27 Feb 2014 15:54

Russian defense minister awards diplomas to winners of Vitaly Dzhibuti national prize

The award ceremony of the Russian national prize for the best coverage of military issues in Russian media named after Vitaly Dzhibuti took place in Moscow on Wednesday.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu presented diplomas to the winners of the prize. Itar-Tass news agency senior correspondent Alexander Konovalov received a diploma for 2012 and Interfax military news service observer Sergei Babkin received a diploma for 2013, an Interfax-AVN correspondent reported from the scene.

"Beginning our meeting I would like to accomplish a pleasant mission together with Interfax first deputy general director, executive director Georgy Gulia. As you know the Defense Ministry backed the initiative of Interfax journalists and co-founded the Vitaly Dzhibuti national prize for the best coverage of military issues in Russian media. Today we are awarding the prize to its winners," Shoigu said at the award ceremony.

The minister also noted the importance of media in covering the everyday life and military exercises of the military.

"It is particularly pleasant to us that Alexander Konovalov and Sergei Babkin, who were not only Vitaly Dzhibuti‘s colleagues but also close friends, became the first winners of the prize. They worked together on many assignments, including in trouble spots," Gulia said.

Vitaly Dzhibuti had worked for Interfax since the news agency began its work and was its one of the most brilliant journalists. He received the most complicated and demanding assignments covering the activity of the Russian Defense Ministry, other security agencies and the negotiations of Russia‘s military top brass. Dzhibuti had been the editor-in-chief of Interfax Military News Agency since 2001.

"Vitaly Dzhibuti was not only a brilliant journalist and a genuine professional, he was also the soul of the team. His passing away on February 14, 2012 at the age of 49 is a great loss not only for the Interfax team but also for Russia‘s military journalists community," Gulia said.

As a military correspondent, Vitaly Dzhibuti worked in virtually all conflict zones, both in Russia and post-Soviet territories, demonstrating reserve, courage, and initiative. He was awarded an order for Personal Courage, a medal for Services to the Fatherland of the Second Degree, a medal for Services to the Fatherland of the First Degree, and other awards.

Interfax established a national annual award for the best coverage of military issues in the Russian media to commemorate Vitaly Dzhibuti. Journalists reporting on military and defense industry issues whose publications have drawn the most response in society are eligible for the award.

The winners are selected by a special jury comprised of Defense Ministry officials, public officials, and the most authoritative employees of the Interfax Information Services Group and public organizations.

The winner receives a special certificate and a financial award of 100,000 rubles.