done everything so that many kilometres of sounds and images will take on a second life.
Star performers from our leading theatres have also won national awards in the arts: opera soloist of the legendary Mariinsky theatre Olga Vladimirovna Borodin and ballerina at the illustrious Bolshoi Theatre of Russia Svetlana Iurevna Zakharov are receiving awards today.
Their work exemplifies contemporary Russian art. Technique in execution and outstanding dramatic individuality help people to better understand Russian art and fill the best theatres in the world. These artists are rightly considered to be international stars. And we are proud that these stars were ignited under the Russian sky.
Let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for your services to our people and the Fatherland. For the generosity with which you use your talents, for your innovation and creative energy.
You give your knowledge and expertise to Russia. You give Russia your dedicated work and thereby increase its international prestige. And of course you help increase the spiritual wealth of Russian youth and, therefore, pave a path for Russia’s future.
Let me once again congratulate you on these prestigious awards and receiving the recognition of Russian citizens.
Thank you very much!
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Vladimir Putin (closing address at the national awards ceremony):
Dear award winners! Dear friends!
Today we are celebrating the holiday we refer to as the Day of Russia. It is yet another reason for us to think about the country we live in and about what Russia thinks of itself. It so happened that fate, higher powers, produced a huge number of historical events on one enormous territory. However, it is a united territory and representatives of the very widest range of ethnic groups, cultures and religions live under one sky. And yet, despite all their distinctiveness, they still feel like one people and one nation.
One could write more than one research work on such a subject but, nevertheless, we can be sure that it is common moral and ethical values that constitute the basis of our unity. Today’s award winners confirm this through their lives and activities. And they are not only confirming these simple truths, they are also strengthening our country and expanding its future horizons.
Thank you and I congratulate you once again!