Presentation of Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease Award: The Alaska-Siberia Research Center presents the first Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease award to Yuri Ushakov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States, who accepted the award on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
L-R: Alexander Dolitsky, Executive Director, Alaska-Siberia Research Center; Anna Kerttula, Assistant to Alaska Governor Tony Knowles in Washington, D.C.; Yuri Ushakov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States; John Binkley, Chairman of the Alaska Railroad Corp.; Patrick Gambel, President of the Alaska Railroad Corp.
Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, wrote letters of thanks to Alaska Governor Tony Knowles and the Alaska-Siberia Research Center for the Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease Award. (These letters are in Adobe Acrobat Reader. This free software is available here.)
At the request of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, the White House accommodated a group from the Alaska-Siberia Research Center (AKSRC). On April 26, Alexander Dolitsky, Chairman of the AKSRC (left), and Anna Kerttula from the Alaska Governor's Office (right), presented the Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease award to Nicholas Calio (center), Assistant to the President, who accepted the honor on behalf of President George W. Bush. President Bush and President Putin were the first recipients of this award for their dedication to American and Russian cooperation.
Three Fairbanksans were recognized for their contributions to the lend-lease program during World War II in a ceremony in Fairbanks on July 9, 2002. Those recognized were Randy Acord, Ginny Wood and Celia Hunter (posthumously). From left to right: Alexander Dolitsky, chairman, AKSRC; Johne Binkley, director, AKSRC; Randy Acord, WWII veteran; Ginny Wood, WWII veteran; Lyudmila Antonova, cultural attache, Russian Embassy, Washington, DC.
The award was esablished to recognize distinguished individuals and organizations that made significant contributions for improvement of Russian-North American relations, toward peace among the Allies, and in Russian-Alaska studies.