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Opinion poll finds Russia needs to celebrate National Unity Day

According to the poll conducted by the Public Opinion Fund, some 63% of Russians consider this holiday necessary

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. The number of Russians approving of the National Unity Day celebrated on November 4 has risen 20% in the past 10 years, says the Public Opinion Fund (FOM) survey unveiled on Thursday.

During the opinion poll, conducted last Sunday, some 63% of Russians said this holiday needs to be celebrated in the country. In 2004, 46% of respondents said the holiday is necessary, while 38% disagreed with them.

Introduced in 2005, the National Unity Day, which marks Russia’s liberation from Polish invaders in 1612, replaces the November 7 communist holiday celebrating the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

FOM Director General Alexander Oslon said the number of Russians backing the holiday sharply increased in 2008 and has been rising steadily since 2013. He said the trend is due to a difficult situation in the country.

“The autumn of 2008 is the time when the crisis started. When there is a complicated situation arousing concerns, there is a demand in national unity, which November 4 means,” he said.

The November 4 celebrations are in memory of the 1612 events, when the militiamen under the guidance of Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and merchant Kuzma Minin liberated Moscow from foreign invaders.

The survey said a total of 72% of respondents said the events of 1612 are important and significant, an 8% increase compared with last year. The share of those who play down these historic events fell from 20% to 16%, year-on-year.