May 9, 2010, 65th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War
Kremlin,Moscow,March 25, 2010
The President of Russia,Dmitry Medvedev held a meeting of Victory Organising Committee.
The meeting focused on matters of social support for veterans and preparations for celebrating the 65th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
The President emphasised that regional and municipal authorities must work out what every war veteran needs. This applies to medicine, housing and other social and everyday needs.
Support for veterans should not be limited to material measures. Speaking of the approaching anniversary of the Victory, the President noted that the celebration should be part of a well conceived, serious and large-scale information campaign. Its mission is to tell the truth. We cannot allow the rehabilitation of Nazi collaborators, Dmitry Medvedev said, and turn a blind eye to the glorification of those who in effect fought against their own people. The President emphasised that we must also protect the generation of victors from the cynical lies that appear from time to time.
Dmitry Medvedev recalled that, at Russia's initiative, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to hold a commemorative meeting on behalf of Second World War victims. He encouraged Russian citizens to do everything to emphasise the humanistic value of the Victory in Great Patriotic War, in World War II, and the way it played a unifying role for the whole planet.
The President also announced that, in accordance with the executive order he has signed, there will be five new Cities of Military Glory in Russia. This honorary title is to be conferred on Volokolamsk, Bryansk, Nalchik, Vyborg and Kalach-na-Donu, a town in the Volgograd Region.
The meeting took place in the triumphal hall of the Battle of Stalingrad Museum in Volgograd.
Presidential Press Service
|Moscow, Kremlin News - September 10, 2009
Pres. Dmitry Medvedev’s Article, Go Russia!
In a few months Russia will enter a new decade of the twenty-first century. Of course, important junctures and significant dates are more symbolic than practical. But they give us a reason to reflect on the past, evaluate the present, and think about the future. Think about what awaits each of us, our children, our country.
First, let’s answer a simple but very serious question. Should a primitive economy based on raw materials and endemic corruption accompany us into the future? And should the inveterate habit of relying on the government, foreign countries, on some kind of comprehensive doctrine, on anything or anyone – as long as it’s not ourselves – to solve our problems do so as well? And if Russia can relieve itself from these burdens, can it really find its own path for the future?
Next year we will celebrate the sixty-fifth anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. This anniversary reminds us that our present day is the future of the heroes who won our freedom. And that the people who vanquished a cruel and very strong enemy back in those days must today overcome corruption and backwardness. To make our country both modern and viable.
As the contemporary generation of Russian people, we have received a huge inheritance. Gains that were well-deserved, hard-fought and hard-earned by the persistent efforts of our predecessors. Sometimes the cost of hardships really was terrible casualties. We have a huge territory, large amounts of natural resources, solid industrial potential, an impressive list of outstanding achievements in science, technology, education and art, a glorious history regarding our army, navy, and nuclear weapons. By using its authority Russian power has played a significant -- and in some periods determinate -- role in events of historic proportions.
How should we manage that legacy? How to magnify it? What will the future of Russia be for my son, for the children and grandchildren of my fellow citizens? What will be Russia’s place, and hence the place of our descendants, heirs, and future generations, among other nations in the global labour market, in the system of international relations, in global culture? What must we do to steadily improve the quality of life of Russian citizens today and in the future? To allow our society to become richer, freer, more humane and more attractive? So that Russian society can give to those who desire it a better education, an interesting job, a good income, and comfortable environment for both personal life and creative activity?
I have answers to these questions. And before I turn to them, I would like to assess the current situation.
The global economic crisis has shown that our affairs are not in the very best state. Twenty years of tumultuous change has not spared our country from its humiliating dependence on raw materials. Our current economy still reflects the major flaw of the Soviet system: it largely ignores individual needs. With a few exceptions domestic business does not invent nor create the necessary things and technology that people need. We sell things that we have not produced, raw materials or imported goods. Finished products produced in Russia are largely plagued by their extremely low competitiveness.
This is why production declined such much, more than in other economies, during the current crisis. This also explains excessive stock market volatility. All this proves that we did not do all we should have done in previous years. And far from all things were done correctly.
The energy efficiency and productivity of most of our businesses remains shamefully low, but that is not the worst part. The trouble is that it seems that owners, directors, chief engineers and officials are not very worried about this.
As a result Russia’s influence in global economic processes is, quite frankly, not as great as we would like. Of course, in the era of globalisation the influence of any country cannot be unlimited. That would even be harmful. But our country must have substantial opportunities, as befits Russia’s historic role.
As a whole democratic institutions have been established and stabilised, but their quality remains far from ideal. Civil society is weak, the levels of self-organisation and self-government are low.
Every year there are fewer and fewer Russians. Alcoholism, smoking, traffic accidents, the lack of availability of many medical technologies, and environmental problems take millions of lives. And the emerging rise in births has not compensated for our declining population.
We managed to gather the country together to stop centrifugal tendencies. But many problems still remain, including the most acute ones. Terrorist attacks on Russia are continuing. Residents of the republics in the North Caucasus simply do not know peace. Military and law enforcement personnel are dying, as are government and municipal employees, and civilians. Of course these crimes are committed with the support of international criminal groups. But let's face up to it, the situation would not be so critical if the socio-economic development of southern Russia were more viable.
To sum up, an inefficient economy, semi-Soviet social sphere, fragile democracy, negative demographic trends, and unstable Caucasus represent very big problems, even for a country such as Russia.
Of course we do not need to exaggerate. Much is being done, Russia is working. It is not a half-paralyzed, half-functioning country as it was ten years ago. All social systems are operating. But this is still not enough. After all, such systems only propagate the current model, and do not develop it. They cannot change current ways of life and therefore bad habits remain.
