Earlier today, the President toured the Lomonosov cluster in the Vorobyovy Gory Innovation Science and Technology Centre of Moscow State University.
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Excerpts from transcript of meeting with university students on Russian Students Day
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.
I am delighted to see you, and I would like to congratulate you on Students Day.
As you know, it is marked on the day when Moscow State University was established. It is a big event not only for students but also for the national education system and the country as a whole. It is a very nice, happy and vibrant holiday because it is associated with young people, of course. I believe it is a very good tradition that we have preserved to celebrate it every year.
I would like to congratulate you on this holiday and to wish you every success.
We have just toured the innovation Lomonosov cluster, and I believe that you have seen it as well. It is only the beginning; I believe that the entire system, which can be described as a scientific, research and innovative town, will be completed in time for the 270th anniversary of Moscow State University in 2025.
I hope we will do this, just like one of the university rectors, Prince Trubetskoy intended when assuming his office, I believe around the same time in 1905. He spoke about unity, the need for unity, he said that you must believe in yourself, believe in our young people and in the noble cause we serve, in this case, in the development of science and education. You are an integral and crucial part of this whole system.
I would like to wish you all the best, to wish you significant production and research achievements that will give you a sense of accomplishment, so that you can find self-fulfilment in life through your work, and so that your work brings significant and important results to our society and the whole of the country. I am confident that this is what will happen.
May you find bright love and reliable and strong friendship. I wish you all the best. Congratulations on your holiday.
And now, if you have any questions, I will be glad to answer them.
Pyotr Ptushkin: Mr President, my name is Pyotr Ptushkin. I am a first-year student at Moscow Polytechnic University. Two years ago I was an ordinary schoolboy, a boy from a village. I became interested in further education.
Vladimir Putin: What did you do in between? This is your first year at the university, and there is one extra year between your being a schoolboy and now being a first-year student. What did you do in between?
Pyotr Ptushkin: In the ninth grade, I was thinking about my career. I got my foot in the door of the IT industry and decided to join the Mosgormash Children's Technology Park and participated in national championships and technology entrepreneurship accelerators, which I won. When I was doing that, I designed a programme that creates a digital doppelganger of a building which helps maintain it at reduced maintenance costs.
We found a partner and obtained decent funding, in particular, a grant from the Mayor of Moscow. Moscow initiatives and Moscow support programmes helped me build this trajectory for success. Of course, I want every person in our country to enjoy opportunities like this.
Regarding digitalisation and maintenance, specifically maintenance, because construction and maintenance are different things, this question remains open. This is a large and important niche which needs to be regulated by GOST (state standards) and have products, applications, programmes and systems that can ensure that this digitalisation is introduced on the system level.
My team and I are 100 percent ready to cooperate with the public sector. We have a finished product to offer. We are open to new contacts. What’s left is your approval for implementing it.
Vladimir Putin: An approval is already there. All we need to do is promote these ideas of yours, because I have discussed this with my colleagues on several occasions, and the decision has been made in principle, and it is particularly important for the construction sector.
Rules, GOSTs and the like, have to be changed and digitised because they are all in their original paper form. It is not so much about them becoming obsolete. The point is that innovative materials and technologies need to be handled differently. Of course, we also need innovative digital capabilities and digital tools in order to do things differently than we did them 20 or 30 years ago when something had to be changed every five years. It was not clear whether there was an actual need for these changes or not, but since it is written on paper, they go ahead and change it.
It works the same here. Everything has to be controlled electronically and these data must be used to decide accordingly, and this is also better done in electronic format.
There are many examples of that. Take the bridge to Russky Island in the Far East. The bridge system is controlled electronically, including from outer space. This must be implemented everywhere and widely.
So, of course, we will do our best to help you. The idea is brilliant, and most importantly, it is without borders, so the market for it is vast.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin: Mr President, this building was designed with Russian digital technologies, since we replaced foreign software. This building was designed with the use of digital technologies from its foundation all the way up to the completion of construction and maintenance.
Vladimir Putin: Excellent.
(Addressing Pyotr Ptushkin.) So, good luck. We will look into this. I heard you and made a note of it.
Vladislav Oleynik: Mr President, my name is Vladislav Oleynik. I am working on my master’s degree in Political Management and Public Policy at the LGPU.
