MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. All the participants of Russia’s special military operation are heroes who are on the cutting edge of solving the most difficult and dangerous tasks, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a state awards ceremony at the Kremlin on Tuesday.
"Our servicemen and soldiers, deployed in the special military operation zone, are undoubtedly on the cutting edge of solving the most difficult, responsible and dangerous tasks. <...> I sincerely believe that they are all heroes," the head of state said.
He noted that the servicemen risked their lives every second. "The vast majority of citizens of our country think about that. And I think about it all the time," the president stressed.
Putin said that the current times were difficult and unusual, although, according to him, the country’s history witnessed "no continuous holidays". "Every country, even every person, if there is development, goes forward, overcomes some difficulties along the way. Otherwise there is no progress. But today they (the times - TASS) are indeed accompanied by special difficulties," the president said.
Putin wished the participants in the special military operation success and stressed that today’s ceremony was symbolic. He noted that not all those worthy of the award could attend the ceremony. "The guys who have passed away are no longer with us…" he continued, mentioning, in particular, first head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko (1976-2018), as well as those who died helping others. "We never forget about them," the head of state stressed.
When addressing the participants in the ceremony, Putin mentioned mothers with many children, teachers, artists and other awardees. "All this is Russia. This is the might, the reliability of our country. And we get even stronger when our citizens work more effectively," the president concluded.