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Dmitry Medvedev presented Hero of Russia Star to parents of sailor Aldar Tsydenzhapov, awarded to him posthumously

February 21, 2011, The Kremlin, Moscow

Aldar Tsydenzhapov has been posthumously decorated with the Gold Hero of Russia Star for preventing an explosion aboard the destroyer Bystry.

Dmitry Medvedev also presented awards to the relatives of Anas Pshikhachev, Kuramagomed Ramazanov, Akhmed Tagayev and Nurmagomed Gadzhimuradov. These representatives of the Muslim clergy from the North Caucasus have been decorated with Orders of Courage posthumously for the courage and bravery they displayed in performing their civic duty.

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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: I have a difficult mission today: to present state decorations to the relatives of people who died defending our country.

First, a few words about the heroic act of our young sailor. 

Dear Biligma and Bator Tsydenzhapov, we have invited you to the Kremlin to honour the heroic act of your son Aldar, who gave his life to save 300 people, 300 of his comrades and a warship. 

I realise that words cannot ease your pain but I want you to know that I share your loss with all my heart and would like to emphasise that the loss of your son was not in vain, although his life was cut short at a very young age. He saved great many people and that is true heroism. I would like to express my gratitude to you for raising such a son. Today I will present you with Aldar’s decoration, the Gold Hero of Russia Star. I am sure that you, his brother and sisters, and your entire family will be proud of him, proud of his deed. The memory of his heroic act will live on in your family as it will live forever in the hearts of the people he saved, which means that it will remain in the memory of the entire nation and go down in the history of our Navy. 

Also present in this hall are the relatives of Anas Pshikhachev, Kurmugamed Ramazanov, Akhmed Tagayev and Nurmugamed Gadzhimuradov, highly respected Muslim leaders in Daghestan and Kabardino-Balkaria. They have been awarded the Order of Courage posthumously for their heroism. Active opponents of the extremists and all those who defy the value of human life, these courageous and moral individuals fought hard for their true values despite the repeated threats from extremists. They are real Muslims, who always tried to distinguish true believers from those who use religion to cover up their own selfish ambitions or simply engage in political strife, and often just cover plainly criminal activity. Their entire lives were devoted to preaching peace and harmony, for which there is a great need. 

The most important thing they tried to achieve was to prevent the youth from being drawn into extremist activities, because in this sense young people are the most vulnerable part of the population. Young people are easily indoctrinated, and that is why it is vitally important to have sensible, intelligent, honest and decent people for them to turn to. All of the deceased were such people and that is why they gave their lives for their beliefs. 

I would like to express my sincere condolences to their relatives, who are here in this hall today. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Muslim clergy of the North Caucasus for its efforts to maintain peace and religious harmony in the region. You are doing extremely useful work. 

As for our fight against terrorism, there is only one thing I would like to say: there is no other way to deal with scum, so the fight against terror will continue and the murderers will be brought to justice, those of them who are still alive and hiding out somewhere. 

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I would like to express my condolences and stress once again: your relatives did a great service to their country and, although this cannot take away your pain, it gives their deaths a meaning. 

We try to make certain that all the ideals of the fallen heroes, the young sailor who died at the age of 19 and the members of the clergy, and the memory of their heroic deeds live forever in our country's annals. Most importantly, we must fight for the ideals of the Muslim clergy to triumph in the North Caucasus. 

I would like to say that the state must not only help those who are willing and able to work, but also to create conditions for people to return to normal peaceful labour. I fully agree with what has been said here: those who committed grave crimes must be punished, but those who have not committed crimes yet, those who are still thinking about what kind of life to embark on must return to normal life. This is the only way to build a dialogue. 

That is why we need more than force to ensure peace in the Caucasus; we need intelligence and that intelligence must be manifested in new programmes, new jobs and high living standards. This must be the target for the entire state.

I would like to thank you all once again for everything you have done, for being with your loved ones, who gave their lives for our country. Thank you very much.

February 21, 2011, The Kremlin, Moscow