Vladimir Putin: What is LGPU?
Vladislav Oleynik: Lugansk State Pedagogical University.
I am a participant in the SMO. On February 23, 2022, I stood up to defend my Motherland and joined the ranks of the LPR people's militia.
Vladimir Putin: How old are you?
Vladislav Oleynik: I am 24.
Vladimir Putin: How old were you when you took up arms, 22?
Vladislav Oleynik: I was 23.
I was awarded the medal For Courage by Command for participation in the hostilities to liberate the republic and to protect its people. Today, I keep moving towards my dream, which is to work for the FSB of Russia.
I would like to thank you…
Vladimir Putin: Will you be teaching there?
Vladislav Oleynik: No, I will work for the good of my country.
Vladimir Putin: Good.
Vladislav Oleynik: I would like to thank you for your order to demobilise students and for the opportunity for them to get back to the learning process.
Much is already being done in our country to help the returning soldiers adapt to peaceful life. In particular, a programme is being implemented as part of the University Succession project, which helps former troops recover and return to their normal lives. As far as I know, 200 demobilised students from the Lugansk and Donetsk republics have taken part in this programme.
I am positive that as a team we will continue to contribute to a common victory, each in their own field. I am proud that I am learning my trade and working for the good of the Motherland and its people.
Vladimir Putin: Vladislav, first, I want to thank you and your comrades-in-arms who have taken part in the hostilities to protect your compatriots, our compatriots today.
I think that people like you most clearly and most accurately understand the need for what Russia is now doing to support our citizens in these territories, including Lugansk, Donetsk, the Donbass area as a whole, and Kherson and Zaporozhye.
The goal, as I have explained many times, is primarily to protect the people and Russia from the threats that they are trying to create for us in our own historical territories that are adjacent to us. We cannot allow this.
So, it is extremely important when young people like you defend the interests of their small and large Motherland with arms in their hands and do so consciously. This is my first point.
Second. I would like to congratulate you on your well-deserved state decorations.
I think you will agree that you yourself have changed a lot after taking part in the hostilities.
Vladislav Oleynik: Of course. These are two different people, the one before the SMO and the one after.
Vladimir Putin: Of course, because only a person who risks his life can understand this. Clearly, this is the only way to temper steel.
Thankfully, you are alive, in good health and you have a promising outlook on life. Of course, people like you are sought after by the special services and the Federal Security Service. There is no doubt about it. It is a pity that you do not want to devote your life to teaching, because schools and higher education institutions need people like you. However, you should follow your heart when making career choices. This is the only way you can achieve personal success and contribute to the success of the cause to which you decided to devote your life.
I wish you good luck, and I will definitely keep in mind that you want to work for the Federal Security Service. We will do this.
Vladislav Oleynik: Thank you. I serve Russia.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
Yegor Bairich: Mr President, I am Yegor Bairich, a second-year chemistry student at Chelyabinsk State University.
Last summer I volunteered and went on a humanitarian mission to Donbass. We were restoring the Saur-Mogila monument complex.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. It is a major undertaking. Thanks to your efforts, among others, we have a complex we can be proud of.
Yegor Bairich: What impressed me most during this trip was how locals honour the memory and the history of their country. Talking with them it was clear how important this site is to them, how much they value it; and it gave us strength, motivation and we worked in two shifts. I am very proud that I was able to contribute to the restoration of the Donetsk People's Republic and would like to thank everyone who made it possible.
To continue Vladislav Oleynik's point about restoring peaceful life in Donbass: for many years, student teams have been involved in the construction of various facilities across the country – the Olympic facilities in Sochi, Vostochny Cosmodrome. We have gained quite a lot of experience, which we would like to use to restore the liberated territories. In this connection I would like to propose holding a nation-wide student construction effort in these territories.
Vladimir Putin: That is a good idea. Student teams were created as a movement in their time, back in the 1960s or so, and I myself participated in them at some point too. We went to different regions, mostly to the north, to Komi, worked and clear cut forest to make place for high-voltage power lines right in the taiga, built houses. It was hard work, hard but rewarding.
Of course, student teams are also in demand for the restoration of the areas you mentioned. The only thing that, frankly speaking, stops me from expanding it widely is security concerns. That has to be considered. You have been there, you know – not everything is easy there, and Vladislav knows it. The situation there is still difficult in many areas. And if massive numbers of students were working there, you just could not keep track of everyone.
