Traditionally, several minutes before the end of the year, the Russian president makes his final speech addressing the nation, remembering the main events of the year and talking of prospects for the coming year.
President Vladimir Putin's address:
We are about to enter a new year, 2014. In a few minutes, we will take a step from the present into the future.
Celebrating this wonderful holiday is one of our most heartwarming traditions. It is passed on from generation to generation, bringing us all together.
Of course, we faced some problems and serious trials in 2013, including the atrocious terrorist attacks in Volgograd and the unprecedented natural disasters in the Far East. Russia has always stood united in the face of trials.
This year I address you on New Year’s Eve not from the Moscow Kremlin, as usual. I am in the Far East. I came here to celebrate New Year’s Day with the people who were strong and brave in the face of the elements but who don’t yet have a new home of their own to celebrate this day there. Together with these people, I want to wish our country a happy New Year and raise my glass to our people, to the health of all those who valiantly fought the floods and all those who showed compassion and genuine generosity.
We mourn the victims of the brutal terrorist attacks. We will continue to fight terrorists with determination, resolve and commitment until they are all gone. We will provide support for the victims and their families; we will accomplish everything we have planned; we will restore or build everything we have decided to restore or build.
But I should also mention that we have achieved a lot in 2013. Our country has become better, wealthier, and more comfortable to live in. We have consistently protected our national interest in dealing with others. This is why today we welcome the New Year with joy; we are full of expectations and dreams about the future.
Wherever we are right now, the special atmosphere of New Year’s Eve fills us with optimism. We genuinely expect happiness, good fortune and success. We all know that prosperity does not come out of nowhere; it comes as a result of hard work and individual efforts, as a result of perseverance in achieving your goals. The totality of these personal achievements makes up the future of our motherland, and as we care about our families, our children, our parents, we also feel responsible for Russia – the country we live in, the country we love, the country we want to prosper.
These emotions and aspirations strengthen our unity. Being together is the only way for us to be strong, to make sure Russia keeps developing, and to make all our plans and ideas come true.
In the coming year we will have a lot of things we need to do to develop our economy, to make people’s lives better, to ensure their security. We have a little over a month left before the Olympics. We need to make sure the Games are perfect.
On New Year’s Eve, it becomes particularly clear to us how close we all are. Let us thank one another for understanding and support, for love and care. In our daily lives, we are often so busy we forget to do that. But it is the support of our family and friends that we know we can always rely on, and this is what makes us strong – and eager to help them as they have helped us, and even more.
I wish you a healthy and happy New Year. May every house be full of joy, and may every family enjoy harmony and prosperity.
Happy 2014 to you, Russia!