"New Year's Fireworks over Red Square", 1958
Photo from the David Douglas Duncan collection, Harry Ransom Center
University of Texas at Austin
Real Russia Project Director Yuri Mamchur and Russia Blog editor Charles Ganske send you New Year's greetings from Moscow. Posting will be light until January 16. We wish our readers all the best in 2007.
UPDATE: You can watch the traditional New Year's Eve speech from the Russian President (a tradition started by Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s) in the video clip below. This was the moment when Russians started popping champaigne corks across the country, and my hosts in Moscow were no exception.
As you can see from the English language text below, Putin's speech was about Ma, Pa, and babushka - in short, what we Americans would call family values.
December 31, 2006
A New Year Address to the Nation
The Kremlin, Moscow
VLADIMIR PUTIN: "Dear citizens of Russia! Dear friends!"
"In a few minutes we shall be ushering in the most favorite, warmest and traditionally family holiday -- the New Year."
"For each and every one of us, this is a very special festive occasion -- this is a holiday of dreams. And all of us -- who are so different -- we are united by our hopes for good changes. We are united by a feeling of belonging to one big family -- the name of which is Russia."
"Today we are meeting the New Year -- 2007. We are already looking into the future with greater confidence. We are substantially expanding the horizons of our plans. And this has become possible thanks to our common efforts in renewing and strengthening the country in recent years."
"I would like to do everything possible -- and we shall do everything possible -- so that the results which we have achieved in developing our economy would lead to serious positive changes in the life of each specific person -- so that there would be fewer poor people, so that the life of our citizens would be connected not with solving day-to-day problems, but would rather be filled with love and concern for each other."
"It is our goal so that young people would be able to receive an up-to-date education, so that they would be able to find a worthy application for their talent and capabilities and so that they would be healthy. We are creating conditions for the development of moral values and culture, education and science -- those values that will really determine the development of Russia in the future."
"Showing respect for people of the older generation is a sure sign of maturity of any society and its stability. The State must and will support and help people of the older generation. Yet this cannot replace the warmth of their dearest for them."
"I am asking you not to forget those who made our future possible -- our mothers and fathers, our grandfathers and grandmothers."
"Seated at the festive table are our friends, our kith and kin, those dearest to us."
"I congratulate you on the coming New Year! May all your wishes come true! May there be good health and prosperity in each and every family of our great country."
"I wish you happiness and good luck!"
"May you have a happy New Year in 2007!"