Unfortunately, the enemy has no qualms, they shoot their own people in the back, barrier squads have been created – just recently, a week ago, some of our guys were telling me about it. In one locality our guy saw: the enemy is up ahead and they are being shot at, and as they say, under heavy fire, but they are not allowed to retreat. This is the job of the nationalists. They don’t advance themselves, no.
But what is my point? The situation is difficult in many territories. Therefore, the idea itself is a good one, and we will definitely do it in due course, but we must resolve the security issues.
Yegor Bairich: We will wait until it is possible.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much for the rebirth of this monument and of course to everyone, to people like you and to you personally.
Yegor Bairich: Thank you.
Viktoria Karpova: Good afternoon, Mr President.
My name is Viktoria Karpova. I am a young political scientist, a graduate student of the Political Science Faculty at Moscow State University and a member of the Digoria expert club.
The history of our group began with a dream. Over a few years, we have grown from a student initiative into a kind of intellectual testing ground for developing the conceptual foundations for the country's development – a real youth think tank. The key thing in our work is explaining and interpreting events that are taking place in the country and in the world, including as part of the special military operation, to the youth audience.
In this regard, I would like to address a very important topic. It has to do with the values and worldview being instilled in young people. On your instruction, a uniform social studies textbook for schoolchildren began to be developed not so long ago. However, we think that not enough attention is being paid to methodological guidance.
After all, social studies is a subject that is “alive,” it is about the present and the future, and it is necessary to teach it in a new way, both in terms of teaching formats and taking into account current events in the world. At the same time, it is imperative that these methodological recommendations contain points related to Russian identity, to the place of our country in the world, to critical value and worldview issues, and this should be explained in a language that is understandable for schoolchildren – through videos, infographics and presentations.
As for the format, last year we launched the Talking of What Matters platform. This experience can be adopted and adapted for the social studies curriculum.
Mr President, as a proposal: we, young political scientists, can and want to contribute to the creation of such methodological guides, since we can speak the same language with the school audience, young person to young person.
And one more proposal, if you don’t mind. You once said that nothing is impossible when the path to your goal is illuminated by love for the Fatherland. We took this as a formula for action, and today our community has another dream – to meet with you at Talking of What Matters. What do you think about meeting with young representatives of our social sciences and humanities section?
Vladimir Putin: It would be my pleasure. We need to think about when and in what format, and I will tell you why.
Just a couple of days ago, I met with Minister of Education Sergei Kravtsov and with Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov, with these two ministers. We talked about various things, including socially significant subjects, including the teaching of history, and so on.
You know, every science is complicated in its own way, and that is only natural. Still, there are some fundamental things that need to be included in these courses at school and even in university curricula – this is not an easy thing to do but it can be done. The social sciences, which you mentioned, are the most difficult part of this effort because, as a rule, they are about things taking place today.
Viktoriya Karpova: Quite right.
Vladimir Putin: Nor can I tell you how to do it. There were three of us engaged in this talk. Of course, all these issues need to be discussed with the experts.
We need to understand the history of our own country and have love and respect for it; we need to understand what we are today, what we are in this complicated world, and what global diversity means, and what standards are about. We often talk and hear the same thing, and I often talk about a multipolar world. What does multipolar world mean?
Viktoriya Karpova: What is the connotation? This should be explained, including to schoolchildren.
Vladimir Putin: Of course.
Viktoriya Karpova: Young people, young political scientists seem to be able to come up with creative and nontrivial views of the things, which are being discussed now and that are important to the country.
Vladimir Putin: This is the first point, and it is about the tools, but next comes the most important thing, which is content. So, there is a need for this, of course.
I will ask my colleagues and those who are in charge of education, including higher education, and science, to make sure they look closely into these issues. As I said, we need to understand what we are, where we came from, what we are in today’s diverse world, and what the future is for us, and we need to take in this diversity and understand our role in it.
They kept trying to teach us from abroad. Well, we are probably not perfect, and they have reason to argue with us on some issues, but we would never have thought of eliminating Beethoven or Johann Sebastian Bach or O. Henry. And they went as far as cancelling Tchaikovsky. Let them live without Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, but we will not avoid the world’s classical music, literature and so on.
