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Ceremony of presenting state decorations took place in the Kremlin

September 9, 2010, The Kremlin, Moscow

The ceremony began with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack in Vladikavkaz.

Dmitry Medvedev presented orders and medals to over forty prominent Russians.

Major Nikolai Zlobin received the Hero of Russia Star. He was awarded the title of Hero of Russia by Presidential executive order for the courage and heroism in the performance of military duty.

Tractor driver Dmitry Burdasov, bulldozer operator Sergei Salkin and the head of the chemical firefighting station in the village of Golovanovo, Ryazan Region, Mikhail Podzerakin received the Order of Courage, for their bravery and professionalism shown during firefighting operations.

Dmitry Medvedev presented the Order for Services to the Fatherland, I degree to artist Ilya Glazunov and artistic director of the Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre Oleg Tabakov. Filmmaker Georgy Danelia and actress Lyudmila Kasatkina received the Order for Services to the Fatherland, II degree.

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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Friends,

Today we have gathered here for the presentation of state decorations. It is a sad day in our nation, because there has been a terrorist attack in North Ossetia, in Vladikavkaz. People were killed, and there are many who were injured, so I propose that we begin our ceremony by honouring their memory by a minute of silence.

Please, have a seat.

Nevertheless, we are strong-spirited people; this is true of everyone in this hall. I would like to sincerely congratulate all of you on receiving these state decorations. The people present here represent a very wide range of professions – both common ones and unusual ones – but all of you set very difficult goals and achieve them. And that is why each of you is a true example to our country and our people. I will mention several of the people here to demonstrate the variety of individuals present today in this hall, and how outstanding they are.

Major of Internal Forces Nikolai Zlobin is receiving the Hero of Russia Star. In carrying out his combat mission in the Severny airport in the Chechen Republic, in spite of a heavy wound, Mr Zlobin continued fighting the bandits, saving his comrades. This is truly valued by the state. 

As you know, this summer was very difficult for our nation because of extreme temperatures and fires. Present here are people who demonstrated truly excellent personal qualities, professional qualities, stamina, and true heroism. I am presenting the Order of Courage to the head of a chemical fire-fighting station, Mikhail Podzerakin, as well as tractor driver Dmitry Burdasov and bulldozer operator Sergei Salkin.

The Order of Honour is being awarded to those who are passing on the baton of labour achievements in industries, working for the economic might of our country, and for the well-being of its citizens. These are representatives of our working professions and include assembler Alexei Grachev, mechanic Yury Zagumennikov, smelter Valery Ivliev, and shipbuilders Viktor Kornilov and Konstantin Lukashov. All of them, without a doubt, are the best in their fields.

We strive to improve education. This is a clear priority which is receiving active attention from the government and many of its meetings have been devoted to these issues. Recently, we have met with teachers as well to talk on this subject. And we have some of our nation’s teachers present here today – teachers who are helping students study and acquire new professions. These are Marina Yagovtseva and Vyacheslav Piskunov. Today, they are receiving honorary titles.

For many years, Russian Academy of Sciences Academician Rakhim Khaitov has been heading the Moscow Institute of Immunology. He has participated in the creation of a variety of new medicines, including vaccines against serious illnesses.

The Order for Services to the Fatherland, III degree is being awarded to the chief scientific secretary of the Russian Academy of Sciences Presidium, Academician Valery Kostyuk. His works in aviation, rocket and space technologies serve to strengthen our nation’s defence potential.

There are also people here who are well-known in our country, who are loved and valued, and who will be receiving our state’s highest order today. It will be a great pleasure to award the Order for Services to the Fatherland, I degree to people who made their special, entirely original input into Russian culture and art.

This includes artist Ilya Glazunov. I really don’t need to say anything more; he is very well known in our nation, and we are aware how long and how selflessly he has been working to develop classical Russian art.

I would also like to congratulate an outstanding actor and director at two Moscow theatres, Oleg Tabakov, on being awarded the Order for Services to the Fatherland, I degree. Mr Tabakov is not only an actor and a director; he is also an exceptional person and a very well-known mentor to young performers. He has created his own training system and he has introduced our country and the entire world with new talented actors.

Lyudmila Kasatkina’s and Yulia Borisova’s fantastic charisma and mastery of their art have made them into icons for several generations. I would also like to welcome well-known director Georgy Danelia to the Kremlin; his wonderful films have become classics in Russian and global cinematography.

In spite of the difficulties in our lives, the hardships have strengthened our national character, and so we win wars, beating those who meddle in our affairs without being asked to, punishing those who commit crimes against our country and against our people. And these superior qualities are manifested in absolutely extreme situations.

A few days ago – you were probably following this in the media – we had an entirely unique situation with a TU-154 airplane that was flying from Yakutsk to Moscow. Earlier, we had followed the heroic actions of the American pilots who landed a plane in the water. But our pilots’ actions were essentially no less heroic. An investigation will establish the causes of what happened, but in any case, thanks to their bravery and heroics, the pilots were able to land the plane under extremely inadequate conditions – the kind where similar incidents usually end in tragedy. They were able to save the passengers, and the passengers suggested to me that I award the pilots. I will certainly do this. I have not yet signed the executive order, but I am simply mentioning this as a positive event demonstrating the strength of our character, which allowed the pilots to save the lives of a large number of people.


There are days like this, when difficult events occur. Our nation is big, complicated, and unfortunately, there are many difficult events that happen; but the same is true in other countries as well. It’s just that those things are happening far away, whereas these events are close to all of us, and for obvious reasons, we are more sensitive to them. They affect us more, and any person (and the President is a person just like everyone sitting across from him) may feel like the world is drowning in these difficulties, these terrorist attacks, catastrophes, and fires. But I hope that today’s event, our ceremony, will provide you with positive emotions, as it does for me, because fortunately, our lives do not consist only of problems – even if problems make us stronger – but of very pleasant events, too.

What is a happy event in a person’s life? Usually, when we are older than fifteen, spending time with people becomes a pleasant event, while everything else is less valuable. And spending time with people who have truly done a great deal for their nation, who represent it within and abroad, increases positive emotions. I would like to thank you for making me feel those good emotions today.

I hope that even though this is a rather sad day, you will also remember this event, because it is always great to receive awards in the Kremlin, and to simply gather here (it is a special place, a sacred place for our entire nation). Some time will pass, and even today’s award ceremony will become a part of history. So I would like to once again sincerely congratulate all of you. I wish you all the best!

September 9, 2010, The Kremlin, Moscow