In March, President Vladimir Putin awarded Nurmagomed Gadzhimagomedov with the Hero of Russia and used the opportunity to celebrate Russia’s ethnic diversity.
Gadzhimagomedov, a senior lieutenant from Dagestan, had served in Russia’s airborne troops and died in combat in the first days of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“I am a Russian man,” said Putin, as he announced the top honorary title. “But when I see examples of heroism like this young man, Nurmagomed Gadzhimagomedov – a native of Dagestan, a Lak by ethnicity, our other soldiers, I want to say: ‘I am a Lak, I am a Dagestani, I am a Chechen, Ingush, Russian, Tatar, Jew, Mordvin, Ossetian’.”
He praised Gadzhimagomedov for fighting against Ukrainian “neo-Nazis”, adding: “I am proud of being part of this world, part of the powerful, strong, multiethnic people of Russia.”
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