This is just one example of our cultural code, and it is diverse because Russia was born as a single centralised state, and as a multi-ethnic and multifaith state, and we essentially learn this from the cradle, absorb this with our mother’s milk. We need to fill this with meaningful content.
Of course, it will be impossible to do this without specialists like you. So, we will do this by all means.
Viktoria Karpova: We will do it.
Thank you, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, please.
Danil Motin: Mr President, I would like to follow up on your idea.
My name is Danil Motin, I am a graduate student in my third year on the faculty of fine art at the Contemporary Art Institute. My mother is a medical nurse; she used to work at Hospital No. 52, and now she is working in the Special Military Operation zone while I take care of my younger brothers and sister.
Vladimir Putin: Did she go to the SMO zone?
Danil Motin: Yes, she serves there as a nurse. She is to come back in February, so we are looking forward to seeing her.
Talking to my siblings, I realised that they know a lot about Western culture but very little about Russian culture. This made me, as a future art expert, feel pretty sad.
Vladmir Putin: How old are they?
Danil Motin: They are 9, 10 and 16, so they are in school.
I felt like I wanted to create a project to tell schoolchildren about Russian culture in an easy-to-understand and exciting way.
Thanks to the Znaniye Society’s Smart Cinema project we managed to get funding from the Internet Development Institute, and our documentary, “A Concise History of Russian Culture,” will be released on February 13. The narration spans the period from Andrei Rublev to modern cinema.
It would be great if the Smart Cinema project keeps going. The stock of video materials available at the Znaniye Society can be used for additional educational purposes, say, in schools. For our part, we will continue to produce projects where we will speak affectionately about Russia and Russian culture, instil the right spiritual values and help people become happier and better.
Vladimir Putin: Danil, you should feel guilt over the way you are raising your younger siblings. How come? You are a person professionally engaged in Russian culture, and your younger siblings are oriented more towards something else. Actually, that’s not so bad – let them know and love all the best of world culture; there is nothing wrong with that. We are also part of global culture, and we must be seen as part of global culture, but a significant part of this is that we need to understand our role and importance, the role of Russian culture in the diversity of the world. However, the foundation for this must be our own, domestic. So, you can take this as an instruction on how to work with your younger brothers and sister.
Danil Motin: All right.
Vladimir Putin: As for the Znaniye Society, we have brought it back, and I think we did it very successfully; it has started out very well. Obviously, we will be doing everything we can to support it further.
How can we formalise your proposal? We will gladly support it.
Danil Motin: I think, through the Znaniye Society, maybe.
Vladimir Putin: Ok. That’s what we will do.
Has your mother been at the SMO for a long time?
Danil Motin: Since last August.
Vladimir Putin: That’s a long time.
Danil Motin: She was in the hottest spots, in Kremennaya. She is coming back soon.
Vladimir Putin: What’s her name?
Danil Motin: Irina Kasymzhanova.
Vladimir Putin: Give your mother Irina my deepest gratitude.
Danil Motin: I surely will.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you!
Darya Semenova: Mr President, Daria Semenova. I am studying at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, foreign regional studies, European region. I chose this field because I studied and lived in Vienna, Austria, for a long time.
Vladimir Putin: Gruess Gott [Hello].
Darya Semenova: Gruess Gott.
I was forced to come back to Russia because my rights as a Russian citizen were infringed upon.
Vladimir Putin: What exactly was going on?
Darya Semenova: I received a document from my university, a couple of days after the special military operation started, asking me to sign it; the paper said Russia was a terrorist state, that I had to support Ukraine. I didn't sign it. My choice, I think, was the right one.
Vladimir Putin: Where did you study? Which university?
Darya Semenova: University of Vienna.
I returned to my home country. But I want to say that many simple people in Austria know a lot of good things about you personally, about our country, they know our history.
Vladimir Putin: I have good relations with many simple, as you say, and not so simple Austrians. (Laughter.)
I know that they have a very friendly attitude towards our country. Despite all the dramatic events that are taking place in the world, their opinion towards our country hasn’t changed, unlike the political elite in some countries, including some in Europe. But these elites often serve not their national interests, but the interests of third countries. A rethinking takes place anyway.