Achieving leadership by relying on oil and gas markets is impossible. We must understand and appreciate the complexity of our problems. We must frankly discuss them in order to act. In the end, commodity exchanges must not determine Russia’s fate; our own ideas about ourselves, our history and future must do so. Our intellect, honest self-assessment, strength, dignity and enterprise must be the decisive factors.
By setting out five priorities for technological development, offering specific measures for the modernisation of the political system, as well as measures to strengthen the judiciary and fight corruption, my starting point is my views on Russia’s future. And for the sake of our future it is necessary to liberate our country from persistent social ills that inhibit its creative energy and restrict our common progress. These ills include:
1. Centuries of economic backwardness and the habit of relying on the export of raw materials, actually exchanging them for finished products. Peter the Great, the last tsars and the Bolsheviks all created – and not unsuccessfully -- elements of an innovative system. But the price of their successes was too high. As a rule, by making extreme efforts, they opened the door to the possibility of a totalitarian state machine.
2. Centuries of corruption have debilitated Russia from time immemorial. Until today this corrosion has been due to the excessive government presence in many significant aspects of economic and other social activities. But it is not limited to governmental excess -- business is also not without fault. Many entrepreneurs are not worried about finding talented inventors, introducing unique technologies, creating and marketing new products, but rather with bribing officials for the sake of ‘controlling the flows’ of property redistribution.
3. Paternalistic attitudes are widespread in our society, such as the conviction that all problems should be resolved by the government. Or by someone else, but never by the person who is actually there. The desire to make a career from scratch, to achieve personal success step by step is not one of our national habits. This is reflected in a lack of initiative, lack of new ideas, outstanding unresolved issues, the poor quality of public debate, including criticism. Public acceptance and support is usually expressed in silence. Objections are very often emotional, scathing, but superficial and irresponsible. Well, this is not the first century that Russia has had to confront these phenomena.
People tell us that we cannot completely cure chronic social diseases. Those traditions are steadfast, and history tends to repeat itself. But at one point serfdom and rampant illiteracy seemed insurmountable. However, we overcame them all the same.
Of course traditions have a considerable influence. But they nevertheless fit in with each new era and undergo changes. Some simply disappear, and not all of them are useful. For me, traditions are simply imperative values that should be fostered. They include interethnic and interfaith peace, military valour, faithfulness to one’s duty, hospitality and the kindness inherent in our people. Bribery, theft, intellectual and spiritual laziness, and drunkenness, on the other hand, are vices that offend our traditions. We should get rid of them by using the strongest terms.
Of course today’s Russia will not repeat its past. Our time is truly new. And not just because it is moving forward, as time does, but also because it opens up before our country and each one of us tremendous opportunities. Opportunities of which there was no trace twenty, thirty, or much less a hundred or three hundred years ago.
The impressive legacy of the two greatest modernisations in our country’s history – that of Peter the Great (imperial) and the Soviet one -- unleashed ruin, humiliation and resulted in the deaths of millions of our countrymen. It is not for us to judge our predecessors. But we must recognize that the preservation of human life was not, euphemistically speaking, a government priority in those years. Unfortunately, this is a fact. Today is the first time in our history that we have a chance to prove to ourselves and the world that Russia can develop in a democratic way. That a transition to the next, higher stage of civilization is possible. And this will be accomplished through non-violent methods. Not by coercion, but by persuasion. Not through suppression, but rather the development of the creative potential of every individual. Not through intimidation, but through interest. Not through confrontation, but by harmonising the interests of the individual, society and government.
We really live in a unique time. We have a chance to build a new, free, prosperous and strong Russia. As President I am obliged to do everything in my power to make sure that we fully take advantage of this opportunity.
In the coming decades Russia should become a country whose prosperity is ensured not so much thanks to commodities but by intellectual resources: the so-called intelligent economy, creating unique knowledge, exporting new technologies and innovative products.
I recently identified five strategic vectors for the economic modernisation of our country. First, we will become a leading country measured by the efficiency of production, transportation and energy use. We will develop new fuels for use on domestic and international markets. Secondly, we need to maintain and raise our nuclear technology to a qualitatively new level. Third, Russia's experts will improve information technology and strongly influence the development of global public data networks, using supercomputers and other necessary material elements. Fourth, we will develop our own ground and space infrastructure for transferring all types of information; our satellites will thus be able to observe the whole world, help our citizens and people of all countries to communicate, travel, engage in research, agricultural and industrial production. Fifth, Russia will take a leading position in the production of certain types of medical equipment, sophisticated diagnostic tools, medicines for the treatment of viral, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases and cancer.
As we follow these five strategies for success in high-tech spheres, we will also pay constant attention to the development of our most important traditional industries and, first of all, the agro-industrial complex. One in three of us live in rural areas. The availability of modern social services for rural residents, increasing their incomes, improving their working conditions and daily life will always remain our priority.
Of course Russia will be well-armed. Well enough so that it does not occur to anyone to threaten us or our allies.
These goals are realistic. The targets we have set for achieving them are difficult but attainable. We have already developed detailed, step-by-step plans to move forward in these areas. We will encourage and promote scientific and technological creativity. First and foremost, we will support young scientists and inventors. Secondary and higher education will prepare a sufficient number of specialists for promising industries. Academic institutions will concentrate major efforts on the implementation of breakthrough projects. Legislators will take all decisions to ensure comprehensive support for the spirit of innovation in all spheres of public life, creating a market place for ideas, inventions, discoveries, and new technologies. Public and private companies will receive full support in all endeavours that create a demand for innovative products. Foreign companies and research organisations will be offered the most favourable conditions for establishing research and design centres in Russia. We will hire the best scientists and engineers from around the world. Most importantly, we will explain to our young people that the most important competitive advantage is knowledge that others do not have, intellectual superiority, the ability to create things that people need. As Pushkin wrote: “There is a higher courage: the courage of invention, creation, where an extensive plan is overwhelmed by the creative idea.” Inventors, innovators, researchers, teachers, entrepreneurs who introduce new technologies, will become the most respected people in society. In turn, society will give them everything they need to be productive.
