Speech at the Russian Federation National Awards presentation ceremony 2015-06-12 12:40:00 The Kremlin, Moscow President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Laureates and friends, I congratulate you and all Russians on Russia Day. June 12 is without a doubt an important date in Russia’s history. It was on this day, exactly 25 years ago, that the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty began the great changes in our country that transformed all aspects of our life, political and public structures and economic and social organisation. We know how difficult and dramatic this road of radical change was, and we know what will, patience, and ability to embrace the new our people had to show at this great historical turning point. Russia not only made it through these immensely difficult trials with honour, making a successful transition to democracy and a market economy in just 25 years, but has affirmed its place as a modern, open and independent country. Not only did we manage to preserve our foundations, but have maintained the essence of our country’s statehood, preserved our unique ethnic diversity and historical unity, and continued our age-old traditions of devotion to our homeland and readiness to defend and stand up for its freedom, independence and interests. These patriotic ideals are so deep and strong within us that no one has ever succeeded in re-coding or remoulding Russia to their own format, and they never will. There is no way of separating, tearing or isolating us from our own roots and sources. Our country’s great history and rich civilisational heritage continue to nurture our feelings today, inspiring our people to pursue new achievements, make new discoveries, and attain new triumphs and victories. What distinguishes all of the laureates of the National Awards today is the way they carry on the traditions of past generations, give creative embodiment to the best examples from our country’s history, and are fired by a sincere desire to serve their people. Friends, we are proud of your successes in scientific, cultural and educational work. Your impressive achievements are the fruit of immense hard work of course. But we understand too that such results can be achieved only if you genuinely love your work, pursue it with wholehearted devotion, and know that you have freedom and space for creation, exploration and scientific search for new knowledge. Friends, you are without a doubt happy people because you have realised in full your talent, intellect and vocation. You have built your lives on a foundation of spiritual and moral values, have set great goals for yourselves, and have brought tremendous benefit and glory to our country. I thank you sincerely for your labour and for your lofty mission to serve Russia and its society, to serve our people. I would like to say a few words about each of today’s laureates. Of course, we have already heard about them today, but I would like to add a few words of my own. The National Award for Humanitarian Work goes this year to Alexandra Pakhmutova, who received such a warm reception from this audience today. There can be no exaggerating her creative contribution to developing music in our country and the colossal role she herself has played in affirming the values of goodness, peace, friendship, and humanity. Her songs echo in the hearts of generations in our country. We can call them masterpieces in all confidence. These songs are not just part of our unique cultural heritage, but are also our country’s history as written by an outstanding composer and true patriot. The result is a history that is full of grand sweep, vivid and alive, profound, and at the same time warm, generous, tender and radiant. Alexandra Pakhmutova has already earned many high titles and awards, but she also has the greatest award of all – our people’s love and respect. Ms Pakhmutova, it was for our people that you wrote these songs that help them to live and to believe in all that is good. Thank you very much for your work. Our laureates today include a world-renowned film director, Alexander Sokurov. His work is so extensive, multifaceted and diverse that it is hard to imagine it has all come from the hands of one artist. Alexander Sokurov’s capacity for work and strength of talent amaze and impress. He has made around 40 films over the last 20 years. They include feature films and documentary works. All of his work is filled with substance, meaning, reflection and deep study of the issues he explores. Each of his films stands out for its inimitable personal style and intonation. Audiences are always looking forward to his new works, and we too wish Mr Sokurov success in carrying out his plans and bringing us the fruits of his creative inspiration. Chulpan Khamatova’s creative work and charity projects have both won wide recognition from the public. She is one of our most memorable, sensitive and talented actresses and has found her place in both theatre and film. Many love and value her not just for the varied and brilliant roles she plays, but for her charity work too. The Podari zhizn (Gift of Life) foundation she established together with actress Dina Korzun has won the public’s complete trust. The foundation’s work is selfless and as transparent as possible. This enables it to raise considerable sums of money in order to fight for children’s lives. Thank you very much for this work. This year, we are marking the Year of Literature, and so it is fitting that the National Award should go to Tamara Melnikova, who has devoted 45 years to the Lermontov National Memorial Estate Tarkhany. As director of the museum, she undertook comprehensive restoration of the architecture and landscape, using bold and innovative solutions in the process. Her talent as an organiser and scholar enabled her to not just carry out high-quality restoration of the museum, but also to recreate the emotional experience and space that shaped this great Russian poet’s character and outlook. The long years of painstaking and genuinely dedicated work that she and the entire team at Tarkhany have done have enriched the theory and practice of running museums in Russia. An ability to combine tradition and innovation is what distinguishes the work of outstanding scientist Yevgeny Kablov. The new-generation heat-resistant materials that he has developed surpass foreign analogues and make a big contribution to maintaining our country’s global leadership in priority fields of technological development. Under Academician Kablov’s direction, the National Research Institute of Aviation Materials has established its place as a major innovative organisation. It carries out a successful research programme, including in developing materials and technology for the latest generation aircraft engines. Gennady Krasnikov has devoted his scientific work to making Russia’s electronic sector more competitive. He has bound his life’s work with the Institute of Molecular Electronics and the Mikron Plant, where he started out as an engineer and made his way up to general director and established his reputation as a specialist in semiconductors. Academician Krasnikov’s research has resulted in the creation of advanced original developments that are being used with success, including in our work to guarantee our country’s national security. Valery Tishkov also devotes his research to strategic issues, only of a humanitarian dimension. He is the author of the ethnic monitoring method for preventing and resolving ethno-political conflicts. His works on the study of ethno-cultural diversity have been included on students’ compulsory reading lists in many countries, but they are especially significant for forming the cultural and historic identity of Russia’s youth. Academician Tishkov’s colleagues greatly value his encyclopaedic knowledge, scientific erudition and innovative views. His expert proposals have been taken into account in the drafting of numerous laws and concept documents in the ethnic policy field in Russia. Friends, each laureate is a whole rich world in himself, a bright and extraordinary fate and a unique individual. But you all share a common desire to continue moving forward, give your all to your work and reach the summits of your professions, and you are doing this with great success. I thank each of you sincerely and congratulate you with all my heart on receiving the lofty title of laureate of the Russian Federation National Award. Thank you. <…> Vladimir Putin: Friends, let me congratulate our laureates once again. It is very good to see that today’s laureates represent different generations and fields of activity. I am certain that so long as we have people like today’s laureates, Russia can be sure of success. Ms Pakhmutova spoke just before of the combined choir that, using the choral art, conveys its feeling and attitude towards our country with such beauty and emotion. I think that you would agree with me, however, that lately, not just our choirs but our entire country has shown that it can work in unison. If we continue to work this way, we will be guaranteed success. Happy holiday! Happy Russia Day!