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Meeting with Chair of Defenders of the Fatherland Foundation Anna Tsivilyova

June 1, 2024, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin met with Chair of Defenders of the Fatherland Foundation Anna Tsivilyova.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: The Defenders of the Fatherland Foundation is now one year old. I want to thank you and your entire team for what you do.

I must admit that I am always glad to hear favourable feedback on your work, especially from participants in the special military operation and their families.

I know that you have gathered, frankly, a large team of 3,500 social coordinators, people who are keen on this work. In any case, the overwhelming majority of them put their heart in the work, moreover, you attract participants in the special military operation and their relatives. And who but they knows better what our guys need, they know how and what needs to be done to remove red tape from the decision-making system, and inform them on everything that the state is doing to support them.

But surely there are issues that require special attention; there are problems in this great work. Let’s talk about them.

Go ahead, please.

Anna Tsivilyova: Mister President, today is indeed a very important day, probably for many people in Russia: for those men who are now on the front line, for those who are coming back home after being wounded, for their families, relatives, friends, probably for everyone who loves Russia, who cares about its fate, who has empathy, care, compassion, love, and who, in turn, also believes that the state will take care of its heroes.

On June 1, exactly a year ago, we set up the Defenders of the Fatherland Foundation at your imitative. And at the same time we opened its branches in all regions of the country.

I want to say that veterans themselves and their family members unequivocally support this initiative. They say that this is a very timely and important decision, because the foundation really helps the guys to return to a peaceful and creative life and minimise the bureaucratic barriers that they may face.

This day is also important for our staff, for social coordinators. You were absolutely right to note: to date they are over 3,500 of them. These are people who are working not for salary but who put their soul in the work, wishing from the bottom of their heart to help the men to return to this life and support them. Now 200 of them are veterans of the special military operation, including those with disability, and also 135 family members of the SMO veterans, including wives and mothers of the fallen heroes.

This is why we have united now and became not just an entity, a team, but one large close-knit family, which does not make any distinction between grief, experiences and sufferings of its own and those of others, which takes others’ joys and victories as its own, we are all one. And if we are united, we are invincible.

I would like to thank you, first, for the initiative, for establishing the foundation. And, secondly, of course, on behalf of these men and our employees, for being very involved and supporting us.

Thanks to the amendments to the executive order that you signed we have already started to provide SMO veterans with highly functional prostheses, paying up to the certificate amount they receive in the social fund.

I had a a meeting with you as recently as April 2, when we reported on our work, talked about it and put forward an initiative on creating an opportunity – a technical rehabilitation means, that is, providing hand-controlled cars to particular categories – those who can not be prosthetised, with double lower limb amputation, and people confined to a wheelchair.

And it all was so quick: we got support from the State Duma, amendments were introduced in the federal law on May 6. An executive order was issued in May 29, and that law went into force. As early as June 1, we begin to give cars to our heroes. That’s why this work is undoubtedly important.

There are also problems that we talked about earlier. Of course, I want to mention them now.

So fat, the issuance of combat veteran certificates is still being delayed. And this is a question of fairness and the fact that the men with this document will later be able to receive all the measures of social support from the state they are entitled to.

Until now, those who have the status of “private military companies” and “defenders of Donbass” do not receive the status of disabled veterans of combat operations, that is, they do not undergo military medical commissions. They are assigned disability due to general illness, which is also a form of injustice and, respectively, insufficient benefits.

These issues require establishment of interdepartmental cooperation. For our part, as a foundation, since we are aware of the their workload and the importance of the challenges they are currently facing, we are ready to help the Ministry of Defence to collect documents, draw up these documents, and ass them on back to them so as to have some kind of system for issuing certificates established, so that it would become a systematic process. Because people sometimes have to wait for these documents for over a year.

I would like these issues to be resolved faster. And we hope that we will be heard and we will be able to help our men.

Vladimir Putin: I agree with you regarding the efficiency and importance of the tasks that you have just mentioned. Still, we basically mean that the priorities are the tasks on the front line, of course. But if people do not feel cared for by the state, then it is more difficult to solve these tasks. It is all integrated into one system, there are no issues of primary importance and second level, everything must be solved together. This includes the social issues. This is why we will talk about it now in greater detail.

The same refers to the private military company and the fighters who fought, as it turned out, with the common enemy, the neo-Nazis, even before these territories became part of the Russian Federation. Of course, this must be sorted out. We discussed this issue with you last time as well, and you raised it. We will now talk about this in more detail. And we will certainly move in that direction.

I will do everything I can to ensure that the Government and the relevant agencies accelerate this work. Let us go through details.


June 1, 2024, The Kremlin, Moscow