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Speech at ceremony for presenting 2010 Russian Federation National Awards

June 12, 2011, The Kremlin, Moscow

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Friends,

Today, on our national holiday, we follow the tradition and once again present our most prestigious National Awards to our outstanding fellow citizens. To begin, I would like to sincerely congratulate everyone here and our winners on Russia Day! I wish you all prosperity and success.

This national holiday, as well as the tradition of marking the achievements of our creative people with such fanfare, is directly related to the values of democracy and free personal development that have been promulgated in our nation. In recent years, many initiatives have been based on these constitutional principles – I am referring, first and foremost, to the modernisation of our society, which would be impossible without modern, enterprising, highly talented people.

We are gradually broadening opportunities for individuals who bring clear advantages to Russia by influencing the development of global science and culture. We are doing our best to create conditions for increasing their creative freedom and academic mobility, for exchanging and commercialising ideas. We are forming new institutions specifically geared toward research programmes – both individual programmes and those implemented in the universities – under the leadership of world-class scientists.

Scientists doing research in our nation and coming to Russia to work should not be facing any barriers, at the very least because modern science does not recognise national borders and serves all of humanity. This can be clearly seen through the example of one of our winners, Valentin Gapontsev, a physicist specialising in the field of fibre and opto-electronic technologies. Having implemented his cutting-edge ideas, he was able to create hundreds of modern devices and systems that are widely used today in global production, medicine, and communications. The international research and development corporation he founded takes a leading position on the high-powered fibre lasers market. The corporation has factories in Germany, the United States and Russia, as well as other nations. And what’s crucial is that in spite of having such a geographically expansive business, Mr Gapontsev finds time to give attention to young specialists, teaching them about what is most important: opportunities to implement a scientific idea into practice.

Two other winners, academician Yury Oganessian and professor Mikhail Itkis, have synthesised many new super-heavy chemical elements and were able to resolve a very difficult scientific challenge that scientists in many nations have been struggling with for a quarter of a century. Their work has allowed significant progress in understanding the nature and physiochemical properties of matter, and provided enormous momentum to new research and experimental studies for many scientists around the world.

This is not the first time we are presenting National Awards, but so far, few have been conferred to representatives of the humanitarian disciplines. I am therefore very pleased that our winners today include outstanding orientalists, academician Mikhail Titarenko and Doctors of Philosophical Sciences Artem Kobzev and Anatoly Lukyanov. Their work truly allows for a better understanding of China’s traditions and spiritual culture; it also deepens and enriches modern sinology. The fruit of their labour is used around the world, including in China itself. And in addition to their scientific research, they all engage in a great deal of public activity, promoting the development of relations between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China as two great neighbours and strategic partners.

Friends, I will also be presenting National Awards in culture and arts today, and each of these awards to a person who has demonstrated enormous talent, perseverance and ground-breaking work, the knowhow to make fundamental, modern steps forward and create a new aesthetic reality.

National Award winner Evgeny Mironov is a very bright representative of modern Russian culture. He gained widespread recognition as a young actor, having acted in many different roles in theatre and film. Today, he is the artistic director of the Theatre of Nations, a theatre with many very promising young actors, and this makes us optimistic about the future of Russian culture. Incidentally, I would like to also announce that very soon, I will award new prizes to rising young stars in culture, which have been established by my Executive Order. I feel that we must encourage the new generation of creative individuals as much as possible and develop modern directions in art. We have been awarding prizes to young scientists for years; now, we will also have prizes for young cultural trailblazers.

Incidentally, the development of Russian cinema is indeed linked to youth and the modernisation of Russian cinematography. As you know, film industry is a complicated technological process that requires new equipment and highly trained modern specialists. Today, I am presenting the award to Vladimir Malyshev, rector of the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, our main film institute. In recent years, both the teaching process at the institute and, what’s very important, its technical and film production facilities have been upgraded under his leadership.

Finally, I would like to name the winners who are engaged in a rather rare and interesting profession: old watch and mechanism restoration specialists Mikhail Guryev, Valentin Molotkov and Oleg Zinatullin. Having created their own unique methods, which have already been mentioned in this hall, they restored many priceless museum showpieces that were the masterpieces of scientific and technological thought of their generations, including the tower clock of the Winter Palace, the famous Pavlin watch and many, many others. Without these watches, the State Hermitage and our culture would be incomplete.


Time inexorably moves forward. This is clear not just to the masters in watchmaking; all of us understand that it needs to be treasured and complied with as much as possible. All human life is measured not only by the number of years lived, but also by people’s achievements – the achievements that they spend many early years dreaming about, and can later be proud of.

I would like to thank all the winners and wish them health, as well as success in their work.

June 12, 2011, The Kremlin, Moscow