At the end of my previous blog post, I complained that the Western media - including newspapers like The Times, which used to boast that it was a 'newspaper of record' - hadn't bothered to publish an English translation of Vladimir Putin's victory speech (HERE).
So I gave up searching Google and turned to Twitter in pursuit of the elusive text, where a Russian speech guru's perceptively dry tweet seemed to explain all: "You see, the real problem with Putin's victory speech is that nobody cares enough to even transcribe it let alone translate it."
Luckily for readers of this blog, the winner of my Putin Christmas speechwriting competition, who also happens to be my brother (@dsa99uk) - perhaps the only person in the UK with degrees in Agricultural Economics and Russian - has come up trumps with the following translation (and David Atkinson's speech for Putin can be seen HERE).
As far as I know it is the first English translation of the speech that's been published so far, and you can watch and read it here:
Vladimir Putin:Dear friends!
I particularly want to thank all the citizens of Russia who took part today in the election for President of the Russian Federation.
Special thanks, of course, to those who have gathered here today in Moscow, to all those who supported us in every corner of our vast and boundless country.
Thanks to everyone who said "yes" for a Great Russia.
I once asked you: "Will we win?"
We did win!
We won in an open and fair contest! [Crowd cheers]
Thank you friends, thank you!
We won in an open and fair contest.
But it was not only the election for President of Russia.
It was a very important test for us all, for all our people, it was a test of political maturity, of independence, and of self confidence.We have shown indeed, that no one can enslave us.
No one and nothing can enslave us.
We have shown that our people are truly able to easily distinguish between the desire for progress and renewed political provocation that has only one objective - to destroy Russian sovereignty and usurp powerThe Russian people have now shown that in our country such choices and scenarios will not pass.
THEY SHALL NOT PASS. [Putin shouts]We won today, thanks to the overwhelming support of the overwhelming majority of our voters, we won a clear victory.
We will work honestly and hard.
We will achieve success.
And we call on all to unite around the interests of our people and our homeland.
I promised you that we would win.We did. We won. Glory to Russia.