MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Crimea is Russia’s holy land, a sacrosanct place and center of the nation’s spiritual unity, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a gala show on the occasion of the 7th anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
"Of course, it is a holy land for us, for Russia," he said. Putin congratulated all participants in and the audience of the gala show upon the day of Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s reunification with Russia.
"It is a holiday for the Crimeans. We saw that for ourselves in the spring of 2014 in the process of preparing for and holding the referendum, and, which is still more important, in its results. The Crimeans and the people of Sevastopol returned to the family of Russia’s fraternal peoples," Putin said.
He stressed that "it is a holiday for our entire vast country."
"If you take a big map, Crimea and Sevastopol will look on it like a tiny spot. But we are talking about the restoration of historical justice, we are talking about the importance of this land for our people," Putin said.
He stressed that "our ancestors have developed this territory from time immemorial and in the 10th century a large share of it became part of the ancient Russian state."
"There, on that land, in Korsun and Kherson, Prince Vladimir and his troops took baptism. This means that this is a sacred place, the center of our spiritual unity, which eventually formed the basis of the Russian nation and an integral centralized Russian state," Putin said.
He said "it is a very important place for our heart and soul." He stressed that in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries these lands returned to their legitimate owner, the Russian Empire.
"In 1853-1856 during an invasion by foreign hordes and in 1941-1945 during the war with Nazi Germany every inch of that soil was soaked with the blood of Russian and Soviet soldiers," Putin said.