Of course an innovative economy cannot be established immediately. It is part of a culture based on humanistic values. It is grounded in our efforts to transform the world and guarantee a better quality of life, liberate individuals from poverty, disease, fear and injustice. Talented people who want reform, people who can create new and better things will not come here from another planet. They are already here among us. And that is clearly proven by the results of international intellectual competitions, the fact that inventions made in Russia are patented abroad, and the fact that our best specialists are headhunted by the world’s largest companies and universities. We -- the government, society and the family unit -- must learn to find, nurture, educate and take care of such people.
I also think that technological development is a priority public and political task because scientific and technological progress is inextricably linked with the progress of political systems. Experts believe that democracy originated in ancient Greece, but in those days there was no extensive democracy. Freedom was the privilege of a select minority. Full-fledged democracy that established universal suffrage and legal guarantees for the equality of all citizens before the law, so-called democracy for everyone emerged relatively recently, some eighty to one hundred years ago. At that time, democracy occurred on a mass scale, simultaneously with the mass production of the most necessary goods and services. When the level of technological development of Western civilization made it possible to gain universal access to basic amenities: to education, health care and information. Every new invention which improves our quality of life provides us with an additional degree of freedom. It makes our existential conditions more comfortable and social relations more equitable. The more intelligent, smarter and efficient our economy is, the higher the level of our citizens’ welfare, and our political system and society as a whole will also be freer, fairer and more humane.
The growth of modern information technologies, something we will do our best to facilitate, gives us unprecedented opportunities for the realisation of fundamental political freedoms, such as freedom of speech and assembly. It allows us to identify and eliminate hotbeds of corruption. It gives us direct access to the site of almost any event. It facilitates the direct exchange of views and knowledge between people all around the world. Society is becoming more open and transparent than ever – even if the ruling class does not necessarily like this.
Russia's political system will also be extremely open, flexible and internally complex. It will be adequate for a dynamic, active, transparent and multi-dimensional social structure. It will correspond to the political culture of free, secure, critical thinking, self-confident people. As in most democratic states, the leaders of the political struggle will be the parliamentary parties, which will periodically replace each other in power. The parties and the coalitions they make will choose the federal and regional executive authorities (and not vice versa). They will be responsible for nominating candidates for the post of president, regional governors and local authorities. They will have a long experience of civilized political competition: responsible and meaningful interaction with voters, inter-party cooperation and the search for compromises to resolve acute social problems. They will bring together in one political entity every element of society, citizens of all nationalities, the most diverse groups of people and territories of Russia endowed with ample powers.
The political system will be renewed and improved via the free competition of open political associations. There will be a cross-party consensus on strategic foreign policy issues, social stability, national security, the foundations of the constitutional order, the protection of the nation's sovereignty, the rights and freedoms of citizens, the protection of property rights, the rejection of extremism, support for civil society, all forms of self-organisation and self-government. A similar consensus exists in all modern democracies.
This year we started moving towards the creation of such a political system. Political parties were given additional opportunities to choose those occupying leadership positions in the federal regions and municipalities. We relaxed the formal requirements for the creation of new parties. We simplified the conditions in place for the nomination of candidates for election to the State Duma. We passed legislation guaranteeing equal access to public media for parliamentary parties. A number of other measures were adopted as well.
Not everyone is satisfied with the pace at which we are moving in this direction. They talk about the need to accelerate changes in the political system. And sometimes about going back to the ‘democratic’ nineties. But it is inexcusable to return to a paralyzed country. So I want to disappoint the supporters of permanent revolution. We will not rush. Hasty and ill-considered political reforms have led to tragic consequences more than once in our history. They have pushed Russia to the brink of collapse. We cannot risk our social stability and endanger the safety of our citizens for the sake of abstract theories. We are not entitled to sacrifice stable life, even for the highest goals. In his time Confucius remarked: "Impatience in small matters destroys a great idea". We have all too often experienced this in the past. Reforms for the people, not the people for reform. At the same time this will displease those who are completely satisfied with the status quo. Those who are afraid and do not want change. Changes will take place, but they will be gradual, thought-through, and step-by-step. But they will nevertheless be steady and consistent.
Russian democracy will not merely copy foreign models. Civil society cannot be bought by foreign grants. Political culture will not be reconfigured as a simple imitation of the political traditions of advanced societies. An effective judicial system cannot be imported. Freedom is impossible to simply copy out of a book, even a very clever one. Of course we'll learn from other nations – from their experiences, their successes and failures in developing democratic institutions. But no one will live our lives for us. Nobody is going to make us free, successful and responsible. Only our own experience of democratic endeavour will give us the right to say: we are free, we are responsible, we are successful.
Democracy needs to be protected. The fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens must be as well. They need to be protected primarily from the sort of corruption that breeds tyranny, lack of freedom and injustice. We have just begun to develop such protective mechanisms. Our judicial system must be a central component here. We have to create a modern efficient judiciary, acting in accordance with new legislation on the judicial system and based on contemporary legal principles. We also have to rid ourselves of the contempt for law and justice, which, as I've said repeatedly, has lamentably become a tradition in this country. But the formation of a new judicial system cannot be achieved by competitions or campaigns, or idle talk about how the system itself is rotten and that it would be easier to create new judicial and law enforcement systems than to change them. There are no entirely new judges, just as there are no new public prosecutors, police, intelligence personnel, civil servants, businessmen and so on. We need to create normal working conditions for the law enforcement agencies and get rid of the imposters once and for all. We have to teach law enforcement officers to protect and defend rights and freedoms, to justly, clearly and effectively resolve conflicts in the legal field. We need to eliminate attempts to influence judicial decisions for whatever reasons. Ultimately, the judicial system itself has to understand the difference between what it means to act in the public interest or in the selfish interests of a corrupt bureaucrat or businessman. We need to cultivate a taste for the rule of law, for abiding by the law, respect for the rights of others, including such important rights as that of property ownership. It is the job of the courts with broad public support to cleanse the country of corruption. This is a difficult task but it is doable. Other countries have succeeded in doing this.
