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Putin calls on Russians to remain united


08:23, November 05, 2012

MOSCOW, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin called on his countrymen to treasure up the centuries-old traditions of unity on Sunday, also the National Unity Day.

"In history, Russians had suffered many hardships, but they always survived, because they felt themselves as a whole," Putin said when attending an award ceremony for activists of culture on the occasion of the National Unity Day.

He praised the older generation for their patriotism and sense of responsibility, encouraging all Russians to keep the tradition.

The National Unity Day was introduced by the Kremlin in 2005 to commemorate the 1612 expulsion of Polish invaders from Moscow by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky.

Also on Sunday, the president laid flowers at the monument to Minin and Pozharsky on Moscow's Red Square. The leaders of main religious confessions in Russia and representatives of youth organizations were also attending the flower-laying ceremony.

To mark 400 years since the liberation of Moscow from invaders, this year a whole array of cultural events took place in Russia.

"Various events timed to National Unity Day are being held in many Russian regions. Reinforced police patrols ensure public order and security at these events," Russian Interior Ministry was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass news agency.

Over 13,000 people were participating in 31 festive events in eight Russian regions and "neither incidents nor violations of public order were reported," according to the ministry.
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