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Presenting Hero of Labour gold medals

May 1, 2014, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin presented Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation gold medals to five citizens of Russia who have made a significant contribution to the development of the Russian power industry, agriculture, culture and sports.

Titles of Hero of Labour have been awarded to Ivan Aidullin, a well workover master at Surgutneftegas; Alisa Aksenova, president of the State Vladimir-Suzdal History, Architecture and Art Museum; Mikhail Gotovtsev, head of the Udyor farm; Yury Lepekhin, a teacher from Volgograd school No. 78; and Tatyana Pokrovskaya, head coach of the Russian national synchronised swimming team.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,

First, allow me to congratulate you on May 1!

We have developed a very good tradition: on May Day, the Day of spring and labour, we honour those citizens of Russia who, through their hard work, have multiplied the might, authority and wealth of our country. Today we will again award gold medals of Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation.

I would like to repeat that this is an honourable state decoration, which serves as an acknowledgement to the professional achievements of hard-working, persistent and talented people, who are ready to work for the good of their Fatherland.

Russia has always been proud of such people. Their labour achievements have always brought the nation together in all times, helped to create a powerful industry, brought us to victory in space exploration, the arts, science and sports and helped us to move ahead. 

Our country is indeed built with the hands of its people, through their talent, energy and self-sacrifice. This is our common history and our common pride. And today too such people are creating a strong and prosperous Russia. They are true, real-life heroes, not virtual or imaginary ones.

Dear friends,

The path of our awardees to success has been long and often not easy. They have survived a change of political eras and the difficulties of transition periods, but they were always guided by higher values rather than their personal needs and ambitions. They have always worked for those who live and will continue to live on this land, in the name of those of who lived here, our ancestors, so that we can feel worthy of their victories. They have always worked the way our parents and grandparents taught us to as they created this great nation.

Our laureates never settled for what they had but kept setting themselves ever-greater tasks and achieved them. I believe it is just as pleasant and honourable to see the fruit of your work and feel the sincere gratitude of your compatriots, as it is to receive state decorations.

I would like to speak of each of the laureates.

Alisa Aksenova has dedicated her life to the protection of the monuments of the land of Vladimir and Suzdal. Out of two small museums, she has created a world-famous historic and cultural centre the whole nation is proud of. She truly put her heart and soul into this job, her energy and her talent.

Russian schools have always been famous for their teachers and mentors. Some have a special gift for teaching children in such a way that their eyes shine. For half a century Yury Lepekhin has been teaching children to solve complicated mathematical problems. His pupils show excellent results at the most complicated tests not only in the exact sciences, but also, as the poet said, tests in courage, honesty and success.

For many years now, Tatyana Pokrovskaya has been training synchronised swimming stars. Under her guidance, the Russian national team won all the top titles. Our synchronised swimmers were greeted with applause at four consecutive Olympic Games: in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London. Athletes trained by Tatyana Pokrovskaya are known not only for their brilliant performance, but also for their strong will.

Ivan Aidullin took part in the development of oil and gas fields in West Siberia. In harsh climatic conditions, he worked to implement one of the grandest projects in the country’s history and contributed to the establishment of the national fuel and energy complex. Currently he performs unique well workover operations, which makes it possible to efficiently use Russia’s natural reserves.

Mikhail Gotovtsev works on the land – all his life he has been working in livestock farming. This is no exaggeration – he has been helping his mother on the farm since he was five. At 16, he was already working at a collective farm (kolkhoz). After studying in Leningrad for his degree in veterinary, he returned to his hometown. His achievements in Soviet times made him a full cavalier of the Order of Labour Glory. Today, the farm he is running shows impressive results, thus helping develop livestock farming in Russia in general and the Republic of Yakutia in particular.

I would like to congratulate you all once again on the high decoration and honorary title of Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation. On behalf of all the nation’s citizens, I thank you for your honest work, commitment and for serving our Fatherland.

Thank you.


Vladimir Putin: Friends, awardees,

Allow me to congratulate you once again on the high decorations you have received. Each of you has behind you a long a difficult life with numerous victories. This is truly hard intense work, but this is not Sisyphean toil. In the legend, the rock went rolling down every time the hero pushed it almost all the way up, however in your case everything you do brings you to a new higher level that you reach only to move on.

I would like to thank you for what you have done and wish you new success – I am confident there will be more, knowing your talent and your character. I would like to express gratitude for your work on behalf of the people of Russia.

Happy holidays!

May 1, 2014, The Kremlin, Moscow