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Meeting with Acting Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev

March 19, 2020, Republic of Crimea

Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Acting Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev. The discussion focused on the city’s socioeconomic development, measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection and the adoption of a law on granting the status of Great Patriotic War veteran to citizens who currently have the status of Besieged Sevastopol Resident.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Razvozhayev. I am ready to hear you out.

Acting Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev: I would like to make a brief report on the main issue that everyone is discussing, the coronavirus. As you may know, we do not have a single confirmed coronavirus diagnosis in Sevastopol, nor does my colleague, Mr Aksyonov, have it in Crimea.

Nevertheless, we have simultaneously issued executive orders introducing a high alert and cancelling all mass events, because there are confirmed cases in neighbouring regions, in Krasnodar Territory. Especially since there is motor and rail traffic over the Crimean Bridge. Therefore, we have decided to be on the safe side.

We planned to hold a major concert. Of course, all Sevastopol residents knew and felt…

Vladimir Putin: We will hold it later.

Mikhail Razvozhayev: Of course, we will. But, as you said, life and health are more important. That is our priority now.

There are 77 people isolated at home and eight at the local hospital for infectious diseases. All tests have been performed on those at the hospital. There is not a single confirmed case, but we are conducting the tests just in case.

Vladimir Putin: We must be ready for everything; you are doing the right thing.

Mikhail Razvozhayev: That is all as regards this topic.

Now let me go over to the Federal Targeted Programme. We have studied it thoroughly and there is full understanding concerning every facility. We are also in contact with the Government and will determine the order of priorities shortly. I would like to report to you on this issue separately.

We will have to take a number of decisions concerning additional sources or on postponing the work on some facilities until a later period. It is clear that we will not have enough money to do everything simultaneously.

Mr President, there is, of course, a subject that I would like to address and I simply cannot but mention it: the upcoming celebration of the 75th anniversary of Victory. There is a category of people in Sevastopol who are described in the regional law as residents of besieged Sevastopol. There are 1,217 of them left.

They are the people who were in the city during the heroic defence of Sevastopol from October 30, 1941, to July 4, 1942; that is to say, they remained in the besieged city of Sevastopol. They worked in abandoned mines and basements, tended the wounded, and so on.

Today, these people lack war veteran status and are eligible only to regional support measures. The financial issue is absolutely negligible and, of course, it is not so much the financial measures that these people are concerned with. There is a need for about 100 million rubles for a lump payment to compensate for everything under the Federal Law on Veterans and about 50 million rubles for regular payments. We cover most of these benefits through regional measures.

It is highly important for these people to understand that they, the residents of besieged Sevastopol, will be considered Great Patriotic War veterans. I meet with them practically every day and they asked me to address you with a request to support this law.

The first legislative assembly introduced it to the State Duma on two occasions, but the Government turned it down. They say that something similar may arise in other territories.

But in this country, only Leningrad and Sevastopol faced this situation. Of course, Leningrad was besieged for a longer period and we understand its feat of valour, but Sevastopol endured this for seven months and put up heroic resistance.

In 2014, these people numbered 1800; today, there are 1,217 of them. Please support this draft law and grant this status to the people ahead of the 75th anniversary of Victory.

Vladimir Putin: All right.


March 19, 2020, Republic of Crimea