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Russia celebrates National Unity Day

November 04, 2017, 9:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Festive rallies and demonstrations, concerts, historical reenactments and theater performances will be held across Russia on Saturday

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© Yekaterina Yakel/TASS

MOSCOW, November 4. /TASS/. On Saturday, Russia celebrates the Unity Day, one of the youngest national holidays.

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. It marks the events of 1612 when people’s militias led by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky liberated Moscow from Polish invaders.

Historically, the holiday marks the end of the Time of Troubles (1598-1613), which comprises the years of interregnum, the Polish-Muscovite War and a deep social and economic crisis, and symbolizes the unity of people and their ability to unite during the difficult time.

Festive rallies and demonstrations, concerts, historical reenactments and theater performances will be held across Russia on Saturday. One of the central events will be a concert "Russia Unites" in Moscow’s Luzhniki sports complex, where famous people of art, public figures and civil society representatives will perform.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will give a state award for strengthening unity of the Russian nation during a ceremony in the Kremlin. The award was introduced in 2016 for activity aimed at uniting the multi-ethnic Russian people and harmonizing interethnic relations, the Kremlin press service said.

According to the tradition, Putin will also hand over the Orders of Friendship to foreign citizens for their special merits in enhancing peace, friendship and mutual understanding between people, and preserving and promoting the Russian language and culture abroad.

The president will also lay flowers to the Monument to Minin and Pozharsky on Red Square. Later in the day, Putin is scheduled to attend the exhibition, Russia Focused on The Future, in Moscow’s Manezh Central Exhibition Hall. The exhibition is devoted to the projects in space, information technologies, science, industry, transport, medicine, economy and urban development.

A survey carried out by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center showed on Friday that more than half of Russians (54%) are sure that there is national unity in the country, and another 40% are skeptical about that. A year ago, Russians were divided, with about an equal number of respondents (44%) saying there was and there was no unity.

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