“We understand the deeper meaning of this holiday for democratic transformations that Russia’s history has faced but at the same time we evaluate the whole centuries-long path of the country’s development,” Putin said at a gala reception in the Kremlin on Thursday.
“We must value high each period in the country’s history and understand all the difficulties, challenges and successes on the route,” he said. “We must honor all the generations of our people as their labour and endeavors helped Russia's buildup and they have proved more than once that they would go through any hardship.”
Putin said that this year Russia marked the holiday with a particular elation.
“Crimea has reunited with Russia peacefully, due to the will of its residents and in accordance with international law,” he said. “As the Russians say, this was done in accordance with conscience, justice and truth.”