16:28 GMT28 January 2021
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    In the final moments of the Year 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin has delivered his traditional annual address to the people of Russia.

    In his speech, Russia's president touched on the woes that befell Russians and people across the globe this year, noting how the country managed to weather these hardships as a "nation united," and wished everyone happiness in the coming Year 2021.

    "Dear Russian citizens, dear friends.

    In just a few minutes, 2020 will come to an end.

    As we greeted it a year ago, we, just like people all over the world, were hoping for change for the better.

    At that time, no one could have imagined what kind of hardships we all would have to go through.

    Now, it feels like the departing year carries the load fit for at least several years.

    It was difficult for each and every one of us, with worries and significant material problems, with stress, and for some – with the bitter loss of their loved ones.

    But, certainly, the departing year is also associated with hope for overcoming woes, with feelings of pride for those who displayed their best human and professional qualities, with the realisation of the true worth of sincere and reliable relations between people and of mutual trust.

    We have made it through this year together, with dignity, as befits a nation united that honours the traditions of its ancestors.

    These values – courage, mercy, and compassion – are in our hearts, our nature and our actions.

    We look up to our dear veterans, to the valiant generation that defeated Nazism.

    Despite everything, we have fulfilled our sacred filial duty, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory with gratitude and appreciation.

    Yes, the new dangerous virus has upset the usual way of life, work, and education, forcing people to review and reconsider many of their plans.

    But that is just how the world is: hardships are inevitable.

    They force us to take a closer look at life, to listen to our conscience, to cast off petty things and to truly appreciate what is important.

    And that is the gift of human life, family, our mothers, and fathers, our grandfathers and grandmothers, our children – kids and grown-ups alike; it is our friends and colleagues, selfless help and the general energy of good deeds – both large-scale, nationwide, and small-scale, limited to the scope of a district, a street or a house, but just as important.

    But hardships always pass.

    That is how it always has been. And what stays with us is what makes us noble and strong: love, mutual understanding, trust, and support.

    This is why I would like to wish that the woes of the departing year would go away as soon as possible.

    And all that we have gained, the best that was brought out of each and every person, will stay with us forever.

    Today, it is important to believe in yourself, to not back down in the face of problems, to protect our unity, that is the foundation of our future successes.

    I am certain that, together, we will overcome everything, restore normal life and, with renewed vigor, will continue dealing with the issues Russia faces in the coming third decade of the 21st century.

    Dear friends.

    Not everyone is currently at a New Year's Eve table.

    Many people are still in hospitals, and I am sure they feel the support of their friends and relatives.

    I sincerely wish you, my dears, to overcome the disease and to return home as soon as possible.

    Unfortunately, the epidemic is yet to be completely stopped.

    The fight against it does not cease, even a minute.

    Doctors, nurses, and ambulance crews continue their valiant work.

    Many of them are on duty during this festive night.

    In a similar manner and with huge responsibility our emergency services workers, our servicemen deployed at “hot spots” outside Russia's borders, our peacekeepers, and combat units of our Army and Navy fulfill their duty. 

    Thanks to those who continue their service day and night, who remain at their posts regardless of the circumstances, the people of Russia can gather at home with their loved ones, to greet the New Year with hopes for the better and with plans for the future, and to make their dearest wishes.

    Dear friends.

    At these moments, let us dream about the best, about peace and prosperity, about happiness and joy for those who are close to us, for those who are dear to us, for our whole country.

    I would like to thank each and every one of you, because we are all together.

    And when we feel the reliable elbows of the people standing next to us, Russia becomes one big family.

    I sincerely wish all of you good health, faith, hope and love,

    Happiness to all of you in the new, coming Year 2021.

    Happy New Year, dear friends."

    praise, emergency services, healthcare, COVID-19, speech, address, New Year's Eve, Vladimir Putin, Russia
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