Russia marks Day of People's Unity
Russia is marking the Day of People's Unity today, dedicated to the liberation of Moscow from foreign intervention in 1612, when Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky formed consolidated militia and saved the country from destruction.
On this day Moscow, Stavropol, Grozny, Makhachkala, Sevastopol, Nalchik, Krasnodar, Saratov, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and other cities hold demonstrations, marches, concerts, theatrical performances and flash mobs dedicated to the Russian holiday.
A grand march will be held in Moscow at 10:30 as part of the final forum of active citizens 'Community'. A rally-concert under the slogan 'We are united!' will start at 11:00. The action was organized by the initiative group from the Public Chamber of Russia. About 10,000 people, including civil society activists, representatives of public organizations, national-cultural autonomies and political parties, will take part in the meeting.
"This day reminds us of the heroism of our ancestors, represents the core values of our multi-ethnic and multi-religious country – patriotism, ability to unite and defend our freedom and independence standing shoulder to shoulder," the secretary of the General Council of the party 'United Russia' Sergey Neverov said. "Such actions show that we honor our history and support our president, who has consolidated our society," he added, promising to take part in the march.
The event will also be attended by LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky. "It is a holiday of national unity, a holiday when people rose up to defend their homeland. The most important thing is unity, everyone should understand that the state is the unity of territory, economy, finances, language and culture," he stressed.
The Communists call this holiday artificial. "I believe that this holiday is absolutely artificial. The date of November 4th is historically false: The Polish occupying forces were expelled on November 6-7," the deputy chairman of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Valery Rashkin, said.
A Fair Russia leader Sergey Mironov, in his turn, noted that this year the holiday was darkened by tragedy – the crash of the 'Kogalymavia' aircraft, which resulted in the deaths of 224 people. "When we recall the key events of national history, when we recall our compatriots, whose life was tragically cut short, it's neither the place nor the time to show the preferences of your party, your particular views," the deputy emphasized.
"And when we go through the streets of Moscow in a united column, we will go not as political supporters or opponents, we will go as citizens. This is our history, our language, our land, watered by the sweat and blood of many generations of our ancestors, our common tragedy and our common victory," RIA Novosti cited Sergey Mironov as saying.
According to the First Deputy Chairman of the A Fair Russia party, Mikhail Emelyanov, "this does not mean that the parties which will attend the event have similar positions on social and economic policy. But we believe that it is important to show unity in the foreign policy arena," he said.
The holiday scenario has been adjusted to honor the memory of those who died in the Russian Airbus A321 aircraft crash – the participants of the rally observed a minute of silence. The corresponding decision was made by the organizer of the action in Moscow – the Russian Public Chamber.
President Vladimir Putin will lay flowers at the monument to Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky on Moscow’s Red Square. Putin will later visit the Exhibition 'Orthodox Russia. My History. From Great Upheavals to the Great Victory'. The president will also honor foreign citizens with state awards for their particular contribution to strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding between nations at a ceremony in the Kremlin. In the evening, the Head of State will address the forum 'Community'. "The meeting will be attended by the most distinguished participants of non-governmental organizations, voluntary movements, youth and student organizations," the press service of the Kremlin said.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will serve a liturgy in Moscow's Cathedral of the Assumption at 09:00 am. At 12.00 am, the patriarch will open the 14th exhibition 'Orthodox Russia. My History. From Great Upheavals to the Great Victory' in the Arena.