MOSCOW, October 31 (Itar-Tass) ——In the run up to Day of People's Unity celebrated in Russia nationwide President Medvedev awarded state awards to outstanding workers of art and culture in Russia. At a gala ceremony held in the Grand Kremlin Palace on Monday high state awards were given to prominent actresses Olga Aroseva, Alla Demidova, Irina Alferova, world famous opera singer Galina Vishnevskaya and celebrated ballet dancer Maya Plisetskaya.
Rock music singer and author of popular songs and music compositions Vyacheslav Butusov, actor and poet Mikhail Nozhkin were awarded the Order of Merit of the 4th degree. The Order of Friendship was awarded to film director Timur Bekmambetov and actress Larisa Guzeeva. World famous pianist Denis Matsuyev, movie actress and film director Vera Glagoleva were given an honorable title of People's Artist of the Russian Federation.
"We see our talents here, our acknowledged masters of culture and art known to the whole country and loved by millions of our citizens," Medvedev said. He congratulated all the laureates who were awarded state awards on the occasion of Day of People’s Unity celebrated on November 4.
"Our country should be united; it was created as a big and strong country which could always defend itself. Probably, it should be its future, as well," Medvedev said. "Unity is ensured not by guns, tanks or economic possibilities only; although all these are very important. Unity is ensured by a common cultural space, people who advocate our achievements in culture which cement us as the united Russian people," Medvedev said.
Completing the victory ceremony, Medvedev underlined that he was very much pleased to see in the Kremlin representatives of cultural elite from the whole country, rather than from Moscow and St. Petersburg alone. Twenty years ago when the former Soviet Union collapsed Medvedev thought then that such state symbols as handing in state awards would go into oblivion, but they did not, he stressed.
"Our history, our glory remained. They are our symbols, our state pride. We have a very respectful attitude to the people present in this hall, which should be never dropped because it helps us become a united country and a united nation," Medvedev said.