We will do everything possible to allow the people in Russia's Caucasus to lead normal lives. Economic and humanitarian programmes for the south of the country will soon be reviewed and fleshed out. We will set up some very clear criteria to assess the performance of heads of governmental structures in the Caucasus. This applies primarily to federal and regional ministries and departments responsible for policy in industrial production, finance, social development, education and culture. At the same time, law enforcement authorities will continue to stamp out the bandits who seek to intimidate and terrorise the population of some Caucasian republics with their crazy ideas and barbaric customs.
Negative demographic trends must be slowed and stopped. We need to improve the quality of medical care, promote fertility, ensure safety on the road and in the workplace, combat the pandemic of alcoholism and develop physical culture and mass sport. This requires both a strategic approach and making such things the everyday tasks of the government.
Whatever the scope or effects of these transformations, their goal is ultimately the same, improving the quality of life in Russia. Creating better conditions by providing citizens with housing, employment, medical care, care of pensioners, protection of children, and support for people with disabilities -- these are the duties of the authorities at all levels.
Russian politicians often remind us that, under our Constitution, Russia is a welfare state. This is true, but we must not forget that the modern welfare state is not some kind of bloated Soviet social security system, and benefits are not distributed from the sky. A welfare state is a complex, balanced system of economic incentives and social benefits, legal, ethical and behavioural standards, a system whose productivity crucially depends on the quality of work and level of training of every one of us.
The government should only distribute to society what it has earned. Living beyond our means is immoral, unwise and dangerous. We need to make the economic system more productive so that we can earn more. It isn't enough to say that the price of oil happens to be rising at a given moment – we've got to earn our way.
We will improve the efficiency of social services in all spheres, paying special attention to problems of material and medical support for veterans and pensioners.
The modernisation of Russian democracy and establishment of a new economy will, in my opinion, only be possible if we use the intellectual resources of post-industrial societies. And we should do so without any complexes, openly and pragmatically. The issue of harmonising our relations with western democracies is not a question of taste, personal preferences or the prerogatives of given political groups. Our current domestic financial and technological capabilities are not sufficient for a qualitative improvement in the quality of life. We need money and technology from Europe, America and Asia. In turn, these countries need the opportunities Russia offers. We are very interested in the rapprochement and interpenetration of our cultures and economies.
Of course no relationship is free from contradictions. There will always be controversial topics, reasons for disagreement. But resentment, arrogance, various complexes, mistrust and especially hostility should be excluded from the relations between Russia and the leading democratic countries.
We have many common goals, including absolute priorities which affect every inhabitant on Earth such as the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and reducing the risk of adverse effects from man-made climate change.
We must have interested partners and involve them in joint activities. And if we need to change something ourselves in order to do so, abandon previous prejudices and illusions, then we should do so. I am of course not referring to a policy of unilateral concessions. Lack of will and incompetence will not gain us any respect, gratitude, or gains. This has already happened in our recent history. Naive notions of the infallible and happy West and the eternally underdeveloped Russia are unacceptable, offensive and dangerous. But no less dangerous is the path of confrontation, self-isolation, mutual insults and recrimination.
Nostalgia should not guide our foreign policy and our strategic long-term goal is Russia’s modernisation. Along with this Russia is one of the world's leading economies, a nuclear power and a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It should openly and explicitly explain its position and defend it in all venues, without weaselling or giving in to pressure to conform. And in the case of a threat to our own interests we must strongly defend them. I talked about these principles of our foreign policy in August last year.
In addition to this active work on the western front, we must increase our cooperation with the countries of the EurAsEC [Eurasian Economic Community], CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organisation] and CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States]. These are our closest, strategic partners. We share the common goal of modernising our economies, regional security, and a more equitable world order. We must also develop worldwide cooperation with our partners in the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organisation] and BRIC [Brazil-Russia-India-China].
Like every great people, the Russian people are brilliant and heroic, they command the world's respect and admiration, and at the same time our history has been a controversial, complex, ambiguous one. It means different things to different people in different countries. And much remains to be done to protect our historical heritage from distortion and political speculations. We must look clearly at our past and see our great victories, our tragic mistakes, our role models, and the manifestations of the best features of our national character.
In any case, we will be attentive to our history and we will respect it. First and foremost we must respect our country's role in maintaining a balanced world order for centuries. Russia has always, at all stages of its development, sought to achieve a more equitable world order.
Russia has often sought to protect small nations, those confronted with the threat of enslavement or even destruction. This was the case only recently, when Saakashvili's regime launched its criminal attack on South Ossetia. Russia has often put an end to the plans of those bent on world domination. Russia has twice appeared in the vanguard of the great coalitions: in the 19th century to stop Napoleon and in the 20th by defeating the Nazis. In war and peace, when a just cause has demanded decisive action, our people have been there to help. Russia has always been a staunch ally in war and an honest partner in economic and diplomatic affairs.
In the future, Russia will be an active and respected member of the international community of free nations. It will be strong enough to exert a significant influence on the formulation of decisions that have global implications. It will be able to prevent anyone's unilateral actions from harming our national interests or adversely affecting our internal affairs, from reducing Russians' level of income or damaging their security.
For these reasons, along with other countries we are trying to reform the world's supranational political and economic institutions. The aim of this modernisation is the development of international relations in the interests of as many peoples and countries as possible. We want to establish rules of cooperation and dispute settlement, in which priority is given to modern ideas of equality and fairness.
These are my views on the historical role of our country and its future. These are my answers to some of the questions that affect us all.
I would invite all those who share my convictions to get involved. I would also invite those who do not agree with my ideas but sincerely desire change for the better to be involved as well. People will attempt to interfere with our work. An influential group of corrupt officials and do-nothing ‘entrepreneurs’ are well ensconced. They have everything and are satisfied. They're going to squeeze the profits from the remnants of Soviet industry and squander the natural resources that belong to all of us until the end. They are not creating anything new, do not want development, and fear it. But the future does not belong to them – it belongs to us. And we are an absolute majority. We will act patiently, pragmatically, consistently and in a balanced manner. And act now: act today and tomorrow. We will overcome the crisis, backwardness and corruption.
We will create a new Russia. Go Russia!
|Moscow, Kremlin News - April 28, 2009
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed his condolences to relatives and friends of ballerina Ekaterina Maximova on her death.
The President expressed his condolences to Tatiana Maximova, the mother of Ekaterina Maximova, and to her husband Vladimir Vasiliev, as well as to those who worked with her at the Bolshoi Theatre.
In his message the head of state said, in particular:
“You have lost someone very close and dear, and Russian art has lost a great ballerina, one whose rare, multi-faceted gifts have been rightly described as belonging to world culture. With her brilliant choreography and extraordinary beauty and grace, she literally charmed the audience, and astonished them with the power and delicacy of her performances.
Ekaterina Maximova is no longer with us, but she leaves us a very rich artistic heritage and her students, and we will cherish the memory of her.”
The People's Artist of USSR Ekaterina Maximova died at the age of 70.
Moscow, Kremlin News - April 15, 2009
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent his condolences at the passing of Maurice Druon to the writer's widow and family.
In his telegram, the President said, in particular:
“We have lost one of world culture’s outstanding figures, a recognised classic, one of the best known French writers of modern times, and an exceptional and memorable person.
A genuine humanist and participant in the French Resistance during World War II, Maurice Druon was unwavering in defending the values and ideals of European culture. He was an active advocate of developing international humanitarian dialogue and cooperation.
Maurice Druon’s works, especially his unforgettable historical novels, have always been immensely popular in Russia, and the number of admirers of his talent has not declined with time. He was a loyal friend of Russia and made a great contribution to building up friendly ties between Russia and France.”
In 1993, a Russian presidential executive order awarded Maurice Druon the Order of Friendship of Peoples.
March 30, 2009 - 13:00 Kremlin News|
The Presidential Press and Information Office's Department of Accreditation and Briefings is now taking accreditation requests to cover events marking the 64th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War.
May 8. Alexandrovsky Garden.
Wreath- and flower-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin Wall.
May 9. Red Square.
Military parade commemorating the 64th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
Please send separate requests for each event!
Requests must include:
For Russian media: Surname, name and patronymic in full; name of the media outlet; job title; passport details (passport number, date and place of birth).
For foreign media: Surname, name and patronymic in full (in Roman and Cyrillic letters); name of the media outlet; job title; passport details (passport number, date and place of birth), Russian Foreign Ministry accreditation number.
INCOMPLETE REQUESTS WILL NOT BE EXAMINED!
The deadline for requests is 17-00, April 15
Requests can be faxed to 606-90-00 or 606-73-77.
Contact telephone numbers: 985-37-60, 606-40-78, 606-30-63.
|Kremlin News ,January 26, 2009
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev bestowed the highest state award, the Order of St Andrew the Apostle, on the famous Russian writer, and Second World War veteran, Daniil Granin.
The writer and essayist who received the award had, on 1 January 2009, celebrated his 90th birthday. On his birthday the head of state telephoned him to congratulate him, before sending a congratulatory telegram. The President of Russia signed the decree regarding the award for Daniil Granin in December 2008, and Dmitry Medvedev decided to bestow the award on the author in person.
The President noted that he had long been familiar with the writer's work, and that he always received great pleasure from his books.
Daniil Granin is the fifteenth person to be awarded the Order of St Andrew the Apostle in the Russian Federation. The Order of St Andrew the Apostle was established by Peter the Great in 1698 and till 1917 was the highest honour awarded by the Russian state. It was re-established in 1998 by order of the President of the Russian Federation.
Kremlin News, January 1, 2009
Dmitry Medvedev had a telephone conversation with the writer and president of the Dmitry Likhachev International Charitable Foundation Daniil Granin, in which he congratulated him on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
Earlier the President sent a congratulatory telegram to Daniil Granin, which among other things, said the following:
“As a talented author whose work ranks among the classics of Russian literature, and as a prominent essay writer, you have written many outstanding and profound works, which are a spiritual asset not just to Russia but to the whole world. Your books, created by the hard work and great gift of a true master, raise difficult themes that are relevant to people’s lives, and that is why they are so dear to readers of all generations. You have become not just a recognised master of fiction, but also as an authoritative public figure. Your sense of social duty – the sincerity with which you have worked to restore the tradition of mercy and charity in Russia – is worthy of profound respect.”
The head of state decreed that Daniil Granin be awarded the order of Saint Andrew the Apostle in recognition of his overwhelming contribution to the development of national literature, his creative work which spans many years, and his social activity.
Kremlin News - January 7, 2009
The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wished Orthodox Christians, and all Russians, a happy Christmas.
He said: “For centuries this celebration has been an inextinguishable light of faith, hope and love for people. At this time our thoughts turn to all those enduring values which lie at the foundation of Christian civilisation as a whole, and which nourish orthodox culture. The celebration of Christmas brings harmony, kind thoughts, mercy and mutual respect into our lives.
Today the Russian Orthodox Church, and indeed the followers of other Christian confessions help the needy, take care of their families and children, as they also care for the moral health of society, and the strengthening of moral foundations. I am certain that continuous attention to these most important questions will allow the spiritual renaissance and renewal of Russia in the future.”
The President and his spouse attended a Christmas service that was held in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
Kremlin News - December 31, 2008
The Russian President's New Year Address to the Nation.
We will soon be seeing in the New Year, greeting 2009.
Getting straight to the point, I would like to give you all my best wishes for this, everyone’s favourite celebration, when we take a moment to remember the past year, in which we saw happiness and disappointment, joy and loss. We each have our own experiences, and now is the time to remember them. And all our individual lives, actions and feelings are what combine to make our great country, Russia.
We have already proved how much we can do together, that we can triumph. And this year our nation has been sorely tested, and has come through with confidence and dignity, thanks to you – its citizens. I am certain that we will be able to deal with whatever difficulties we may meet in the future. And also that the state will do everything it can to make this possible.
In a few moments the dates on the calendars will change, but our essential values remain unchanging, these values – devotion to our loved ones, friendship, loyalty, sympathy and charity - remain as an anchor for us at all times. They give us strength in any difficult situation and help us not just overcome difficulties but raise us to new heights.
Now, in these minutes I would like to turn to our parents and thank them for their care and understanding, and wish them above all good health. We really do need you, and you are very dear to us. I would like also to congratulate our children on this holiday. We will do everything we can to make sure you are happy, but remember, that a lot depends on you yourselves.
Dear friends. It is time to greet the New Year. Let us take this moment to wish our loved ones, our dear ones, well. Wherever we are seeing in this New Year – whether we are at home, among friends, or even at work, now we are thinking about our nearest and dearest.
New Years Eve is a time of hope. I wish each of us peace, love and the fulfilment of all your wishes.
I wish you happiness! Happy New Year!
Kremlin News - December 26, 2008
MOSCOW, GOSTINIY DVOR.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wished Muscovites happy new year at a reception on behalf of the Mayor of Moscow.
In his address to the reception, the President emphasised the need in the coming New Year not just to maintain the high pace of development, but also the social standards which have been ensured recently.
According to Dmitry Medvedev’s speech, the coming year will test both the endurance of those management systems which have developed over recent years, and also the ability to work in the difficult conditions of the crisis.
Kremlin News - December 23, 2008
The ceremony for the presentation of state awards was held in the Kremlin.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev presented state awards of the Russian Federation to outstanding Russian citizens.
The awards ceremony is traditionally held in the Catherine Hall at the Kremlin.
Kremlin News - December 17, 2008
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had a telephone conversation with President of Israel Shimon Peres.
Mr Peres expressed his profound condolences over the tragic bus accident that killed and injured Russian citizens. He also informed Mr Medvedev about the measures the Israeli authorities are taking to provide urgent assistance to the victims.
Mr Medvedev thanked Mr Peres for his condolences and for the Israeli authorities’ help. The President announced that he has issued an instruction for Russian Emergency Situations Ministry aircraft to take the victims’ relatives, doctors and necessary equipment to Israel.
Mr Peres said that he has instructed all of the relevant Israeli agencies and officials to work in full and close contact with Russian representatives.
Kremlin News - December 16, 2008
Dmitry Medvedev expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the victims, as well as all the victims of a Russian tour bus crash in Israel.
The President ordered the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Embassy in Israel to assist the victims.
There are many dead and gravely injured following the tour bus crash in a ravine.
December 10, 2008 - 19:30 Kremlin News
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev welcomed participants and guests to the Stalker International Human Rights Film Festival.
The welcome reads, in part:
«Your highly imaginative event plays a special role in domestic cinematography, and its rich programme and the extraordinarily high quality of the films attract the constant attention of the critics and the general public alike.
You devote your talents and efforts to the ideals of humanism and enlightenment, compassion and love. Highlighting the pressing issues of human rights protection, the festival has made a significant contribution to the development of civil society in Russia, raising the level of consciousness of people by putting incisive and vitally important questions to those who attend.
Let your noble work to promote an education in spiritual and moral values continue, which will in turn help the well-being of our country and its citizens».
The annual Stalker Human Rights Festival runs from 10 to 15 December 2008 in Moscow. Traditionally Stalker starts on the day of the adoption of the UN Declaration on Human Rights. This year is the 60th anniversary of the Declaration.
The programme for the 14th annual Stalker Festival includes 114 films, among them films from Russia, Italy, Spain, Israel, Estonia, Belgium, France, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
December 5, 2008 - Kremlin News
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made an address to the nation following the death of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II.
"Dear citizens of Russia,
A great sorrow has befallen our nation, our society – the death of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II. He was an outstanding religious figure and true spiritual leader, and he was also a great Citizen of Russia, a man whose destiny reflected all the great trials and upheavals that our country traversed in the twentieth century, a critical time in our country's history. He was a true pastor and an example of spiritual steadfastness and noble acts throughout his life. He was with his flock during the days of persecution and during the revival of faith.
He played a direct part in the Russian Orthodox Church’s revival and in the genuine affirmation of the principles of freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, and helped establish civil peace and concord in this multiethnic and multi-faith country that is Russia.
The Patriarch’s force of character has had a huge impact on Russian society’s spiritual life and moral state. He preached the unifying and universal values of humanism, goodness and compassion. He called for mutual respect, tolerance and trust between people of different faiths and traditions. He initiated dialogue between churches and peoples. Through his words and acts he wisely reconciled conflicting views and worked to unify the entire Russian nation.
