Today the Russian Federation celebrates a public holiday – the National Unity Day. This is a holiday of patriotism, citizenship and love for the Motherland – the fundamental values that have always united the multinational Russian state. The holiday was established as a tribute to the events dating back to 1612, when Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky formed the militia, which eventually liberated Moscow from Polish-Lithuanian invaders.
On 4 November 1612, the Nizhny Novgorod militia sieged Kitai-Gorod and drove the Poles out of Moscow. That event became a turning point in the history of the Time of Troubles, and was followed with the liberation of the whole country. In 1613, Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich established a holiday - the Day of Liberation of Moscow from Polish Intervention, which was celebrated on November 4.
The heroic deed of the Russian people was immortalized in 1818. According to the decree by Emperor Alexander I, a monument dedicated to “Citizen Kuzma Minin and Knyaz Dmitry Pozharsky” and erected by sculptor Ivan Martos, was established on the Red Square in Moscow. That was the first monument in the Russian history dedicated to national heroes rather than the Tsar or a military commander.
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