You need to get the point, and political scientists and social scientists should be aware of this. As for Austria, for example, Soviet troops were in Austria, but they left voluntarily. And the Soviet Union, and Russia as the legal successor of the Soviet Union, acted as the guarantor of the constitution of the Republic of Austria and the guarantor of the neutral status of the Republic of Austria. All in all, a great many ordinary Austrians know this and are grateful to Russia for this position. That is the first thing.
Second, as far as other European countries are concerned, the situation is complicated. For example, I just mentioned Austria and relations with the Soviet Union, but let’s say, the largest country in Europe, an economic giant, the Federal Republic of Germany; the Soviet Union legally formalized the end of the occupation.
After all, after the Second World War, Germany was, as you know, divided into four occupation zones: American, British, French and Soviet. So, the Soviet Union legally ended the occupation, but the United States did not. Strictly speaking – technically, legally – there are American occupation troops in the Federal Republic of Germany. In fact, they are: there are a lot of them.
Even German politicians say that Germany has not been a sovereign state in the full sense of the word since WWII. It is not me saying this; it is prominent and, more importantly, not pro-Russian but pro-German people saying this. They have been saying this openly. In other words, there are very deep roots and serious reasons for everything that is taking place now. Of course, I have no doubt that the day will come when Europe regains its sovereignty, one way or another. But judging by all appearances, it will take some more time.
But the attitude towards you and other young people like you is evidence of the lack of independence. There is nothing surprising in that. I hope you are not sorry that you have returned to your homeland.
Darya Semenova: Of course not. On the contrary, I am glad to be back. I was welcomed warmly at the university, and I am grateful for everyone’s support.
Vladimir Putin: What did you study there?
Darya Semenova: Transnational communication.
Vladimir Putin: And what are you studying here?
Darya Semenova: Foreign regional studies, the European region.
Vladimir Putin: That is, exactly what I have been speaking about. We have been talking like professionals; it was a specialist discussion.
Darya Semenova: This is what I would like to suggest. As you know, the World Festival of Youth and Students was held in Sochi in 2017.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course. I believe the first such festival was held in the Soviet Union in 1947. The organisation is headquartered in Budapest.
Darya Semenova: Regrettably, I was unable to attend it, because I was living in Austria then. I would like to suggest that another festival be held soon in the Krasnodar Territory, if you agree.
I am sure that our Governor will help organise this large-scale, exciting and unforgettable event. Personally, I would like to work as a volunteer, helping organise it, because I have a wealth of experience in communicating with foreigners, with young people from various countries and cities, and I speak several languages.
I would be happy if you supported my idea.
Vladimir Putin: It is a good idea, but it will not be easy to implement it in the current circumstances. However, we did hold the festival in 2017, and quite successfully, despite the 2014 events in Crimea. I believe there is a time for everything, but your idea is absolutely correct. Of course, we will support it. But its implementation does not depend on us; it depends on the participants, that is, international organisations. But overall, your idea is absolutely correct, because such events can unite people, are designed to unite people, and they are usually very successful. Therefore, we will certainly discuss it.
I have no doubt that the Krasnodar Territory authorities will support it too. Mr Kondratyev is an energetic person, which is an important quality for governor. He always supports such events, and the region’s support is very important. Of course, we should begin with developing proper ties with relevant international organisations and mobilising the capabilities of the federal centre, because it will be a very large event. We always hold such events at a very high level and usually with flying colours. And we will do it next time again.
Thank you for the idea.
Alexander Nevarko: Good afternoon, Mr President.
My name is Alexander Nevarko and I am a graduate of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech). By the way, I also took part in the Festival of Youth and Students in 2017. That was a grand event, but I would now like to focus on another issue.
Vladimir Putin: Have you been to Sochi?
Alexander Nevarko: I have been to Sochi and the Olympic Village.
Vladimir Putin: As a volunteer?
Alexander Nevarko: No, I was there as a participant, as a member of the Moscow Region and Sirius delegations.
However, I would like to raise another issue. My team and I have come up with a project for locating missing dogs using CCTV cameras. For example, a person is walking a dog, firecrackers go off in a neighbouring courtyard, the dog gets scared and runs off. All one has to do is open the app, download a photo of a dog, we fix the dog owner’s location and scan the footage from nearby CCTV cameras.
Vladimir Putin: This is very impressive. How inventive!
