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Ceremony for presenting state decorations

May 23, 2023, The Kremlin, Moscow

The ceremony for presenting the highest state decorations of the Russian Federation took place at the Kremlin’s St Catherine Hall.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,

Today here, in the Kremlin, we are honouring outstanding Russians whose hard work and heroic deeds, selfless service to the Fatherland make a significant, outstanding contribution to our country’s development.

Thanks to you, a history of achievements is being written that we admire and are proud of. The foundation is being strengthened for further movement forward, for multiplying the best traditions that our country and all our multinational people are famous for.

Friends, your life is an example that proves every day that a sincere love for the Fatherland is a powerful driving force, as well as the desire to work for the common good and achieve outstanding success in various fields.

State thinking, impartiality and loyalty to the fundamental principles of law distinguish Valery Zorkin’s many years of work as President of the Constitutional Court. Mr Zorkin consistently upholds the supremacy of the Basic law, the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

A huge merit in strengthening Russian statehood and federalism, interethnic harmony, the socioeconomic development of Tatarstan and indeed all of Russia certainly belongs to Mintimer Shaimiyev, a strong and extraordinary politician, a man of exceptional wisdom and responsibility.

It is a great honour for me to present Mr Zorkin and Mr Shaimiyev with Russia’s highest decoration: the Order of St Andrew the Apostle.

The quality of people’s lives directly depends on the efficient and well-coordinated work of various branches and levels of government. I want to thank all my colleagues who work with full dedication in this most important field for Russia: the civil service.


Feeling like being a part of the destiny of our homeland, being ready to defend its national interests has always distinguished the Russian people. Today, we are welcoming in this room the participants in the special military operation who represent the entire multi-ethnic community of our country.

We are proud of their valour and courage. Alexander Kolesov not only accomplished his combat mission but also evacuated his wounded comrades from a location that came under heavy shelling. He was awarded the title of Hero of Russia. Captain Dmitry Rasputikov of the National Guard Special Forces acted with courage and resolve. Today he is awarded the Order of Courage.

We pay tribute to the courage of all soldiers, to the bravery and tenacity of specialists helping to organise peaceful life in the new regions.

Soldiers from different republics and regions of our country are among those who are defending the future of Russian statehood. Together, they are fighting for their Motherland, for Russia.

Today’s recipients include representatives of Russia’s traditional religions. Words uttered by a pastor, a spiritual advisor are always very important, especially for soldiers at the frontline.

Education is a high and complicated mission, particularly when it comes to rising generations. The school and teachers play a crucial role in this respect. They convey not only knowledge but also values and moral precepts that determine a person’s deeds and actions for years to come.

It is with sincere respect that I will bestow awards on the teachers whose students have become Heroes of Russia.

Bringing up children is both a joy and daily hard work. Reverence for families with many children is among the traditions kept by the people of Russia. I am glad to welcome in this room Lyudmila Badmayeva and Medni Kadyrova, who are awarded the title of Mother Heroine.


I want to thank in particular those who maintain the functioning of strategically important sectors, including defence and high-technology plants, those who often have to work under a hectic business schedule.

The aerospace industry spearheads the development and introduction of high technology, while the professionalism of Russian cosmonauts invariably commands respect and pride.

Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitsky performed complicated and lengthy space walks and worked effectively as part of the ISS team. It is my pleasure to present them with their well-deserved decorations.

And, of course, all of us are united by the multifaceted Russian culture, its extraordinary creative energy and diversity of talents. It performs a crucial humanitarian mission and serves as a link between countries and generations.

I sincerely congratulate all of you, friends. I wish you good health, wellbeing and new achievements.

Thank you.


Vladimir Putin: Friends,

Just now, a doctor from Donbass, a children’s doctor, said that for the past nine years, Donbass has been repelling attacks on the people who live there. For nine years, our enemy, the enemy of our people, has been waging a war against them.

We often hear that Russia started some war. No, through the special military operation, Russia is trying to stop the war waged against us, against our people, part of whom found themselves beyond the borders of the historical Russian state due to a historical injustice.

But they did not cease to be our people. Russia is doing everything it can to protect them. And, of course, it will do everything in its power – to a large extent, thanks to such people that are present here, in this hall. Because wherever you are working, whatever you are doing, your activities are aimed at strengthening our state.

Mr Shaimiyev reminisced today and told us what happened, how our country has been building itself up over the past few years, and what we have achieved – we have become much more self-sufficient. There can be no sovereignty without self-sufficiency. And we are achieving it in all spheres, in art, science, production and of course, military affairs.

Yes, we talked about it repeatedly today: Russia is going through difficult times. We also said that there have never been trouble-free times. But today is a special moment for our powerful consolidation, the intensification of our national identity, the desire to strengthen the foundations of our spirituality, no matter what it takes, and create an environment for the economy, production and raising our young people to ensure a secure future for our country. And you are making your meaningful, tangible contribution to this.

Thank you so much for that. I wish you success.


May 23, 2023, The Kremlin, Moscow