President Vladimir Putin awarded the Order of Friendship to Metropolitan Kornely Titov of the Russian Orthodox Old Ritualist Church (RPSTs). Vladyki Kornely said at the award ceremony, “I sincerely thank you for this high award, which I had the honour to receive today. This is a historic event. For the first time in 350 years of our history, the Russian head of state presented a state decoration to a leader of the Russian Orthodox Old Ritualist Church”. Damba Ayusheyev, the 24th Pandit Hambo Lama, the head of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia, also received the same award. Metropolitan Vladimir Kotlyarov of St Petersburg and Ladoga received the Order of St Aleksandr Nevsky. Putin awarded the Order of St Yekaterina to Natalia Sarganova, who raised 35 foster children over 30 years. Also amongst those decorated was Mikhail Komissar, the CEO of Interfax, who received the Order “For Services to the Fatherland” (Third Class).
22 February 2013