Under his direction the Russian Orthodox Church became one of the country’s most influential institutions and engaged in fruitful cooperation with the state. The Moscow Patriarchate gained respect and authority not only in Russia but also in the international religious community.
From the moment he became Patriarch, Alexy II sought to mend the tragic split in the Russian Orthodox Church and return the Church to its fullness and greatness. That this reunification has taken place is to his enormous personal credit.
Selflessly shouldering his pastoral duties, the Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia was conscious of his responsibilities not only before the Church but before the entire nation. We are all deeply grieve at his passing. This is a great loss for me personally too. We will always remember his spiritual assistance, wisdom and his endless devotion to his country and people.
We will always feel his support. May his memory live forever."
Patriarch Alexy II (his secular name was Alexei Mikhailovich Ridiger) was born on February 23, 1929, in Tallinn (Estonia).
In the summer of 1990, he was elected Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, the fifteenth Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church since the Patriarchate was introduced in Russia.
November 21, 2008 - Kremlin News
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent his greetings to the participants and guests at an evening celebrating the 100th anniversary of Russia's cinema industry.
The President said, in particular, in his message:
“Russia’s first feature film marked the dawn of a new type of art in our country, bringing something bright and new to people’s lives. This event was the first step on the Russian film industry’s road to success, and the prologue to the genuinely triumphant achievements of our cinema maestros. Russia’s best films have won the love of millions of viewers, earned international recognition and become part of the world’s cultural heritage.
Russian cinema has travelled a long way over this century, undergoing a transformation from technological novelty to a huge industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people with a most diverse range of skills. It is a fast-growing industry today and its renowned masters and talented newcomers are winning ever more awards at prestigious international festivals.
I am sure that this anniversary will serve to inspire new projects and ideas, and that even better and more interesting films await us. They are already in the thoughts and plans of the genuine professionals and the memorable and talented people who have always given Russian cinema its great name.”
The closing events marking 100 years of the Russian film industry are taking place on November 21. Events celebrating the anniversary have been taking place throughout the year. The anniversary is dated to the release in the autumn of 1908 of the first Russian feature film Ponizovaya Volnitsa, known to most viewers as Stenka Razin.
November 6, 2008 - Kremlin News
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent greetings to the guests and participants of the Worldwide Magazine Marketplace (WMM).
The message of greetings reads, in part:
“I am happy to greet the heads of the leading world media outlets who have gathered in Moscow for the first time for the Worldwide Magazine Marketplace.
We see this as an indicator of the success and maturity of the Russian publishing market and as another manifestation of the interest in our country on the part of those who set the information agenda.
You will not only introduce publishing novelties, but discuss a wide range of professional issues. They include occupational themes as well as the global trends that influence the development of the mass media. We are witnessing their rapid growth, which already sets a new pace and effectively determines the lifestyle of millions of people.
Today the Russian media industry is developing confidently, possessing an immense potential and attracting investments and, owing to innovative strategies and effective business models, it is capable of stimulating advanced technologies and production in other spheres.
I hope that the exhibition will contribute to the deepening of cooperation and the implementation of promising joint publishing projects. It is this kind of audiences that generate fresh ideas and useful initiatives.”
The Worldwide Magazine Marketplace (WMM), organised by the International Federation of the Periodical press (FIPP) is an international forum that addresses the issues of international licensing, joint ventures and syndication.
The exhibition features the publishers of mass-circulation magazines, producers of digital and b2b publications, experts and providers of editorial and publishing solutions.
The Worldwide Magazine Marketplace will take place in Moscow on November 6-7.
October 25, 2008 - Kremlin News
Dmitry Medvedev expressed his sincere condolences following the passing of Muslim Magomayev.
The renowned singer died in Moscow at age 66 following a serious illness.
The head of state conveyed his sincere condolences to the singer's wife Tamara Sinyavska, his family and friends, and all of the artist's fans.
Muslim Magomayev was born in Baku (Azerbaijan) in 1942. He graduated from the State Conservatory of Azerbaijan in singing. The artist became famous following his performance at the festival of Azerbaijani art in Moscow in 1962. He performed his first solo concert in 1963.
Muslim Magomayev became a soloist at the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre and continued to perform concerts as he toured through the cities of the former Soviet Union. He studied temporarily at the La Scala theatre in Milan. In 1966 and 1969 Muslim Magomayev's concert tours concluded with great success in the famous Olympia theatre in Paris. In 1969 the singer won first prize at a festival in Sopot (Poland) and the Golden Disc in Cannes.
Muslim Magomayev's concert repertoire contain more than 600 works (Russian romances, classical pieces, pop music and Neapolitan songs). He is the author of more than 20 songs, music for films, as well as the creator of a renown television series on the life and work of American singer Mario Lanza, about whom he also wrote a book.
October 20, 2008 - Kremlin News
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated the teachers, students and graduates of the V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Art Theatre School (MKhAT) on its 65th anniversary.
The President’s telegram says, in particular:
“The walls of your school preserve the memory of a whole constellation of outstanding masters. It was here that many acclaimed names in Russian theatre and film started out on their professional road. Their inspired creations have become recognized examples of exceptional talent and lofty spiritual quality.
It is pleasing to see that over all these years, talented masters have continued to teach within these walls, handing down the priceless traditions of the Russian dramatic school and cultivating in their students love for the classics and irreproachable artistic taste.
I am sure the current generation of young actors and directors will also develop their talents and enrich the treasure trove of Russian and world art”.
The Moscow Art Theatre was founded in 1898 by Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko.
October 17, 2008 - Kremlin News
A competent state urban planning policy is the key to preserving Russia's historic legacy.
This was the point Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stressed in his greetings to the organisers, participants and guests at the International Architecture Festival ‘Architecture 2008’.
