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Reception celebrating Heroes of Fatherland Day

December 7, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

A reception celebrating Heroes of the Fatherland Day was held at the Kremlin on behalf of Vladimir Putin.

About 250 military members and civilians who have displayed particular courage and heroism were invited to attend the event in St Andrew Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.

The participants included Heroes of the Soviet Union, Heroes of the Russian Federation, full cavaliers of the Order of Glory and cavaliers of the Order of St George.

Heroes of the Fatherland Day is celebrated annually on December 9.

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Speech at the reception celebrating Heroes of the Fatherland Day

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, dear friends, veterans, comrades.

I congratulate you on Heroes of the Fatherland Day.

This holiday is a tribute of the state and society to those who have received the highest state awards: Heroes of the Soviet Union, Heroes of the Russian Federation, the Order of Glory and the Order of St George.

Russia has always been proud of such people, who are ready to show courage, valour and bravery and perform heroic deeds in the name of the Motherland and their family and friends.

Heroism and self-sacrifice for one’s comrades are qualities of our national character, as we often say. These are the people, heroic people, who claimed the territory of Russia, repelled unfathomable attacks and aggression, and liberated other peoples.

When soldiers go into fierce combat, a fierce battle, and sacrifice themselves, when rescuers save children, when cosmonauts and sailors discover new routes, their own heroism is the last thing on their minds. They just do their duty, guided by their conscience, the memory of their forebears, and the lessons and values instilled by their parents and mentors.

The invincibility of the Russian people lies in this continuity of generations and moral and spiritual strength. Throughout history, it has always been so.

Today we remember the legendary and unknown heroes of past battles who fought in the first and second world wars. Those who fought and won in Afghanistan, took on terrorists in Russia and fight now in Syria.

We are proud of your courage and valour, and sometimes even your genuine modesty. We are immeasurably grateful to you for doing so much for our country and for serving Russia today. We bow in memory of those who perished: perished in the trenches and in the skies, protecting their comrades, but never retreating. We remember those who are no longer with us.

I am confident that a day like today will continue to serve as a symbol of the continuity of the heroic traditions and deeds, and the victories of Russia.

Friends, unfortunately, today’s work schedule and meetings do not permit me to stay with you much longer in this wonderful, festive atmosphere. But I simply must offer a toast to the Heroes of the Fatherland and to the wellbeing of all of you and your families.

To the great Russian nation and the great multiethnic Russian people!

December 7, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow