President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
Today’s awards ceremony is being held on International Women’s Day. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of you – all those present here, in the Kremlin – and all women of Russia on this wonderful and beloved holiday.
I believe, there are no such industries or spheres of activity in our country where women would not be able to attain strong, significant results.
Your talents, knowledge, competency, responsibility, and dedication make a great contribution to the development of our country, to the achievement of our national goals, and the creation of a decent future for next generations.
At the same time, recognising women’s achievements in the professional sphere is harmonically linked with the deep understanding of the paramount importance of motherhood and the traditional values of our country.
Last year, we, as you know, restored the honorary title of the Mother Heroine. It is now one of Russia’s highest state decorations. It symbolises our sincere respect for the difficult, yet noble and rewarding work of mothers, which requires their absolute dedication.
Today, I am pleased to present these decorations to Olga Strelnikova, a mother of 11 children, and Albina Khaidarshina, who gave birth to 13 children.
Thank you to all of you and all women of our huge country who have devoted their lives to the wonderful mission of motherhood. We are proud of our large families and we pay tribute of respect to our women and mothers, while admiring the greatness and generosity of their souls.
The best qualities of a person are most prominently displayed in times of challenges and hardship. They are defined by the character of our people.
Today, when Russia has once again faced direct threats to its security and sovereignty, we see numerous examples of courage and determination, readiness to fight for the truth, to protect our people and the future of our state – the type of future that we need.
Today in this hall, there are women who are faithfully performing their military and professional duty.
Military nurse Kristina Kim has demonstrated exceptional selflessness rescuing wounded fighters and civilians. We are inspired by the courage of young journalist from Kherson Vlada Lugovskaya who, despite the danger, has worked in direct proximity to the hostilities. I want to express my appreciation to all the brave women who chose to become military correspondents.
Women working in high-tech industries and at advanced production facilities, including those directly related to our country’s defence capability, make a tremendous contribution.
Women doctors and medical workers, including those working in Donbass and Novorossiya, are true heroes. Today well-deserved decorations will be presented to Lyudmila Beletskaya, chief physician of the Lugansk Regional Children's Hospital, and Anna Zheleznaya, deputy director of the Donetsk Maternity and Childhood Centre.
Healthcare and social services are always in need of the qualities that women are known for. I want to thank everybody who shares their strength, energy and knowledge in this important and essential work.
It is impossible to overrate women’s hard work in education. Answering the call of their hearts, they take on the heavy responsibility of bringing up and educating our children, of building a system of values that will help young people find the right path in adult life.
Preserving and studying the unique cultural heritage of Russia is extremely significant these days. Galina Alekseyeva, research director of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum, has dedicated her life to this important vocation.
We will always value our great culture and literature as our pillars of strength giving us essential moral guidelines that unite our society, our country and every one of us.
Friends, our dear women,
There is nothing you can’t do. You can be sweet, feminine and at the same time very strong, always striving for justice and doing your best to make sure that life in your family, society and country changes only for the better.
Congratulations once again on International Women’s Day. I wish you love, happiness and all the best.
Thank you for your attention.
Vladimir Putin: Friends, once again congratulations on the state decorations and the holiday.
In their remarks, some of the recipients said, in my opinion, very important words about the role of women and about women’s views in the current circumstances, about loyalty to this country and the importance of cultivating citizens who love and respect their Fatherland.
But I would like to start my closing remarks by talking about what we all never forget, which is our mothers’ love. Both men and women owe their lives, first and foremost, to a woman, and we feel our mothers’ warmth and love throughout our lives. It is a special mission given by God, and in a normal and healthy society, this role is valued above all others, but especially in our society. Why especially? Because ours is a healthy society built on our historical traditions.
As I said earlier, our women work in every sphere, from space and the military to education, art and science – everywhere. And they do it well everywhere. One of today’s speakers, still a very young woman, a military correspondent from Kherson, said very important words today. She said that, even lying wounded in hospital, she could not wait to escape and get back to work. Her job involves risking her life, mind you.
I think the majority of Russian women have similar feelings. They do not sit by and wait for things to improve. They work toward the end result, whatever the job. Russian women, who are known to be able to stop a galloping horse and enter a burning house, are defined by this selfless devotion.
Congratulations on the state decorations and International Women’s Day.
I wish you happiness and all the best.