MOSCOW, November 4. /TASS/. Russia’s society needs to counter modern challenges and threats, and follow the spiritual precepts of Prince Vladimir, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
Putin attended the ceremony on Borovitskaya Square of unveiling the monument to Prince Vladimir, who brought Eastern Orthodox Christianity to Kievan Rus in 988. "His era saw many achievements but the most important of them and certainly a key one was the Christianization of Russia," Putin said.
The Russian leader said "this choice was the common spiritual origin for the peoples of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine." Prince Vladimir "laid the foundation of morals and values that still define our life."
"The solid moral foundation, cohesion and unity helped our ancestors to overcome difficulties, live and gain victory to the glory of the motherland, from generation to generation to strengthen its might and grandeur," Putin stressed.
"Today our duty is to jointly counter modern challenges and threats, relying on spiritual precepts and priceless traditions of unity and harmony, to move forward, ensuring continuity of our millennial history," he said.
The inauguration of the monument to Prince Vladimir is a significant event both for Moscow and all Russia and also Russian countrymen living abroad, the president said, adding that it is symbolic that the ceremony is held on the National Unity Day.
The 16-meter monument to Prince Vladimir is erected at the initiative of the Russian Military-Historical Society and the government of Moscow.
Putin has laid flowers at the monument to Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, the leaders of the militia in 1611-1612 who liberated Moscow from the Polish invaders.
The ceremony on Moscow’s Red Square was the first in the series of events on Friday that Putin is due to attend on occasion of the National Unity Day. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and heads of other confessions, including Ravil Gaynutdin, the Grand Mufti of Russia, took part in the ceremony.
The Russian leader later talked to the religions figures and representatives of public organizations, and also took part in a photo shoot with youth activists.
The National Unity Day marks Russia’s liberation from Polish invaders in 1612. The holiday was established in 2005 replacing the Day of Consent and Reconciliation, which had been celebrated on November 7 (formerly Revolution Day) since 1996.
The monument to Minin and Pozharsky unveiled in 1818 on Moscow’s Red Square is the work of sculptor Ivan Martos. This was the first monument in Russia’s history not to the tsar or commander, but to national heroes.