MOSCOW, July 31 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday awarded orders of courage to journalists and war correspondents who have covered the deadly clashes in Ukraine’s southeast, as well as 58 other people.
The president granted high state decorations to VGTRK channel’s correspondent Yevgeny Poddubny, LifeNews journalists Marat Saichenko and Oleg Sidyakin, and Russia Today’s Fyodor Zavaleikov for reports from Ukraine.
All of the awarded reporters risked their lives the conflict on the ground, while Marat Saichenko and Oleg Sidyakin spent weeks in Ukrainian captivity after they blew the lid off regime forces using UN-marked helicopters in their military operations against Donetsk Region.
Fyodor Zavaleikov, 23, was shot in the abdomen while on assignment in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, and had to undergo two surgeries in May.
The award ceremony also paid tribute to heroic Soviet and Russian cosmonauts, including Alexei Leonov, an 80-year-old retired cosmonaut and the first human to conduct a spacewalk, as well as Oleg Novitsky, Sergei Revin and Yevgeny Tarelkin, who were all awarded Hero of Russia titles.
Vagit Alekperov, the head of Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil company, was presented with an order of merit to the Fatherland.