President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
Hello Artek, hello competition finalists.
I am greeting over a million schoolchildren all across Russia who have taken part in this wonderful contest, Bolshaya Peremena.
This name is figurative and reflects your lives and school, the time of friendship, new knowledge and discoveries. Of course, it also reflects the huge social and technological changes, big changes that are happening now in the world.
In order to become leaders in the turbulent, difficult 21st century, we need to create the best opportunities for people’s self-fulfillment, for revealing the talents and natural gifts that all people, adults and children alike, have, and for helping them find their way in life. This is what determines the future of Russia, its successes and achievements.
This is why it is so important that Bolshaya Peremena has provided you with a unique chance to show the best side of your skills and knowledge, to choose a creative assignment, and tell everyone about your projects and ideas on a whole range of issues. These include art, journalism, environmental protection, science, technology, volunteering, history, tourism, and the development of our cities, your home.
Thanks to the individual approach and attention given to each participant, the contest has discovered new stars, even constellations of talented youth who not only managed to assert themselves, but also to became an example for their peers, proving that it is all in your young hands, and it is all a matter of your will and perseverance. We will definitely support you in all of your good plans and endeavours.
In this regard, I would like to note that the winners of the competition – you know this, I am sure – 10th and 11th graders will receive one million rubles and will be able to enroll at the best universities in Russia. Lower secondary students will receive 200,000 rubles each. The finalists will be able to stay at Artek next year.
By the way, your teachers and your schools will not be forgotten, please know that.
I am sure that each of you has gained new experience, knowledge and skills, because Bolshaya Peremena is not just a competition but also a true space for your personal development.
You have gone on tours of Russia’s best universities and museums. Some of you went to Baikal, Kamchatka, toured a nuclear icebreaker and even – though virtually – went to outer space and saw the ISS.
You have taken part in programmes and sessions at federal children’s centres, met online with scientists, heads of the largest Russian companies, actors, Olympic champions, journalists and volunteers.
Volunteer projects and initiatives have become an important focus of the competition. This is absolutely justified because against the backdrop of big changes, it is important to remain compassionate, value friendship and mutual assistance, help those closest to you, and preserve the environment.
Almost every day you and Bolshaya Peremena helped our citizens, including during the We Are Together nationwide campaign. You congratulated war veterans and improved your courtyards. Together with your parents, you handed out food to animal shelters and created eco-trails and tourist routes.
But, most importantly, the contest provided hundreds of thousands of school students, young Russians, with another platform for self-fulfillment regardless of their place of residence and the capabilities of their parents. The more roads are open for you, the more confidently will our country move forward.
I would like to thank everyone who helped to hold this important educational and volunteer project: our federal children’s centres Sirius, Artek, Orlyonok and Okean, as well as leading universities and Russian companies. I would like to thank everyone who helped.
Of course, my special gratitude goes to your teachers.
Under the contest’s conditions, you could invite your favourite teacher, your homeroom teacher, art school teacher or coach. Due to the pandemic, they could not attend the semifinals but always supported you online. I thank your mentors with whom you began on your road to big success. Let us thank all the teachers of Russia for their invaluable work.
I know that the finals, like the entire contest, are held in a friendly atmosphere. This is absolutely natural, because Bolshaya Peremena has already become a team of like-minded people, a true movement of active school students who can take responsibility for the future.
Here, at Artek, you represent your regions, cities and villages, your home, your schools. Already now, employers and the best universities of Russia are competing for you. Your classmates and teachers are supporting you. Your parents and grandparents sincerely care about you.
Each one of you, without exception, is talented. You all are winners. Your main victory is that you overcame your doubts, took a step towards your dreams, and proved that you can achieve a lot thanks to your strong will, persistence, talent and, of course, hard work.
Let me repeat that your personal success, as well as that of the millions of other school students, determines the welfare and the dynamic development of all of Russia.
We will continue to pave the way for children and teenagers to be successful and talented. Without exaggeration, this is our national goal. I believe it unites all Russians.
I believe this contest should be held annually. Those children who do not win this year will be able to try again in the future. We will definitely continue this work.
Friends, I wish you success and good luck in the finals.