"I believe that it is my duty and the meaning of my entire life to do everything for Russia, its present and future, to ensure that it is peaceful and prosperous, to preserve and perpetuate our great people, and bring prosperity to every household in Russia.
Let me assure you that, just as before, I will devote my life and my work to serving the people and our Fatherland. This is my utmost aspiration."
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
This is the speech Putin gave yesterday at his inauguration.
Full transcript below:
Also, something you won't ever see in the decadent West, the head of the Russian church performing a small prayer ceremony in which he gives his blessing to Putin's next term (captions):
Citizens of Russia, ladies and gentlemen, friends, I salute all the citizens of our great nation and compatriots living abroad, all those who are watching the broadcast of this ceremony, all those present here in the historic halls of the Kremlin and at the ancient Cathedral Square.
As I am about to take office as the President of Russia, I am keenly aware of the immense responsibility towards each and every one of you, and towards our entire multi-ethnic nation. I am aware of my responsibility towards Russia, a country of magnificent victories and accomplishments, towards the history of the Russian state that goes back centuries and towards our ancestors. Their courage, relentless work, undefeatable unity, and the way they sanctified their homeland are eternal examples of their dedication to their Fatherland.
I believe that it is my duty and the meaning of my entire life to do everything for Russia, its present and future, to ensure that it is peaceful and prosperous, to preserve and perpetuate our great people, and bring prosperity to every household in Russia. Let me assure you that, just as before, I will devote my life and my work to serving the people and our Fatherland. This is my utmost aspiration.
I would like to thank the citizens of Russia for their unity, for believing that together we can change many things for the better. Let me extend my gratitude to you one more time. Thank you for the sincere support I received from the citizens of Russia at the presidential election. I view this support as a huge political asset and a reliable moral backing. This support is a sign of faith and a sign of hope that Russia will continue to build up its strength while its people will live better. This support is also essential for asserting our positions on the international stage and for taking resolute action for promoting far-reaching, positive change within the country. Russia must be a modern and vibrant country that's ready to take up the challenges of time and actively react to them, as it consistently builds up its leadership in areas where our positions have been traditionally strong. At the same time, we need to work with confidence and diligence and to harness all our willpower in areas where we have yet to achieve the results we aspire to, where a lot has yet to be done.
The way forward is never easy. It is always a challenging journey. But there is only one thing history never forgives: indifference and inconsistency, slackness and complacency, which rings especially true today, at this turning point in history, as the entire world is undergoing rapid change. The challenges we must face, the long-overdue decisions we must make are, without exaggeration, historic in their scale. They will determine the fate of our Fatherland for decades to come. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us that will require all of Russian society to come together. Every one of us, all responsible political forces and civil society movements, united by the fact that they sincerely care for Russia, must be proactive in these efforts. We need breakthroughs in all areas of life. I'm deeply convinced that such breakthroughs can only be made by a free, open-minded society which rejects injustice, ignorance, crass stagnation, and bureaucratic red tape. We must cast aside everything that constrains people, everything that prevents them from fully unleashing their potential and their talents, everything that is a barrier for the development of the entire nation.
My friends, this year, we're celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Russian Constitution. It stresses the unconditional primacy and priority of the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens. It is the harmony between free individuals, responsible civil society and a strong, active and democratic state that creates a solid foundation for the development of Russia. We have coped with the most difficult economic and social problems.
We have realized that, while changing with the world, we should not break away from our own roots, our own history and multinational culture. We have understood that all our beauty and strength are in our distinctness and unity. We have learned to uphold our interests and revived pride in our homeland and our traditional values. Experience shows that today, too, we must cherish what has been achieved, and, on this basis, move only forward.
Of course, we should keep pace with the global changes and organize our breakthrough development agenda so that no obstacles and circumstances prevent us from determining our own future and turning our most ambitious plans and dreams into a reality. At the same time, we are open to dialogue. Together with our partners, we will actively promote integration projects and establish business, humanitarian, cultural, and scientific ties. We are in favor of equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation with all states in the interests of peace and stability on our planet.
Russia is a strong, active and influential participant in international life; the country’s security and defense capability are reliably assured. Paying close attention to these issues is absolutely paramount, so we will continue doing so.
But now, we must use all the opportunities available to us primarily to address the most vital domestic development objectives, to achieve an economic and technological breakthrough, and to enhance competitiveness in the fields that will shape the future. A high quality of life; a person's well-being, security, and health — those are the most important things today. That is the focus of our policies. We put a premium on a socially-oriented Russia that's full of opportunities for self-fulfillment for each and every one. I strongly believe that the day-to-day challenges people face and the demands they have are directly linked to the goals we have as a nation. In fact, this is the only way to put in place the needed conditions for promoting creativity and development, and creating an atmosphere of shared responsibility, support and trust in society, which is essential.
Every person must understand that only our proactive engagement in the country’s affairs can add new momentum to renewal. No one will do it for us, since all of us, the citizens of Russia, are the main force of change. The more people in all walks of life, professions, and levels of authority realize the importance of the role they must play in improving how we live, the more effective and rapid will our progress be.
State and municipal authorities bear a special responsibility. People have every right to expect matters that cause them concern to be resolved without delay, to have their proposals, observations and demands treated with due attention, so that such things as reputation, honor, generosity, and openness become a norm of life for officials at all levels of government.
We must give more freedom to entrepreneurs and researchers, to creative and active people who care, and to all who want to reinvent the world. I see it as a prerequisite for the continuity of our strategy and the sustainable development of Russia. I look forward to novel ideas and approaches, to the audacity of our young people and their ability to lead the change. I hope that young people will remain true to the values of truth and justice that guided the older generation, and that the knowledge, experience, and wisdom of the preceding generations will be relevant for today’s young.
Joining the efforts of all concerned for the country's future, we are bound to achieve our goals, and make breakthroughs in science and technology. Together, we can bring to fruition large-scale initiatives to upgrade and improve cities and villages and develop all the regions of Russia. We will be proactive in conducting a modern social policy that caters to the needs of every individual and every Russian household, and improves the quality of education and healthcare.
We'll pay special attention to supporting traditional family values, motherhood and childhood, so that more and more wanted and healthy babies are born in Russia, babies who grow up to become smart and talented people. It will be they, our children, who will take up our efforts to develop the country, and achieve even greater success than their parents, while respecting the history of our Fatherland.
Dear friends, as head of state I will do everything to build up Russia’s might, prosperity and glory, and to live up to the expectations and hopes of the country’s citizens. We know that in the 1990s and early 2000s, apart from the far-reaching and necessary historical changes, our homeland and its people went through harsh challenges. Much, but not everything, has been restored. Not all the wounds of the past have been healed yet, not all challenges have been overcome. Life is constantly presenting us with new challenges, new, highly complex tasks, and to cope with them, we will have to work hard. We have to act without delay.
That said, we remember all too well that throughout its history, which reaches back centuries, Russia faced a number of dark periods and challenges, and rose like a phoenix from the ashes every time, achieving heights that seemed unattainable to others. Those challenges served as a stepping stone for Russia, setting the stage for the next major breakthrough. I am confident that we will achieve a breakthrough this time as well, as we are a united, powerful team that can cope with even the most difficult tasks. Let the love for the Fatherland and all the best there is in people inspire each and every one of us to improve ourselves in order to succeed as individuals and for the benefit of our families, and to work hard for the benefit of our homeland.
We are bound to succeed. This is what I believe. I will do everything in my power to make it happen.
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