Presenting Russian Federation state decorations 2014-07-31 14:30:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin presented state decorations and title conferment certificates to outstanding Russians, including cosmonauts, journalists, cultural figures, politicians, workers, and farmers from various parts of the country in a ceremony at the Kremlin. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends and colleagues, Here at the Kremlin today are people from all around Russia who have achieved high recognition. Our country needs the results of your constructive and creative work. What’s more, your work plays a huge part in shaping our country’s successful development. With your direct involvement, modern Russia acquires ever greater strength, pride and confidence in its own ability and carries on with dignity the traditions of our more than 1,000-year-old country, building on its rich scientific, cultural and spiritual heritage, and making full use of the truly endless opportunities for growth. The award recipients today include a whole group of representatives of our country’s cosmonautics sector. This is a sector that unites tradition and innovation, talent and professionalism, and reality and the boldest dreams to produce fruitful and vivid results. Knowledge, experience, boldness and bravery are all valued in this sector. Today, Oleg Novitsky, Sergei Revin and Yevgeny Tarelkin are all receiving the Hero of Russia title for their bravery and irreproachable performance of their difficult duties in orbit. High state decorations are being presented today to test pilots and cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, Yury Malenchenko, Oleg Kononenko, and also to Alexei Leonov and Svetlana Savitskaya, who are rightly numbered in the ranks of our most legendary cosmonauts. Your achievements were and remain very important and meaningful for generations of Russians. This is equally true of giants of Russian politics such as Mintimer Shaimiyev. It would be hard to overestimate his part in developing our country’s federal foundations and strengthening interethnic harmony. Mr Shaimiyev today becomes a full chevalier of the Order for Services to the Fatherland. Taking part in the ceremony today are members of the Federation Council and State Duma. I sincerely thank you for your constructive, fruitful and creative work and for carrying out the legislative initiatives that our society needs. Also here today are heads and employees of some of our country’s biggest companies. They make a huge contribution to developing Russia’s economy. Our leading universities are also helping to build up our country and develop a knowledge society. It is here that Russia’s intellectual elite receives their education. I am truly very pleased to see here today rectors from our foremost universities: Nikolai Kropachev, Viktor Sadovnichy, and Mukhadin Eskindarov. This year is the Year of Culture, and so I am especially happy to say warm words about those who work in the culture sector and have a great influence on developing the artistic tastes and aesthetic ideals of millions of people, encouraging them towards creativity and opening up to the world. The educational and charity activities of Russia’s cultural and arts figures also deserve our respect. Friends, I thank you sincerely for serving the interests of Russia and its people. Only with this kind of attitude towards life and work can we move forward with confidence, carry out our plans, increase our country’s prestige and make it prosper and flourish. I congratulate you all sincerely and wish you every success. Thank you very much. <…> Vladimir Putin: Friends, recipients of awards, Let me thank you once more from all my heart on your work. We saw just now what a diverse and impressive group of people has gathered here today. You come from different professions, are of different ages, different faiths. There are esteemed veterans here, and people still only in their youth. But you all represent our country. Not only do you represent Russia, you represent Russia at its very best. I bow low before you. Thank you very much.