Presenting state decorations 2012-02-22 14:30:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Dmitry Medvedev presented state decorations to 37 Russian citizens in a ceremony in the Kremlin’s Catherine Hall. * * * President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, friends, Today’s ceremony is taking place on the eve of the Defender of the Fatherland Day, an occasion widely celebrated throughout our country, in practically every family. I take this opportunity to congratulate sincerely all Armed Forces veterans and all of our soldiers and officers serving today and ready to carry out even the most difficult combat missions. Considering the occasion, let me make special mention among those being decorated today of nuclear cruiser submarine commander Alexei Dmitrov. Under his command his crew has demonstrated on more than one occasion high standards of military professionalism and the best qualities of steadfastness and selflessness. First-rank Captain Dmitrov is receiving the high decoration of Hero of the Russian Federation today. Gathered here today are people from all walks of life, people who have achieved success in their lives. Your success is not due to luck, chance, and fortunate turns of circumstance (even if these things do play a part in everyone’s life), but is the result above all of your labour, stubborn effort, and desire to put all of your daily effort into your work. I am sure that everything you do provides an excellent example for your friends and colleagues and indeed for many of our citizens. Here today we have people who work in the economy, those who are developing our education, cultural figures, people from a wide range of professions. It would take me a long time to list them all. I propose, therefore, that we move straight on to presenting the state decorations. <…> Once more, I congratulate you all on the Defender of the Fatherland Day. We always need to defend our homeland, and not only during times of war or great trouble. Each of you is defending our country by doing your job, standing up for your views and your values, promoting our culture, and simply defending our forebears’ legacy and achievements. Lyudmila Chursina quoted a line from Anna Akhmatova about storm clouds over the skies of Russia [“That the storm-cloud which broods over Russia may be changed to a nimbus ablaze”]. Of course, we seldom have a cloudless sky quite simply because of our country’s rather cold climate and enormous size. But this does not mean that we face dramatic problems and immense difficulties at this time. Certainly, we do have many difficulties. Each of you, every single one of you here today, tries to do what you can to make our life calmer and more comfortable, safer and secure, and quite simply more interesting too, which is something people in the humanities and cultural sphere are doing with success. It is my sincere hope that this year will also be a successful one for Russia, even as the whole world remains in constant movement, global processes boil away, and economic crises continue. But I am confident that we can handle it all, now and in the future. We count above all on professionals in this, on everyone who does not waste words but simply gets on with their jobs. You are these professionals. I thank you sincerely for serving our Fatherland.