President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, friends,
The year 2020 will be over in just a few minutes.
As we were welcoming it a year ago today, just like people around the world, we thought and dreamed of changes for the better. No one could have imagined back then what kind of trials would come our way.
Now, it appears that the outgoing year has taken in the burden of many years. It was a difficult year for all of us, with worries and serious financial difficulties, bitter experiences and, for some, loss of the loved ones.
However, the outgoing year was also filled with hope that we will overcome adversity and with pride for those who showed their best human and professional qualities. It made us appreciate dependable, sincere and genuine relationships between people, as well as friendship and trust.
We walked through this year together with dignity, as befits a single nation which honours the traditions of its ancestors. These values – courage, compassion and graciousness – are in our hearts and blood and show in our deeds.
We look up to our dear veterans – the valiant generation that defeated the scourge of Nazism. Against all odds, we have fulfilled our sacred filial duty and marked the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory with gratitude and appreciation.
Indeed, the dangerous new virus has changed and even turned upside down our usual way of life, work and study, and forced us to reconsider and adjust many of our plans. But that is how things are, and trials are an unavoidable part of life.
They encourage us to take a closer look at what life is all about, listen to our conscience, discard all things that are petty and vain and appreciate what is truly important. This is the gift of human life, our families, mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers, our children, be they babies or mature adults, our friends and colleagues. This is also selfless help and the general energy of good deeds, both ambitious nationwide efforts and small local projects which are no less important.
Trials and troubles come and go. It has always been that way. The main things that make us noble and strong, such as love, mutual understanding, trust and support, stay with us.
I would like to wish that the hardships of the outgoing year quickly sink into oblivion while everything that we have gained and all the best that has come forward in each person stays with us forever.
Today, it is important to believe in ourselves, not to back off in the face of challenges and to value our unity. This is the foundation of our shared future successes.
I am convinced that together we will overcome the challenges facing us, restore normal life and continue to work to achieve Russia’s goals in the forthcoming third decade of the 21st century with renewed vigour.
Not everyone is sitting around the New Year's table now. Many people remain in the hospitals, and I am sure they all feel the support of their families and friends. With all my heart, I wish you, my dear friends, to get well soon and to go home as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, the epidemic has not yet completely come to an end. The fight against it does not stop for a minute. Doctors and nurses, as well as ambulance crews, continue to work courageously. Many of them are on duty tonight.
The first responders, our servicemen in hot spots outside Russia, peacekeepers and Army and Navy combat crews are also tirelessly and responsibly performing their challenging missions.
Thanks to all those people who carry out their duties day and night under any circumstances, the citizens of Russia can safely gather today in their homes with their loved ones, see in the New Year with plans for the future and hopes for the better, and make their New Year wishes.
Let us use these precious moments to dream about the best things in life, peace and prosperity, happiness and joy for everyone who is near and dear to us, and our entire country.
I want to thank every one of you, because we are together. When we stand next to each other, shoulder to shoulder, Russia becomes one big family.
I wish you all good health, faith, hope and love, as people who are close and dear to me. I wish you happiness in the upcoming 2021!
Happy New Year, friends!