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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
Happy Russia Day!
This national holiday was established in honour of Russia; every year its meaning and relevance become more significant and consonant with our society and citizens' true feelings for the Fatherland and sincere confidence in it being the best and the dearest place on earth.
In our hearts, there is no place like our beloved Motherland. This attitude towards our country is natural and understood by every Russian person. We, Russia’s citizens, have this deeply rooted in our souls, in our cultural and genetic code, in the traditions of unity and commitment to the Motherland that have been created and carved out by our predecessors.
We take pride in their labour and military achievements; we see Russia in its full might, remember its millennium-long history, and are aware that this path has been full of landmark, pivotal and difficult stages.
One difficult period included the drastic changes that took place during the 1990s. We remember this hard period well, as everything changed – our economic structure and public and human relations.
These inevitable and overdue changes became, to a large extent, a challenge for people. It was hard for them to start everything from scratch, but they succeeded and in a short period of time created the legal and economic basis of modern Russia, provided endurance and stability for its sovereignty and democratic structure, preserved peace and accord between the peoples of a multiethnic country, and saved and enriched the abundance and variety of its great culture.
This has always been our history. Our Fatherland was revived and became stronger due to the solidarity and dedicated labour of millions of people. And today, commitment to the traditions of unity, the high level of nationhood and patriotism is defining Russia's strength and stamina.
This country's glorious history is being created every day. It is embodied in our citizens and compatriots' actions and achievements, as well as in the implementation of their creative ideas and their aspiration to reach new heights.
Russia has an abundance of courageous, daring, active and talented people – including today's National Award laureates. Once again, my sincere congratulations.
Improving the quality of life and people’s well-being is our common task and goal. We must work hard to achieve this and gain results that would be felt by each Russian citizen.
This is our duty and responsibility to people and to the nation, to our great Russia, which we love with all our heart.
I propose a toast:
Here is to a free, strong, prosperous Russia and to the well-being of its citizens!
Happy Russia Day!