The international prize “Faith and Loyalty”

Winners of “Faith and Fidelity” Prize 2019

Winners of “Faith and Fidelity” Prize 2019

In 2019, the following people were awarded with “Faith and Fidelity” International Prize:


Vladimir Shamanov

“For Courage and Devoted Serving for the Sake of the Motherland”


Having watched “Officers”, the famous movie, a boy from the Altay region was determined to become a paratrooper.

Vladimir Shamanov began to learn his ropes as a student at the Ryazan Higher School of Airborne Landing all the way through to becoming a colonel-general, Hero of Russia, commander-in-charge of airborne-landing forces.

Shamanov’s outstanding talent of being a commander manifested during the two Chechen war campaigns at North Caucasus where Russia faced the evil of international terrorism. 

He came under brutal fire more than once. There was a time when Shamanov was on a military mission when his car was blown by a land mine. The man got severe injuries and was barely alive. However, this brave man refused to go to hospital and returned to his quarters.

Back in 1999 when guerillas broke in Dagestan Shamanov had an important mission to fight off the attack and destroy the attackers. His mission was a success.

And today Vladimir Shamanov as a deputy feels accountable for people’s lives, just the way he did during his years as a military man. As a person in charge of the State Duma Committee for Defense, Vladimir does his best to make sure military people, retired officers and their families have decent living conditions. According to Vladimir Shamanov, “a true paratrooper should be able to do it all”.


Galina Yakovleva

“For Heroic Act of Compassionate Service for the Sake of Others”


Kindness is said to be a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Galina Yakovleva survived the Siege of Leningrad as a child, struggled during hard after-war years as a young girl, and later worked as a driver throughout the years. Mrs.Yakovleva has been driving for 60 years. Today she drives her own van to deliver food, necessities, gifts and other simple things to veterans, invalids, elderly people and large families. Galina Yakovleva contacts enterprises, cafes and other institutions to agree on providing free produce.

Every day she finds time to drive around several districts in Saint-Petersburg. Almost all police officers know the remarkable driver, so nobody is checking her license.

Galina Yakovleva has founded her own charity called “Dobrota” (which stands for kindness) where she is the only employee. This outstanding woman helps several hundreds of people. She supports them for free and they know for sure that Galina will never let them down and deliver everything they need.


Rustam Minnikhanov

“For Strengthening Peace and Conciliation between Nations”


One of Tatar proverbs says the following: “Birds are strong thanks to their wings, while people are strong thanks to friendship”.

Rustam Minnikhanov is very serious about strengthening peace, conciliation and trust among people of different nations living in Tatarstan.

President takes all the key areas of life in the Republic under his own control for its citizens to be part of one big family.

Dozens of mosques and Christian churches are being built in Tatarstan today. Kazan is known as one of most beautiful cities in Russia. Traditionally, grand celebrations take place here where all national communities participate, national songs are performed and folk music instruments can be heard.

Also, Tatarstan is considered as one of the best territories of the country in terms of investments. It accumulates the best cutting-edge technologies. Aircrafts manufactured by the Kazan Helicopter Plant are well-known all over the world, along with “KAMAZ” vehicles of course.

Rustam Minnikhanov lives and works at high speed. And this is not a figure of speech.  He is an international master of sports in motorsports. He takes part in competitions on a regular basis and it is no secret that his favorite speed is over 200 km/h!


Bogoljub Karić

“For Outstanding Contribution to Friendship between Serbian and Russian People”


Bogoljub Karić is the youngest son of Danica and Janićije Karić. He was born on January 17 in 1954 in Pec.

Back in 1763, the Karić family started their enterprise, while since 1970s Bogoljub Karić and his brothers became pioneers of private business.

They established the following companies: the first private bank in Eastern Europe; the first private insurance company in Yugoslavia; the first private university in Eastern Europe; the first internet provider; the first private television company; the first and largest cell phone company in Yugoslavia; the first private fund after the WWII – The Karić Foundation.

Currently “Dana Holdings”, the construction company of Bogoljub Karić, is the world brand and one of the largest companies in the world.

In Russia Bogoljub Karić and his brothers built schools, hospitals, constructed bridges, renovated historical and cultural monuments.

Within the period of hardest times when the Soviet Union collapsed, Bogoljub Karić helped monasteries in many Russian settlements, provided financial support for construction of the complex dedicated to the heroes of the Kursk battle, the Church on Prokhor Field.

Thanks to support from Bogoljub Karić, the reconstruction of the Dormition Cathedral was fulfilled in Tobolsk, along with the Tobolsk Kremlin and the Governor’s House where the family of Nicholas II, the last Russian Emperor, lived for nine months in exile.

Endowed with a unique personality, strong will and energy, Bogoljub Karić is a symbol of success that is based on a close-knit family, respect for one’s Orthodox faith, conciliation and trust. The motto about family as the most solid foundation is the basis for his life experience and success.