Alexander Nevarko: As soon as a similar dog shows up, we notify the dog owner, provide him or her with a photo of the dog and a location on the map where it was spotted. The dog owner will thus be able to track down their dog.
Vladimir Putin: The dogs usually follow in our tracks, and here it is the other way round.
Alexander Nevarko: Unfortunately, fireworks displays are quite frequent in Moscow, they scare dogs and cause them to run off. This become especially relevant during New Year celebrations.
We conceived our project during a hackathon. It is a kind of competition when a large number of programmers lock themselves up for a few days and develop various products. We attended the Leaders of Digital Transformation hackathon on behalf of the Moscow City Government. The Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises later supported our project. We are very grateful for this support and for this event.
Mr President, I would like to see more and even better hackathons in Russia, so that development institutions, strategic businesses and regions with their agenda would help put together their tasks. Consequently, hackathons will become a highly effective mechanism for creating new start-ups, for engaging IT specialists, and they will have a positive impact on the development of the national IT sector. This is just what my example shows: we opened a start-up following the hackathon.
Vladimir Putin: This is great. Jokes aside, this is a sensitive and topical issue for dog owners and pet lovers. Of course, for them the loss of their beloved pet is a tragedy. So, jokes aside, this project is very useful.
I understand your question. Specifically, what else do I need to do?
Alexander Nevarko: To the best of my knowledge, businesses and those ordering hackathon tasks find this very profitable because it is a rather cheap option for bringing together many motivated specialists. However, there are also organisational tasks and the need to attract people; hackathon operators usually address these issues. As far as I know, the Moscow Agency of Innovations operates this hackathon in Moscow. I would like such operators to emerge at the regional level across the country.
Vladimir Putin: I see, we need to signal regional leaders and tell them to support this project. All right.
First of all, they can hear us. I am confident that many will hear your remarks. We will also try to support this project via administrative channels.
Alexander Nevarko: Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you, too.
Yury Biryukov: Mr President, I am Yury Biryukov, a first-year post-graduate student at the MSU Physics Department. I also work at the university’s Quantum Technology Centre, doing research into quantum computing and quantum information.
I would like to speak about students’ involvement in quantum technology, which is important for the country.
Vladimir Putin: Of course, our future lies with them.
Yury Biryukov: As you know, Russia is a global leader in quantum technology, but to keep our leading positions we must involve as many talented young people around the country in this sphere as possible.
I believe that an interuniversity quantum network can be one of the ways to do this. Such a network based on the Russian Railways roadmap for quantum communications has been created by researchers at Moscow State University, ITMO University and other leading universities.
I would like to ask you to support this initiative, for example, in the form of pilot projects of local quantum networks at the leading universities’ campuses. Initially, this will help us create a fully protected communication system at the level of universities and subsequently to develop and spread this technology to the key areas of state administration, because who owns the information, he owns the world, as you know.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, but we have a government programme for the development of electronic services, electronic communication systems and the like.
Working within the one-stop-shop framework is extremely important, considering that we need to create a corresponding base for issuing the required information. Of course, if we do this on the basis of quantum technology, this will greatly improve the quality of these services. This can be possible. Anything is possible.
Do you propose creating an intra- or inter-university system?
Yury Biryukov: We have an intra-university network at Moscow State University, which has a server and a number of subscribers, including the rector, the physics department dean and so on. We propose creating such local networks at leading universities, because this will help people learn more about quantum technology and in this way involve students in such projects. After that, these local networks will be integrated into the mainline system the Russian Railways is creating throughout the country.
Vladimir Putin: This is marvellous. I will certainly discuss this issue with Russian Railways management, so that they take this into account.
MSU Rector Viktor Sadovnichy: Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov is coordinating this project.
Vladimir Putin: Good, I will certainly talk with him. The rector is supporting it at the university level anyway. I will also speak with the Minister of Science and Higher Education, because this not only has a bearing on the MSU but also on other universities. I agree with you. If we have reached this level, it should be spread. We must do it.
Yury Biryukov: It is important that we are using Russian mass-produced and certified equipment. Therefore, we have the capability to spread it.
Vladimir Putin: Good idea, thank you.
Yury Biryukov: Thank you very much.
Denis Dolgov: Good afternoon, Mr President.
