February 23, 2012 - The honorary titles have been awarded for courage, fortitude and mass heroism of the cities' defenders in the struggle for the freedom and independence of the Fatherland. The President signed relevant executive orders on November 4, 2011
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV
: Good afternoon, friends, veterans, ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to congratulate all of you on the Defender of the Fatherland Day.
It is very symbolic that we are holding a ceremony today conferring the City of Military Glory title on Kovrov, Lomonosov, Taganrog and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
Our country is vast and very diverse. The four cities represented here are also very different, whether we look at their history or architecture, their population or industrial potential. Even the distances between these cities are huge: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is separated from Lomonosov by nearly 7,000 km.
At the same time, there are obvious similarities: all of these cities share courage, fortitude and patriotism, which rallied their people over the centuries. They did everything to fight our enemies in different historical situations.
The entire country is proud of these cities' heroic feats.
At the end of the 17th century Taganrog became one of Russia's outposts on the Azov Sea. The walled city has witnessed many battles. During the Russian-Turkish war and the Crimean War the Taganrog garrison repeatedly repelled the enemy's assaults.
During the Great Patriotic War, Taganrog was occupied for nearly two years but the period of adversity did not break the spirit of its residents, who created an underground organisation (one of the largest in southern Russia), and took part in their city's liberation.
Taganrog was the third city in Russia after Orel and Belgorod whose liberation was celebrated with a fireworks display in Moscow on August 30, 1943.
I think the mayors of these cities, as well as all of their residents will agree with me that a city which bears the proud title of City of Military Glory must be worthy of this title. It must be beautiful, well cared for and clean, a city that evokes the warmest feelings of its inhabitants and visitors. I hope that this ceremony of presenting the honorary titles will have a beneficial effect on the image of the four cities: Kovrov, Lomonosov, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Taganrog. We have every opportunity to achieve this and our people's well-being depends on it. Please accept my heartfelt congratulations.
I am very pleased that this ceremony took place on February 23, the day that brings together all the defenders of our Fatherland. I am sure your cities will now get monuments and honour rolls devoted to this event. I hope the fact that your cities have been awarded these honorary titles will have a very positive impact on the performance of municipal services.
Happy holiday to all of you!
I would like to wish our veterans health, and I wish all of you present here happiness and success, and once again congratulate you on the Defender of the Fatherland Day.