I have sat through a lot of birthday greetings over the past three years. In general the greetings are poem-like in structure, and while I have no doubt they are sincere, they are pretty horrible. But what do you expect from a country where the birthday song is horrendously depressing? I have always kind of wondered why the song ends “it’s a pity, a birthday only comes once a year.” Why? Your birthday sounds like it is awful, why would you want two (or more) in one year?
All that to say, Alexei Miller has a birthday greeting to Rem Vyakhirev. If you do not know the story of Rem Vyakhirev, let me give you a quick summary: Rem was the former head of Gazprom. A pretty shady character (who wasn’t in the 90s?), Rem was ousted by Putin & Co in 2001. Apparently, there is no enmity on either side for this because Alexei Miller recently awarded him “with Gazprom Highest Mark of Distinction “For Outstanding Services”, No.1.” on the occasion of Rem’s 75th birthday.
In addition to award, Alexei Borisovich said to Rem: “On the occasion of your anniversary, please, accept our best wishes for sound health, happiness, prosperity and active longevity.” This does not rhyme in English, and I do not think it rhymes in Russian, either, which I find disappointing. Also, I don’t think it is as cool as mine, even though mine needs more work… maybe I should just repost the words to the Russian Birthday Song. Or, this is a better idea, you can watch the video here.