My name is Denis Dolgov. I am a second-year undergraduate student at Pskov State University. I study electronics and electrical engineering, to become an electrical engineer.
After the first year, I was selected to study at the Advanced Engineering School of Hybrid Technologies at Pskov University. Thirty schools of this kind were created last year.
Vladimir Putin: Is it a school within the university?
Denis Dolgov: Yes. The school was created in cooperation with the Belarusian National Technical University. It is the only advanced engineering school…
Vladimir Putin: Was the school created for two universities?
Denis Dolgov: Yes, the students receive a dual diploma. It is the only advanced school in the Union State.
We propose holding a winter school, an intensive research and training project for engineering students in Russia and Belarus. It would help expand and develop student research, technology and production projects in the Union State. The winter school would engage leading engineering schools in Russia. I believe that, in addition to networking and cooperating in laboratories and on the platforms of our industrial partners, students could benefit from workshops, quizzes and games, contests and roundtable meetings at the winter school, in a more friendly and creative environment.
Vladimir Putin: Where do you propose implementing this, in Belarus or Russia?
Denis Dolgov: Pskov State University wants to coordinate this project.
Vladimir Putin: So, on the basis of your university?
Denis Dolgov: Correct.
Vladimir Putin: What is required from me?
Denis Dolgov: Supporting our initiative.
Vladimir Putin: I support it.
I will try to discuss this matter with Mr Lukashenko in the next couple of days. I am certain he will support it as well.
Many things have been preserved in Belarus in the 1990s and early 2000s thanks to his efforts. Belarus has a very decent quality of electronics and machine engineering sectors. In some areas, Belarus is a leader, and a good and interesting partner.
It will be great if you succeed in creating this partnership at the education level, in order to move forward to practical implementation of what you study and work on together. I am certain the President of Belarus will approve of it. We will talk about it.
If you need any other form of support, to organise this project on the basis of your university (it probably needs certain support), I am sure we can provide it.
Denis Dolgov: Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: No, thank you. It is a good idea.
Maxim Chesnokov: Mr President, hello.
My name is Maxim Chesnokov. I am in my fourth year of studies at the Faculty of Physics of Moscow State University.
I have been involved in project activities for a very long time, because my small town of Zarechny, Penza Region, offered a lot of opportunities to develop in this area. When I was eight, I began to attend various technical clubs, and later I took part in the Rosatom School competitions and created various setups for physics experiments.
Then I participated in educational programmes at the Sirius Centre on several occasions, did internships, and even managed to take part in designing the Sirius cybersport academy.
All of this became the foundation for what I am doing now – teaching school subjects to high schoolers and also developing my FUTURION project: an electric skateboard of the future, which was supported by the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises. The gist of the project is that my team and I want to create a compact, smart electric skateboard to get around the city fast. By the way, we already have a ready-made prototype, which we plan to launch…
Vladimir Putin: At what speed?
Maxim Chesnokov: Everything is within the law: up to 25 km per hour and no more, including for safety reasons.
Vladimir Putin: I see.
Mikhail Chesnokov: Now, being at the Lomonosov cluster, I would like to make a suggestion: I would like to ask you to give instructions on better integrating schoolchildren and students into the work of such innovation centres as Moscow State University Valley and various other centres such as Sirius and Skolkovo.
Vladimir Putin: We are doing just that. Is something missing?
Maxim Chesnokov: I believe we need to better inform people.
Some simply are not even aware that such opportunities exist.
Vladimir Putin: I agree. You are absolutely right.
Maxim Chesnokov: Perhaps some kind of instruction on advertising.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, I see. Publicising the possibilities.
Maxim Chesnokov: This will greatly influence the creative atmosphere, as you said. People will be able to get together, brainstorm, create new projects, and develop our country, and in fact, this could play a crucial role in the future.
Vladimir Putin: I completely agree.
First of all, I congratulate you on finding yourself. This is important. You see, you attended some extracurricular activities when studying at school and chose this, began to develop and look at it professionally.
I understood, all right. Let’s try to do it. Although, oddly enough, it can be difficult. I often directly ask my colleagues: let’s do this, let’s do that. They respond: yes, yes. The simplest thing, informing, often lags behind. We will try to strengthen this direction.
Maxim Chesnokov: I would also like to thank you for your instructions to create such centres.
