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Official website of the President of Russia

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Presentation of Russian Federation National Awards

June 12, 2019, The Kremlin, Moscow

On Russia Day, in the St George Hall of the Kremlin, the President presented the 2018 National Awards for outstanding achievements in science and technology, literature and the arts, and humanitarian activity.

The 2018 National Award in science and technology has been awarded to Valery Mitrofanov, Vladislav Pustovoit and Yefim Khazanov for establishing the fundamental ideas and instrumental solutions making it possible to record gravitational waves; Vladimir Porkhanov, Vladimir Parshin and Vladimir Kharchenko for substantiating a new concept to reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with tracheal stenosis and introducing it into clinical practice; Vitaly Naumkin for an outstanding contribution to Oriental studies (Arab and Islamic studies).

The 2018 Russian Federation National Award in literature and the arts has been awarded to Pavel Basinsky for his contribution to the development of Russian literature; Nikolai Lugansky for his contribution to Russian and world music; Yelena Shatkovskaya for her contribution to the preservation of Russia’s historical, cultural and natural heritage.

The 2018 National Award for outstanding achievements in humanitarian work has been awarded to Rodion Shchedrin.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Laureates, friends,

I sincerely wish you and all citizens of our country a happy Russia Day.

We always have warm feelings when we think about our Fatherland, about what it means to each of us, for the whole multiethnic people of Russia. We treasure its millennium-long history, great culture and tremendous achievements, its unique natural wealth, the beauty of its huge expanses, the diversity and original identity of its regions. All this brings together our understanding of our homeland.

The Fatherland is inseparable from us, Russia’s citizens, from our responsibility for its present and future, from our commitment to contribute to its progress and prosperity. The large-scale challenges facing the country can only be solved by working together, when everyone is aware of the significance of their personal efforts for the good of all, and does everything possible for it. Today’s winners of the National Awards are distinguished by such involvement in the destiny of the Motherland, dedication to their calling, and their ability to incessantly move forward to the peak of their profession.

World-renowned composer Rodion Shchedrin is receiving an award for outstanding achievements in humanitarian work.

It is no exaggeration to say that the scope of his personality, the abundance of his talent, the range of artistic mastery really dazzle. He is the author of a great number of musical works of very different genres. Not everyone knows that the popular song from the film The Height (Vysota) was composed by none other than Rodion Shchedrin, who was still a student back then.

At that time, almost 70 years ago, his first works were performed at the Moscow Conservatory. Success and international recognition came to the fantastically gifted composer very quickly and they have always accompanied him in his fruitful creative career.

His operas, ballets, symphonies, choir, chamber music and piano pieces invariably unveil new horizons and at the same time reflect musical traditions, including those of Russian folklore. The maestro says of folk art that it “makes one want to convey the feelings created by it that cannot be expressed in words.” And he reconstructs these emotions in his music in a bright and spatial manner, daringly and passionately converting into music works by such great writers as Leskov, Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy and Chekhov.

Loyalty to the Russian theme, Russia’s spiritual heritage are characteristic features of Rodion Shchedrin’s multifaceted work. His musical activity is undoubtedly a mission – an educational and humanitarian one that unites people of different countries.

Among modern educators is Pavel Basinsky, author, literary scholar, and teacher. His books on the lives and works of Russian classical authors are marked by a deep understanding of the talent and traits of their remarkable characters. This largely defines the accuracy and depth of his artistic research.

This particular approach and his own literary mastery have allowed for the breaking of stereotypes and the opening for readers, for young people of new realms in the lives of Maxim Gorky and Leo Tolstoy – individuals of great historic and human scale.

Mr Basinsky is confident that a ”historical document often has impressive artistic energy of its own,“ and he can express this in his works, filling them with a lively and fresh atmosphere.

Nikolai Lugansky is world-renowned as a romantic, refined and poetic pianist. He considers music, absorption in the composer's intent and understanding of his characters and feelings, as well as his search for a certain mood and performance style, the primary approach.

For Mr Lugansky, commitment to art is a priority condition in creative growth. Despite being widely recognised and very popular, he is constantly working to improve his musicianship.

Yelena Shatkovskaya follows the same principle of making every effort to achieve a set goal. The first and only director of Kenozersky National Park, she is proudly called a legendary woman by Arkhangelsk Region residents. Along with her colleagues and associates, she has managed to preserve, and to a large extent, revive the living link of times.

Today, Kenozersky Park is a unique land that combines inimitable northern nature, pristine Onega landscape, ancient wooden architectural landmarks, a rich museum collection, and, most importantly, the interests of the people who consider the Kenozersky territory their native land.


Among the laureates of the 2018 National Awards for outstanding achievements in science and technology is Vitaly Naumkin, leading Orientalist and major expert in Arab and Islamic studies.

He has thoroughly studied the history, languages and philosophy of the Middle East, and has always combined his academic research with numerous expeditions, where he amassed unique facts.

This solid academic foundation has resulted in Mr Naumkin's deep knowledge of today’s global processes and his significant role in Russian diplomacy.

Among the laureates are also medical practitioners, surgeons Vladimir Porkhanov, Vladimir Parshin and Vladimir Kharchenko, who have developed new methods of treating severe respiratory diseases. Their work has largely led to the development of preventive measures and the rehabilitation of patients following complex surgery.

Their cross-disciplinary research in medicine, biology and genetics has made it possible to save patients with previously incurable diseases. Fundamentally new techniques in surgery with the use of artificial organs represent another step forward.

These organs are grown in Russian laboratories through tissue engineering and cellular technologies for each patient individually. These achievements have taken Russia's school of tracheal surgery to a world leading level.

The high status of Russian science can be seen in Russian physicists as well. This has always been the case. They have played an important and, to a great extent, key role in such landmark discoveries as recording gravitational waves.

The search for gravitational waves has been ongoing during the past century. In the early 1960s, Vladislav Pustovoit proposed an effective technique for their detection. The idea served as the basis for creating an international observatory, where the discovery was made.

The project's Russian team of scientists is led by Valery Mitrofanov and Yefim Khazanov. Their teams have created ultrasensitive instruments that have been able to detect the merger of two black holes over a billion light years away, thus proving the existence of gravitational waves.

This remarkable scientific achievement has presented mankind with another approach to observing the universe, fundamentally changing the way we study it and bringing us closer to unraveling the mysteries of the universe.


Our ceremony is taking place in this traditional, official atmosphere as a sign of the nation’s and society's respect for these laureates service to Russia and its citizens.

I would like to sincerely congratulate you on receiving these national awards. Thank you for your work and commitment, your brilliant achievements, and your sensitivity to our spiritual, moral and patriotic values.

You continue the tradition of serving our Fatherland with your academic, creative and educational activities, accomplishing your plans and ideas, holding them up to the mark, and living truly happy and decent lives. These examples are important for each of us, for every person.

Once again, let me congratulate you on today's event and on receiving these awards.

Thank you very much.


Vladimir Putin: Friends,

Today's laureates – specialists in gravitational waves – have characterised this system as a system of weak interaction. But to gain an understanding of weak and strong systems and to be able to evaluate other systems like this, we must have a strong system, with good education, science, history and culture,

We have such a system – our beloved Motherland, our Russia. Let us make every effort for its further development and prosperity.

Happy Russia Day.

June 12, 2019, The Kremlin, Moscow