Chairman of the Night Hockey League’s Legend Council Alexander Yakushev was awarded the Order for Services to the Fatherland, III Degree.
Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) Development Vice President Valery Kamensky and member of the USSR Hockey Legends Club Council Alexei Kasatonov were awarded the Order of Alexander Nevsky.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko took part in the ceremony.
Later the same day Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko took part in a friendly hockey match held on the ice rink of the Manezh sports school in Strelna.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, good afternoon!
Of course, first of all, I would like to congratulate you on the coming New Year. But we are here for a different reason. First, of course, we will play today as we have agreed. And I have something to say at the beginning of the ceremony.
The names Yakushev, Kasatonov and Kamensky are very well-known by all fans in Russia and the former Soviet Union – all of them. A big fan of yours from the former Soviet Union is also here today after our today’s meeting: President Alexander Lukashenko wished to attend this ceremony.
I would like to say that we are not here just as sports fans, we know you very well. We know all your achievements, know how you fought for the honour of our country, how you won the highest awards and how outstanding you were, fighting until the end and winning.
On behalf of all hockey fans and sport enthusiasts in Russia, I would like to congratulate you on receiving state decorations. I would like to once again thank you for everything you have done and everything you are doing today.
I mean popularising sports and ice hockey in particular and taking part in the activities of the Night Hockey League and developing this wonderful sport. You know how popular it is today not only among people who like hockey but among everyone who follows the development of fitness and sport. You motivate tens of thousands of people with this love. This is very important for every country, and for Russia, too, of course, in no small way.
Thank you very much. Congratulations.