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KHABAROVSK, December 31, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia has had to face serious trials in the outgoing year, but Russians are looking into the future with optimism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his New Year message, stressing that the country’s authorities were committed to go on working for the sake of the country development and fulfill their liabilities to the people.
“In the outgoing year, we had to face problems and stand serious trials, such as the brutal terrorist attacks in Volgograd and unprecedented natural calamities in the Far East,” Putin said at the New Year reception organized in the city of Khabarovsk for the people who lost their homes and properties in this summer’s devastating floods. “Russia has always become united and consolidated” in the times of trouble, Putin stressed.
“Dear friends, let us bow our heads to the victims of the cruel acts of terror,” he said. “I am confident we shall be resolute and persistent in our fight against terrorists until their complete extermination.”
The head of state also spoke about those who “stood the trial of the natural calamity with dignity and honour,” but could not welcome the New Year at their own homes. He said he wanted to congratulate the country together with these people, “to lift a glass to the Russian people, to the health of those who had to withstand the floods.” “We will support all those who were affected by the disaster, we will fulfill everything we have planned, we will restore and build everything that is to be restored and built,” he vowed.
At the same time, the president noted that in the outgoing year, the country had achieved much. “Our country has become better, richer, more comfortable, it persistently advocates its interests in the international affairs,” he said.
Whatever might happen, Russians sincerely rejoice at the New Year, welcoming it with the hope for and dreams of a better future, he noted. “We look into the future with optimism, we sincerely believe in all the very best, in good luck and success,” the president said. But, he admitted, “prosperity cannot be taken for granted, it is achieved through hard work and personal endeavour, through the commitment to realize what has been planned.”
Putin said he was confident that the fate of the Motherland depended on its people’s achievements, and that the care for one’s family, for children and parents was inseparably linked with the responsibility for Russia. “These feelings and aspirations cement our unity - only together we can be strong to ensure Russia’s progress, to see our plans and intentions come true,” he stressed.
The president however noted that a lot was to be done in the economy “to improve people’s lives, to conduct the Olympic and Paralympic Games due in slightly more than a month at the highest level.”
“The New Year’s Eve is the time when we especially feel how close we are. So, let us thank each other for the understanding and support, for the love and care. We do it only too seldom in the rush of everyday life, but it is the help of our near and dear, the reliability of our friends that make us feel confident, make us want to give more than we take,” Putin said and wished Russia’s good health and happiness in the New Year 2014.
Late on Tuesday, December 31, Putin arrived in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk on a surprise visit to welcome the New Year with the local residents who lost their homes in this summer’s devastating floods. On the very even of the New On the very even of the New Year, Putin called at a temporary accommodation centre to speak with people and to invite them to a New Year gala reception at the Khabarovsk House of Culture. The president addressed the guests of the reception and the rest of Russians with a New Year greeting message. So, Russians, who usually welcome the New Year watching the official televised message of the president, this year will see two version of the presidential address.
The first version had been recorded a day before and was shown several minutes before the midnight in Kamchatka, the first Russian region to see in the New Year.
Since the time lag between Kamchatka and Khabarovsk is one hour, Putin recorded a second version of his New Year greeting address, which will be aired in the rest of Russia.
“The president has decided to spend the New Year’s Eve with these people who survived this unprecedented natural calamity and here he pronounced his greeting address to them,” presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said. “These greetings have become the president’s New Year message. So, the president has actually broken with the years-long tradition.”
At the gala reception, the president reassured the guests that the reconstruction works were proceeding as scheduled and said he had no doubts everything would be fulfilled when planned.
He delivered his traditional New Year address in the company of the guests of the gala reception.
Shortly after the clock struck midnight, Putin handed over a medal For Courage to the widow of the only victim of the summer floods, Sergeant Bair Banzaraktsayev, who died on duty when taking part in a clear-up operation. Apart from that, the president handed over a passport to the man’s daughter who had recently turned 14.