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MOSCOW, November 4 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Vladimir Putin laid down flowers to the Monument to Minin and Pozharsky on the Red Square in Moscow on Sunday, November 4, which is National Unity Day in Russia.
The leaders of the main traditional confessions in Russia and representatives of youth organizations were also attending the flower-laying ceremony.
National Unity Day is celebrated in memory about the liberation of Moscow from Polish invaders in 1612. On November 4, 400 years ago, the militiamen led by Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky stormed the Kitai Gorod district, liberating Moscow from Polish invaders. Several days later the Polish troops surrendered finally and signed a capitulation act. This moment in the history of the Times of Troubles turned out to be a turning point that was followed with the liberation of the whole country. Since then this event became a symbol of unity of Russian peoples.
The feat of the Russian nation was immortalized in a decree of Emperor Alexander the First in 1818. The Monument to Merchant Minin and Prince Pozharsky sculpted by Ivan Martos was installed on the Red Square in Moscow. This was the first monument to people’s heroes, but not to a tsar or a military commander in the Russian history.
The Russian Orthodox Church and the leaders of the main religious confessions in Russia initiated this holiday in modern Russia. On December 29, 2004, the Russian president signed a federal law, under which National Unity Day was declared a holiday and a day-off.