Pavel Zarubin: Bashkortostan is my homeland. I am from this republic.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Where were you born?
Pavel Zarubin: In Beloretsk, not far from Abzakovo, a ski resort where you went skiing in the early 2000s.
Vladimir Putin: And what a pleasure it was to go skiing there. I will gladly return. It is a good place.
Pavel Zarubin: Actually, tourists have been flocking there in numbers after your visits.
Vladimir Putin: Great to hear that.
Pavel Zarubin: Here is my question for you. During your meeting with the head of the republic, you said that this is a special region. Could you explain in more detail what you meant?
Vladimir Putin: You know, this is all rather obvious. To begin with, when the Bashkirs voluntarily joined the Russian Empire, they volunteered to take on a special mission to defend the outer frontier of our Fatherland and to secure its borders.
During the 1812 Patriotic War, Bashkiria put almost all its males over 15 years old on horseback, armed them and sent them to fight the enemy. People in the republic demonstrated the same kind of heroism and courage during the Great Patriotic War.
For this reason, it is not at all surprising for me that today the republic has been demonstrating the same responsible attitude when delivering on the objectives of the special military operation to defend our people in Donbass, the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions by surrounding with warmth and affection the people taking part in military action and their families, while also adopting a proper attitude to matters of state.
All things considered, Ufa, which is the capital of the republic, where we are right now, has historically emerged as a major, important centre of Russia’s Islam, an enlightened, creative Islam which commands high respect in the Muslim world, while also promoting patriotism and fully committed to working with other traditional religions in our country.
From this perspective, we have every reason to say that Bashkortostan has always played a special, important role in the life, history and destiny of Russia.