On November 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin decorated the head of Tuva, Sholban Kara-ool, with the Medal of the Order "For Services to the Fatherland" of the second degree.
The presidential decree says that the medal was awarded for outstanding contribution to strengthening inter-ethnic and inter-religious peace and harmony in Russia.
"Firstly, Sholban Kara-ool has affirmed his reputation among the people of the republic, because he was elected for the post more than once. This says a lot about him. Secondly, he does work as a wise leader, in spite of his fairly young age," three-time Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling, State Duma deputy Alexander Karelin said in an interview with Pravda.Ru. "Sholban Kara-ool is a Tuvan by nationality, but all people who live in the republic receive the same equal attention from the authorities. He is the person, who ensures and guarantees that. I believe that he has deserved the award," Karelin added.
"The Tuvan people are very close to my Kalmyk people, and I am very pleased that representatives of our culture and religion receive such honors from top officials. And, of course, I would like to see the head of Kalmykia receiving such an award some day. I heartily congratulate the head of Tuva," Sangadzhi Tarbaev, YBW-Group producer, captain of KVN People's Friendship University team, told Pravda.Ru.