I am delighted to welcome you to the Kremlin. First of all, I would like to congratulate everyone who has gathered here in this hall and all Russian citizens on Russia Day.
This holiday symbolises our Fatherland’s contemporary development, as well as its continuous centuries-old path, the grandeur of its history, endeavours, victories and achievements
Many generations of our ancestors created this immensely rich legacy. Their labour and military feats and their infinite devotion to our Motherland evoke respect and pride, a striving to be worthy of their heroic destinies, to preserve and assert the values that have been bequeathed to us and which now have tremendous significance for our entire movement forward.
We can see this in the achievements of today’s scientists, cultural workers, public activists and top-level professionals who are united by sincere love for their work and a desire to benefit our Motherland.
Russia’s top decorations and awards recognise their service to the country and the people. Today, they will be presented to the best among the best.
The title of Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation has been conferred on Icebreaker Captain Gennady Antokhin. His 30-year work record includes risks and triumphs, dozens of extremely difficult expeditions and rescue operations. Mr Antokhin generously shares his professionalism with young captains and teaches them how to safely escort ship convoys in the harsh environment of the Arctic. He rightfully ranks among the most influential instructors at the Far Eastern Shipping Company.
Tractor driver Alexander Bondarenko from the Don River area has devoted almost half a century to his profession. A member of a workers’ dynasty, he is sincerely concerned about his work and achieves outstanding results. It is precisely these dedicated, strong and truly hard-working people that drive the growth of the Russian agriculture sector and who provide record-breaking harvests of which the entire country feels proud.
Lyudmila Suslyakova is an amazing woman whose unique toughness, fortitude and diligence are so characteristic of Kuzbass residents. She operates a crane at a blast furnace department and has been managing hot iron flows for the past 40 years. At the same time, she cares for other people, helps improve working conditions, teaches young people the secrets of her profession and helps children at an orphanage.
Murad Kazhlayev has long dreamed of devoting his life to children. An outstanding orchestra conductor, composer and a wonderful melodist, he enriched world culture with musical traditions of Daghestan, his homeland, created unique symphonies and ballets, jazz compositions and soundtracks for theatre performances and feature films. But he prioritises efforts to bring up new talents in Makhachkala, his birthplace. An art school for gifted children successfully operates there due to his efforts.
Heroes of Labour also include Engineer Viktor Polyakov. An employee of ODK Saturn Plant in Yaroslavl, he worked his way through the ranks and was eventually promoted from machine fitter to managing director. The plant is developing successfully under his guidance and expands production of engines for aircraft and sea-going ships, electric power plants and industrial units. It has been rated a reliable supplier of high-tech and science-intensive equipment that the country needs for expediting its development.