In fact, it was the shift at Sirius that had a very strong influence on me – I became a different person. I wish that in the future, even here, at the Lomonosov cluster, at Moscow State University, you can feel the same way. That is, a person comes here and becomes a completely different person, ready to go into a brighter future.
Vladimir Putin: When Mr Sadovnichy and I talked about this – it was back in 2013, we just recalled this – the idea was very simple: to combine the needs of our large companies with the capabilities of our science and education.
Very often, just because our people, people like you, do not have enough information about the opportunities, which are huge in fact, all our companies go to the European or other markets, to Asia or America, and they buy there what they could buy here. Initially, the idea of such a centre, this particular centre, was precisely this – to combine the possibilities of our education and science with the needs of our economy and the real industrial sector. And then, when the mayor got involved, the rector got involved, when other people got involved, it all took on a cyclopean scale, which makes me very happy, because it’s not just the scale, it’s also the content we need.
We will definitely do this; and I want to wish you success.
Maxim Chesnokov: Thank you.
Anna Babkina: Mr President,
My name is Anna Babkina. I have been volunteering for eight years now. Back when I went to school, I helped a boy with cancer, and this experience was decisive in my applying to a medical university.
From my first year at the university, I planned to dedicate my life to this specialty and joined the ranks of the national Medical Volunteers movement. I started out as a volunteer at the Tula Region Oncology Centre. In 2022, a team from the Medical Volunteers Directorate and I drafted a programme, “Cancer fears the brave. Make sure you are cancer-free,” which is designed to raise corporate employee awareness about the importance of cancer prevention, its treatment and the causes of cancer, as well as the importance of cancer screenings, and to offer various workshops at companies.
This programme gave me great experience for my future career. I conducted various workshops on self-diagnosis and prevention. Also, we worked to detect cancer at an early stage so patients can get medical treatment in a timely manner and save their lives.
Also, the collected analytical materials led me beyond practical activities and into research. We have identified a major factor that causes skin cancer, and my experience is actually an example of a recent debate at a State Council meeting on the importance of implementing the Service Learning methodology.
Vladimir Putin: What country has the highest number of skin cancer cases?
Anna Babkina: We travelled around our regions.
Vladimir Putin: So, you studied Russia?
Anna Babkina: Yes, of course.
Vladimir Putin: I think New Zealand has the highest number of skin cancer cases.
Anna Babkina: Screenings were held at companies in 24 regions, and the level of participation was quite high. We are continuing this work.
World Cancer Day is coming soon, and we will continue working on this matter because we see that people respond to it and the demand is high. As a resident doctor at the N. N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Centre, I believe it is my duty to serve our country, our state and make people's lives much better.
Vladimir Putin: How did you find your way here, into the student community?
Anna Babkina: I am a resident doctor.
Vladimir Putin: I see.
What is your question or proposal?
Anna Babkina: Thank you, first of all, for supporting us. Very soon, our students will get a real working mechanism for additional practice and will be able to help people, the country, the city by becoming more competitive.
Allow me to propose a new method of defending a thesis in higher education institutions based on defending an actual social project in which the graduate and thesis author was directly involved, with data from the project being available for the specialisations related to social services, for example.
Vladimir Putin: I think it is wonderful.
I will make sure to discuss this with the Minister of Science and Higher Education. It goes beyond theoretical knowledge and research because it is actually relevant and in demand. If you have been able to apply it, I think there could be no better solution.
I will speak with the Minister. He will certainly support this.
Anna Babkina: Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: I should thank you.
I am grateful to you for what you do because caring about people’s health is probably one of the most noble vocations for any person. As concerns children’s lives and health, it is a particularly sensitive issue. So, I wish you success.
Anna Babkina: Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
Anna Babkina: During this programme, we identified 702 people who were prescribed additional examination. Of course, these numbers motivate me even more to develop this specialisation.
Vladimir Putin: Of course. You can feel how important it is.
Anna Babkina: Yes, thank you.
Vladimir Putin: I congratulate you on your choice and wish you all the best.
Natalya Gorbunov: Mr President, thank you for being with us today on our holiday.
Vladimir Putin: Well, thank you. I almost wanted to ask if we were ever going to finish. (Laughter.)
Natalya Gorbunov: Can we have a photo with you?
Vladimir Putin: Of course.