“Your annual forum, which brings together professionals from many countries, always draws great interest and public attention,” Mr Medvedev said in his message. “The leading architectural bureaus and design institutes present here their promising developments and original design solutions.
The festival’s main theme this year is ‘The Historic City and New Architecture’. It is no secret that unique cultural heritage has become vulnerable in this age of globalisation. Unique monuments of the past are being destroyed before our very eyes or being replaced with modern copies. Nature zones are being built over and beautiful landscape reserves are being destroyed. Preservation of this priceless historical heritage depends in large part on competent urban planning policy.
I hope that your meeting will help resolve these important missions and inspire interesting new initiatives and projects. Overall, I hope it will help to preserve the historic appearance of our cities and contribute to the dynamic development of Russia’s architectural and construction sectors.”
The festival showcases the work of Russian and foreign architects and designers, and design, production and construction companies and organisations, architectural bureaus and studios, personal workshops and students of architecture and construction educational establishments. Russia’s national architecture prize, the Crystal Daedalus, will also be awarded during the festival.
October 15, 2008 - Kremlin News
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated the staff of Internet company Mail.ru on the company's tenth anniversary.
The President’s message said in particular:
“Your company has established itself as one of the leaders in the Russian information technology industry over these last years. Today, Mail.ru gives millions of Internet users in Russia and beyond the chance to communicate, keep in touch with loved ones, and learn the latest news in our country and the world. It is very important that you do not stop here but continue working constantly to raise the quality and expand the range of services you provide. It is not by chance that your number of users is increasing with every passing year.
Mail.ru can be deservedly proud of its team of high-class professionals and like-minded thinkers genuinely enthusiastic about their much-loved work. I am sure that your years of experience and the creative approach you always apply to your work will bring the company new achievements.”
More than 2.5 million emails are sent through Mail.Ru every day. Mail.ru is not just an email postal service but also a portal offering more than 40 different Internet services.
October 14, 2008 - Kremlin News
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent a greeting to participants and guests of the 5th Internet theatre festival Theatre Web.
The message reads, in particular:
“I am glad to welcome you to this remarkable initiative by Russian cultural figures, the Theatre Web festival.
Your creative forum has stood the test of time and become one of the most promising projects that joins performing arts and information technology. Thanks to your efforts we have formed a special interactive space that gives the audience completely new opportunities.
Theatre Web performs a valuable educational mission and opens up the rich world of Russian culture. The festival helps theatre lovers from around the world to see the most vivid events of Russian cultural life in real time, and witness interesting performances involving well-known actors. And I hope that its many fans will grow from year to year.”
Since the festival was established four years ago 37 productions from 17 cities in Russia and abroad, including from Kazakhstan, Latvia and Israel, have been broadcast live on the Internet. Viewers from more than 80 countries around the world have watched the performances of Theatre Web. The festival is a unique project that has no analogy in the world.
The festival will be held from 14 to 25 October 2008.
October 3, 2008 - Kremlin News
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent a greeting to the participants in the commemorative evening devoted to the 80th anniversary of the Russian Army Academic Song and Dance Ensemble.
The greeting reads, in part:
"Over the past decades your unique ensemble has rightfully won widespread fame and public acclaim. One of Russia’s first military musical ensembles, you performed concerts at the front during the Great Patriotic War, inspiring our soldiers and officers and bringing us victory over the enemy. The current generation of aleksandrovtsev honourably continues this tradition and their art supports the Russian troops in their difficult military endeavours.
Today you repeatedly conquer prestigious venues with your inimitable performing style, effervescent temperament and perfect technique. And of course your art unites all those who sincerely love Russia and its rich culture".
The A. V. Alexandrov Russian army twice red-bannered academic song and dance ensemble is the largest artistic military ensemble in Russia.
The ensemble has more than two thousand pieces in its repertoire. They include folk songs and dances, military dances, sacred music, classical works by Russian and foreign composers and the masterpieces of world pop music.
The ensemble is world-famous thanks to its excellent voices, optimistic style of execution and tours through more than 70 countries around the world.
September 29, 2008 - Kremlin News
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Russia's Jewish community on the Jewish New Year holiday, Rosh Hashanah.
Mr Medvedev’s message of congratulations says, in particular:
“This last year has been a very successful one for Russia’s Jewish community – new synagogues, educational and social establishments have opened. This illustrates the revival and development of your people’s culture.
It is pleasing to see that through the centuries you have preserved the traditions of tolerance, peace, strong family ties, and make an important contribution to building up mutual understanding and harmony in society and strengthening interethnic and inter-faith dialogue”.
The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent his greetings to the organisers and participants at the national competition Teacher of the Year-2008.
Mr Medvedev said in particular in his message:
“Your competition brings together those who devote their strength and creative energy to educating the young generation – our country’s future. It is you, teachers, who play such a big part in shaping who our children will become, what kind of knowledge they will acquire and what road in life they will choose.
Russian schools today need new and innovative pedagogical ideas. They need teachers with a keen sense of the times and able to take education in Russia to a new level and make it competitive at the global level.
I am sure that your professionalism, experience, dedication and selfless labour will help to reach this goal, preserve and add to Russian teachers’ fine name and ultimately help to prepare schoolchildren for the responsibilities of adult life”.
The national Teacher of the Year competition began in 1990. The main objectives are to find, support and encourage talented teachers, raise the prestige of teaching as a profession and spread the teaching experience of Russia’s best teachers.
The winner and competition laureates receive the Crystal Pelican, the main prize. All finalists in the competition receive the medal Teacher of the Year along with diplomas and gifts.
Fifteen finalists were chosen at the first round of the competition in St Petersburg. The absolute winner will be named on October 3 in Moscow.
03-04-2009 - 23:00Z
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