The regional governor in Kemerovo, Russia, awarded a medal to the Russian army's first rabbi for his work benefiting soldiers from all across the country.

Gov. Aman Tuleyev made the presentation to Rabbi Aron Gurevitch, a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary, during a meeting sponsored by Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs.

At the meeting, which was held between communities across Russia, participants linked by teleconference discussed several items dealing with crime prevention, including upcoming legislation that will strengthen administrative supervision of prison parolees. For his part, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev called for increased vigilance on the part of civil organizations in reporting criminal activity.

After the meeting, which was held at a local police academy, Gurevitch toured the Jewish community in Kemerovo, a west Siberian city known for its mining operations. He also placed flowers at a memorial to the 42 miners from Kuzbass who died in a 2004 explosion.