Bishop Pancratius of Troitsk

“For Selfless Labor to Restore the Valaam Monastery”


Bishop Pancratius of Troitsk (secular name Vladislav Petrovich Zherdev) graduated from the Dushanbe Polytechnic Institute but soon after he realized he could not live without the Church. In 1986, he entered a seminary, took the monastic vows and served as a noviciate in the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.

In 1993, on Epiphany Day, he was appointed the superior of the Valaam Monastery.

It was before the revolution when Valaam was known as “Northern Athos”. It was the time when the unique architectural complex was created presenting a harmonious combination with reserved but unique and beautiful nature of the Russian North.

His Grace remembers that his first impression was shocking: the monastery was in a deplorable state. But gradually, thanks to prayers, conciliation among the brothers and hard work, not only churches and cells were renovated but the traditional monastery way of life was restored. 

Currently, they have restored the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Christ, which is the true heart of the monastery. A new Skete of Vladimir has been constructed. Sacred services are held in each and every church. Electricity is delivered to the island through the cable across the bottom of Ladoga; water pipe lines are everywhere.

Valaam is the center of attraction for many pilgrims from all over the world. They get the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Orthodox Christianity and to leave this remarkable place in a peaceful and enlightened state of mind.

Igor Shpitsberg

“For Outstanding Contribution in Creating the System to Support Children with Limited Health Capacities”


In the beginning of 1990s when Igor Shpitsberg founded his center called “Our Sunny World” parents of autistic children had to face the diagnosis all alone. People with special needs were isolated from society. They were either placed in special institutions or had to stay “imprisoned” in their own apartments. Igor Shpitsberg united the parents who wanted to focus on true development of their children.

Rather soon, “Our Sunny World” NGO became a professional organization. They applied different work methods and hired experienced teachers. As a result, a complex program was developed to help autistic children and children with other disabilities. The program helps children go to regular kindergartens, go to school, enjoy active life in the society.

“Our Sunny World” Center has helped hundreds of thousands of autistic children and adults and their families across the country to develop and integrate in the society.

Different kinds of experts including doctors, teachers, rescuers and police officers constantly develop their skills to communicate with autistic people. It is important for such people to be an essential and fully functional part of our society.

Igor Shpitsberg is sure that any person is wonderful and there will be times in our country when a certain system will be established when a child with autistic spectrum disorder would get the support from the early age.

Nikolay Drozdov

“For Outstanding Merits in Studying and Preserving the Environment, Scientist’s Work and Promotion of Science”


When Nikolay Drozdov was a school pupil, his family lived in the Moscow region near a horse farm. Perhaps that was the time when the boy started to feel love and interest for animals and nature. Once interviewed, Drozdov mentioned that he used to work as a junior horse wrangler during school breaks and thought it would be great to be a centaur.

In 1964 when Nikolay Drozdov, a post-graduate student at MSU, returned from an expedition to Central Asia with a collection of snakes, lizards and spiders, he came up with the idea to show them in a TV program about life in a desert. It was the first time when Nikolay Drozdov was on TV. Since 1968, Drozdov began to take part in the program on “The Animal World”. Later he became a co-host there and in 1990 he was the only host of the program.

Thanks to Drozdov’s profound scientific knowledge, his talent for storytelling and personal magnetism the program has become one of the symbols of the Russian TV and gained admiration from several generations. Also, Nikolay Drozdov works on books and textbooks; he delivers lectures for students; he has participated in hundreds of expeditions to different parts of our planet.

This is the way this remarkable man helps us gain the positive and kind relations with the environment, live in harmony with oneself and the nature.

Inna Churikova

“For Creating Images with Eternal Moral Values, both on the Screen and on Stage”


Since early years Inna Churikova was dreaming of becoming an actress. Upon graduating from the Higher Theatre School named after Shchepkin, she started her acting career at The Youth Theatre. Then she had great roles of Tanya Tyotkina in “No Path Through Fire”, Pasha Stroganova in “Nachalo”, Vassa Zheleznova, Pelageya Vlasova in “Mother”.

Thanks to her extraordinary expressiveness and genius uniqueness in acting, both in movies and on stage, Churikova gained nation-wide admiration.

Both the audience and colleagues admit that she is an actress whose talent has no bounds and who can cope with any role. Inna Churikova can transform to any characters: from funny ones to tragic, acting in a child play or presenting the English Queen.

Mark Zakharov, the art director of “Lenkom”, highly appreciated the talent of Inna Churikova. He said: “I’ve learnt a lot from this great actress. Her divine improvisations, where tragedy and comedy are uniquely combined, became the basis for many Lenkom performances”.

Inna Churikova and Gleb Panfilov have been living a happy family life for over 50 years. They did everything together: they woke up to feed the baby or change a diaper; they raised and brought up their children together!

“For me family is the most important thing. What can be more beautiful than love for dear people, relatives, the motherland? It seems to me it is love that is the basis for growing life, developing future” – said Inna Churikova.


Photos are taken from open sources and the archive of the Foundation of Saint-Andrew the First-Called


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