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Putin to take part in celebrations of Moscow’s City Day, opening of new park

September 09, 8:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Among other things, Russian President will take a walk in Red Square, will visit the new Zaryadye public park near Red Square and will call into the Luzhniki Olympic stadium

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© Aleksey Nikolskiy/press-sluzhba prezidenta RF/TASS

MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to take part in the festive functions devoted to City Day, which Moscow marks annually on the second Saturday of September.

Among other things, Putin will take a walk in Red Square, will visit the new Zaryadye public park near Red Square on the bank of the Moskva River and will call into the Luzhniki Olympic stadium.

His itinerary for the day includes congratulations to Muscovites on Red Square on the occasion of 870 years since the foundation of the city.

"The date is emblematic of many crucial events in Russian history that predetermined the gathering of Russian lands, the re-emergence and strengthening of Russian statehood," Putin said earlier.

"Already in the two first centuries of its history as a small principality, Moscow turned into a glorious capital," Putin said. "Since then Russia and Moscow are inseparable notions and all of us feel this fundamental unit that was welded throughout centuries, throughout harsh tests, and though illustrious victories."

"For all the Russians, Moscow is a particular city, a loved city that is near and dear both to Muscovites and to those who live thousands of kilometers away from it," he said.

Putin believes this kind of the Russians’ attitude to Moscow is understandable and simple to explain. "Moscow is the capital of our homeland, its multifaceted and momentous personification, one of the most beautiful cities in the world that strikes visitors with its grandeur, dignity, self-identity, magnetism, and ancient holy simplicity," he said.

The Kremlin press service said Putin plans visiting the new Zaryadye park, the opening of which is timed for City Day. It has been built at Putin’s initiative at the site of the Soviet-era huge hotel Rossiya that was pulled down in the 2000’s.

Zaryadye is the name of the area, one the oldest in Moscow nowadays located to the east of the Kremlin and to the southeast of Red Square.

The area filled with small churches and Empire-style buildings of Moscow tradesmen and merchants underwent sweeping reconstructions in the 1930’s. Later plans suggested a Stalin-era-style skyscraper would be erected there but the authorities called the project off.

The foundation of the abortive building came in handy in 1964 when construction of hotel Rossiya began. With its capacity for 6,000 or so customers, it became the largest hotel in Europe but 40 years after its commissioning, in 2006, Moscow City authorities disassembled it.

In 2004, the city government put forward a proposal to return a historic layout and look to the Zaryadye area and a competition for the best urban development project to it was held.

In January 2012, Putin asked mayor Sergei Sobyanin to think over a park zone at the site of the removed hotel and in August of the same year Sobyanin called off a urban development project in favor of the park.

The park that is said to embody the principles of ‘landscape urbanism’ - meaning that people are not obliged to follow prearranged routes and plants can grow freely - represents the four types of landscapes most typical for Russia - the forest, the steppe, the tundra, and the floodplains.

One of the highlights of the park is an icy cave where the air temperature below 0 Centigrade will be maintained throughout the year and a hovering bridge rising to the height of fifty standards stories.

Zaryadye park managers say admittance to the park will be free and visitors will have an opportunity to come there anytime day and night.

On Saturday, Putin will also go to the Luzhniki Olympic stadium compound where he will attend the ceremony of opening of the Grand Sports Arena - the venue of the final of FIFA World Cup 2018.

At Luzhniki, he will kick off a tour of the championship’s cup that will be then taken to 24 Russian cities and 50 foreign countries.

Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said earlier Putin will meet with FIFA President Gianni Infantino at Luzhniki on Saturday.

"As far as I know, Infantino will also be present there and that’s why they will certainly have a meeting," he said.

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