Voices from Russia

Friday, 13 June 2008

On Russia Day, State Prizes Awarded in Kremlin

On 12 June, the country’s main national holiday, Russia Day, President Medvedev awarded State Prizes in the Kremlin. State Prizes are recognition of distinguished service to the state and society of scientists and cultural figures. The awards ceremony is broadcast by national TV, and it always takes place in the Kremlin. President Medvedev said, “On this day, we are deeply aware of the grandeur and historical path of our country, our inseparable connection with our native home and motherland. 12 June is a symbol of democracy and freedom. We are aware that the free development of society, the education of the people, and their opportunities to materialise their abilities to the full is a good basis to promote Russia’s intellectual and technological leadership and its competitiveness by breakthroughs in fields of creative endeavour”.

The president went on to say that major role in this belongs to people who dedicated their life to a search of new ideas in intellectual and artistic spheres. Their labour, energy, and success inspire younger generations and compel them to set up more noble goals and higher targets, to assimilate more progressive thinking, and to keep up with progress. He believes that this is most important thing for Russia today. State Prize winners are, no doubt, some of the most distinguished people of Russia.

The president introduced both scientists and cultural figures, whom he awarded with Russia’s highest and most prestigious awards. They were such distinguished figures as the outstanding mathematician Vadim Arnold, the author of the modern catastrophe theory, the linguistics expert Andrei Zaliznyak, and polymers researcher Aleksei Khokhlov. The name of the fourth laureate was not announced since he is involved in classified research. State Prizes in literature and art went to Vladimir Gritsenko, Andrei Naumov, and Vladimir Danilov, who work at the Kulikovo Pole military-historical/natural museum-reserve, one of Russia’s holy sites. Sculptor Andrei Kovalchuk and actress Alice Freindlikh were also awarded State Prizes.

The State Prize for humanitarian achievement went to former French President Jacques Chirac. Earlier, such prizes were awarded to the Patriarch Aleksei II of Moscow and all Russia and world-famous writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Speaking at the awards ceremony, M Chirac said he is convinced that Russia’s role in the world is indispensable, and Europe would have been incomplete without it. He talked about the need of campaigning for cultural flexibility and a more balanced and just world. M Chirac suggested that Russia should disseminate its beautiful language and rich culture everywhere, which he, fortunately, knew since his youth. In conclusion, he emphasised that he firmly believes in Russia’s future.

The awards ceremony in the Kremlin was followed by a reception. This is the biggest reception given by the Russian president. Traditionally, over a thousand persons are invited, including representatives of all branches of the government, State Prize winners, military leaders, and ambassadors of foreign states accredited to the Russian Federation.

12 June 2008

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28330&cid=56&p=12.06.2008

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