Source: President of Russia – The Kremlin – English
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
Can all of you see and hear me?
I am very glad to see all of you. Regrettably, we cannot invite everyone to our meeting, all those who are involved in charity and volunteering.
You know, I simply wanted to meet with at least those who could be here and, welcome and thank everyone, represented by you, as they say in such cases, all those who listened to their heart and responded to the problems facing people.
I would like to start our meeting with words of sincere gratitude to everyone who is now helping people. I am referring to volunteers, employees of non-profit organisations, entrepreneurs, cultural figures, athletes and journalists, in general, all those who did not stay on the sidelines in these difficult days, who showed generosity and sometimes even civic heroism, without any exaggeration.
Russia has always had a reputation for its generous and bold people. An exploit and selfless devotion to a cause are synonymous here.
We have always, in all historical eras, dealt with adversity all together, by pooling our efforts. This is a tradition of our people. It is in their bones, their genetic and cultural codes.
Now we are again together. You are proving this by your selfless work, your readiness to respond to pain and take care of those who need help, to respond to the problems of other people, to be where people are waiting for you and need your help.
Volunteers and socially oriented NGOs have united and backed the state and society. They are working in medical and social facilities, helping the elderly and people with disabilities to purchase medications and food. Let me repeat that you are where help is needed. This is the main thing.
I would like to ask participants in our meeting to tell us about their work. I am convinced that you have much to be proud of, and your example is bound to inspire others. And, of course, I would like to hear about the problems you are facing, what help and support your need yourselves.
I would be glad to hear what you think about the current situation and how all of us should move forward in your opinion in order to overcome the difficulties we are facing.