Moscow, Dec 8 (EFE).- Russian president Vladimir Putin on Thursday presented 10 soldiers with the “Heroes of Russia” award for their service in the war in Ukraine.
“To the servicemen who showed exceptional valor and courage during the special military operation and were bestowed the title of Hero of Russia. I sincerely thank you for your service to the Fatherland,” said Putin in a speech laden with patriotism and references to Russia’s history.
The military servicemen awarded with the title “Hero of Russia” were given a gold five-pointed star by Putin in a ceremony held at the Kremlin’s St. George Hall.
“I really want you to feel the warmth of our hearts, the warmth of this truly nationwide support,” the president told the soldiers.
During the ceremony attended by 200 guests, Putin addressed his country’s troops fighting in his so-called “special military operation,” which is how the Kremlin refers to its invasion of Ukraine.
“I also want to address those who are on the front line: For me, for all our fellow citizens, each of you is a hero.”
He also referred to those who have lost their lives in combat, saying that Russians “must not forget, indeed, about those who are not with us anymore, who passed away while defending the Motherland, who are undergoing treatment and recuperating today.”
Putin added: “Let’s wish these guys health and prosperity. We should never and will never forget about their families, about their loved ones, about those who made them heroes.”
Russia’s defense ministry has acknowledged the deaths of 5,937 people since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Ukraine says enemy Russian casualties total 93,080.
Kyiv has admitted the deaths of between 10,000 and 13,000 of its soldiers since February.
The war in Ukraine has so far also caused more than 6,700 civilian deaths, including more than 400 children, according to the UN.
Putin also awarded the title of “Hero of Russia” to cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.EFE