President Putin delivers his annual New Year's address from Khabarovsk
We are now standing on the verge of the new year 2014. In a few minutes we will make a step from the present into the future.
Celebration of this wonderful holiday is one of our warmest and heartfelt traditions. It is passed from generation to generation, uniting all of us.
This year we have faced various problems and serious challenges, including the inhumane terrorist attacks in Volgograd and the unprecedented flood in the Far East. In such times of hardship Russia has always been united and cohesive.
This year, my dear friends, I am addressing you with my New Year's speech not from the Moscow Kremlin but from the Far East where I have arrived to celebrate New Year with those who with honor and dignity faced the flood and with those who cannot yet celebrate the holiday at their own home. Together with these people I congratulate the entire country and raise a glass for our people and for the health of all those who selflessly fought with the disaster and those who showed mercy and generosity.
Dear friends! We also bow our heads for the victims of brutal terrorist attacks. I am confident that we will continue to fight against terrorists until their total destruction. We will support all the victims of terror and will restore and construct everything that was planned to be restored and built.
At the same time, we achieved a lot last year. Our country has become better and wealthier. We have aggressively defended our interests in international affairs. Today, we are sincerely bracing for the New Year. We are meeting it with hope and with dreams for the future.
Wherever we are, the atmosphere of New Year's Eve warms our hearts. We sincerely believe in the best, in luck, and in success. Each of us understands that prosperity does not come by itself but it is achieved through hard work and personal achievements, through efforts to bring everything that was planned to life. The fate of our country is shaped by these achievements, and the loving care for our family, children, and parents is inextricably linked with responsibility for Russia. These feelings and aspirations consolidate our unity. Only together we can be strong and ensure Russia's progression into the future, and bring our plans and ideas into reality.
Dear friends! In the upcoming year we have a lot to work on in the economic sphere; we have to work on improving our living standards, on ensuring people’s safety, on holding the Olympic and Paralympics Games at the highest level.
New Year's Eve is a time when we realize how close we all are. Let's thank each other for understanding and support, for love and care. In the bustle of everyday life we rarely do it. But it is the support of our close friends and family that always gives us confidence and a desire to give them more than we received.
I wish you health and happiness! Let every house be filled with joy and let every family live in agreement and prosperity! Happy New Year, Russia!
On the New Year's Eve Russian President Vladimir Putin unexpectedly arrived in Khabarovsk where he celebrated the New Year with people affected by the flood in the Far East. During the flood which took place this September some 40,000 people have seen their homes soaked by water flows that hit a total of 230 towns in Russia’s Far East, where 12,000 houses went underwater. The area of Khabarovsk has been flooded the most, with more than 7,000 people havin been displaced and more than 36,000 homes flooded.
Before his visit to Khabarovsk, Putin visited one of the temporary accommodation sites for people affected by the flood and then invited them to a New Year banquet organized at the Khabarovsk cultural center.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman to Vladimir Putin, said that the Russian leader stopped in Chita on his way to Khabarovsk and invited for the same banquet a widow of a mercenary who had died in the fall during rescue efforts. The woman and her three children arrived in the region’s capital together with Putin on a presidential plane. Junior Sergeant Bair Bandzaraktsayev died while he was trying to save his truck from going under the water.
“In contrast to other countries, Russia managed to avoid deaths except for one soldier who died as a hero, and that was the only deceased person in this horrible and unprecedented scale-wise flood,” Peskov added.
Besides, servicemen, who during the flood held back sacks of the flood-control dam, threatening to collapse, with their hands standing in the water up to their waist, were also invited to the banquet.