MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. Russia’s servicemen have shown exceptional courage and self-sacrifice during the special military operation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a state awards ceremony at the Kremlin on Tuesday.
"Our country has repeatedly faced challenges and defended its sovereignty. Today, Russia is once again facing the same challenge. And soldiers, officers, volunteer fighters show exceptional examples of courage and self-sacrifice on the front line of the special military operation," the president said.
He said that Hero of Russia stars were awarded to two servicemen that showed extraordinary valor during combat, Senior Lieutenant Stepan Belov and Major Konstantin Shirokov.
"We are proud of each of you, and admire the perseverance and courage of people who, at a difficult time for the Motherland, stood up to defend it and fulfill their military duty in the combat zone, helping to improve life in our new territories," Putin said.
Addressing the attendees of the ceremony, the president said, "Today we honor the outstanding citizens of Russia: heroes, pioneers, creators, courageous and hardworking people who have made a huge contribution to the development of the country, showed their worth in our difficult but significant time.".