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Official website of the President of Russia

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Ceremony for presenting state decorations took place at the Kremlin

December 29, 2011, The Kremlin, Moscow

Dmitry Medvedev presented state decorations and certificates conferring honorary titles to outstanding Russians.

Among those who received orders and medals are art workers, academic figures, doctors, workers and farmers.

* * *

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear friends, dear colleagues,

Already the new year is upon us: we're meeting on the eve of 2012. Of course, this is always a special time. No matter what our country is going through, these days are permeated with the feelings surrounding the lead-up to the holidays and the new year, perhaps even the pre-New Year rush. I admit the fact that it is even more pleasant to present state decorations during this period. It is always a pleasant thing to reward those who have distinguished their homeland, but this is especially true in the New Year period.

As usual, different people are gathered in this room. At the same time, all those present here are experts in their field, and the story of every person present here today is the story of a personal or private success. What you have achieved in life you have achieved thanks to your talent, thanks to your capabilities and, if you’ll pardon the melodrama, thanks to your special, reverent approach to your profession and your country.

”The story of every person present here today is the story of a personal or private success. What you have achieved in life you have achieved thanks to your talent, thanks to your capabilities and thanks to your special, reverent approach to your profession and your country.“

Good examples are always very important, especially during difficult periods. And while difficulties have always existed, there are certainly plenty of them today. We have just vanquished one crisis but, unfortunately, in all likelihood the planet is once again on the brink of a new economic crisis. Naturally, we all have a lot of work in our respective fields in order to minimise the difficulties that our country might face. This notwithstanding, we will not deviate from our chosen path, and we will continue doing all that we have planned: solving economic problems, solving social development problems, developing and supporting programmes for maternal and children’s health, trying to bring-up a modern, educated and healthy generation.

So I would like to see next year turn out like this, especially since it is very important for our country for political reasons and because of the economic problems I just mentioned. In any event, next year we will need our best qualities – I mean the qualities of our people, such as talent, industriousness, and love for the Fatherland. Only on the basis of these qualities can our country develop.

I will traditionally mention just a few names, but this does not mean that those whom I do not name are less worthy of being mentioned by the president. Simply because of the rules of the game, I single out a few people and then, in turn, we proceed to the ceremony. I would like to mention three categories into which our outstanding citizens present here can be divided.

First, our research and education community. I am glad that today Director of the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Chubaryan, Rector of Moscow University of Civil Engineering Valery Telichenko, and President of the Russian Academy of Education Nikolai Nikandrov are receiving awards. Without education we certainly cannot create a modern country, and education must be modern. No matter how many times we repeat that we have the best education nothing will change by magic. Better education requires better teachers, better faculty, more money and labour. With all that added, it becomes the best education. Incidentally, we have everything we need, we just should work hard.

But the power of our nation also rests on our culture, the traditions of Russian literature, music, art, and theatre. Those award winners present here maintain and contribute to these traditions. In fact their names need no introduction – they speak for themselves. But I will nevertheless mention that our great choreographer Yury Grigorovich and our outstanding conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky are present here, as well as two of our outstanding and most admired artists, Lev Durov and Evgeny Mironov.

There is one other person that I would like to mention. In general, awards are usually presented in honour of cumulative achievements. True, it is great when an award is received at a young age, but usually they are for people who have done something for the country or for their profession. So it is very rare when an award is presented to someone very young. I would like to mention the student of Ingush State University Mussa Susurkiyev. He is only 21 years old, and he did everything possible to prevent victims during an attempted terrorist attack which took place almost exactly a year ago. He acted boldly and decisively, and today I am presenting him the Order of Courage.

Dear colleagues,

If all those present make a small contribution to our country, we have every chance to make next year a very good one. Be it a large contribution, or a relatively small one, ultimately that is not the most important thing. Most important, is that we all have worked for the prosperity of our beloved country, our beloved motherland.

Let us proceed to the ceremony.


”The origins of patriotism are the same for everyone. Whatever we do, we still think about how to make our country, our city, the place where we work the best, and to make sure our families feel comfortable and secure.“

Dear friends,

You can see that there really are very different people in this hall. At the same time it is clear that these are people who have already done a great deal for their country.

It is customary to wish for simple things in the New Year. In general, the more heartwarming the celebration, the more it lends itself to wishes for quite simple and very sincere things. The New Year is just such a holiday. At the same time, if you give it a thought, almost everything that surrounds us can be reduced to quite clear, simple things.

Mr Nikandrov just spoke about patriotism. Indeed, sometimes patriotism is seen as very bookish, sentimental, ideological, and not even sincere. And what actually is patriotism anyways? It's just love for one’s home, one’s country which may manifest itself in every person absolutely differently. But the origins of this feeling are the same for everyone. Whatever we do, we still think about how to make our country, our city, the place where we work – whether in business or theatre – the best, and to make sure our families feel comfortable and secure. This attitude reflects the overall attitude to our country, our Motherland.

In the run-up to the New Year it is a tradition to wish happiness. I wish you happiness too, because each person has perhaps a somewhat mystical view of the changing year. He or she is always thinking about how to transfer all that was good into the new year and to leave all the difficulties behind in the outgoing one. Life does not work that way but this is what we should strive for, so I wish you all a good mood for the coming year, happiness, emotional warmth, and I hope that you welcome this new year together with people who are close to you and share your good mood.

Happy New Year! I heartily congratulate you once again on these prestigious state decorations.

December 29, 2011, The Kremlin, Moscow