Question: Today is such a beautiful warm sunny day, and quite extraordinary for November. Our country is celebrating a wonderful Day of National Unity today for the first time. What is your personal opinion of our country's new tradition?
President Vladimir Putin: I can tell you that any person, you and myself included, generally enjoys holidays. Whomever you ask would reply that they enjoy holidays; everyone likes to celebrate.
It seems to me that the holiday's very name tunes to a certain mood. Indeed, it sounds inspiring – unification, national unity. And the occasion is remarkable. We know that in 1611–1612 very serious events took place here. We always refer to the Kremlin as the political and spiritual centre of Russia. When there were enemies here, the existence of the entire Russian state was threatened. The liberation was the result of people from all different faiths and ethnicities uniting together. You know, as a matter of fact the movement began in the Volga Region, from Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan, and this is especially symbolic and important for our multinational country.
While we feel such unity inside ourselves, Russia will be invincible. QUESTION: Today's holiday, the Day of National Unity, also celebrates charitable activities organized today by representatives from different organizations and movements. And I believe that these charitable activities should rally and encourage people to do them not only on November 4, but as often as possible. What do you think?
Vladimir Putin: I agree with you and will try to formulate your idea and proposal today at the reception where, in addition to being with those people present here, we will be together with people from completely different layers of society who are invited to the Kremlin.
You will see that these people are famous, interesting and have done much for their country. With their lives they do a great deal for our people and our state. The overwhelming majority of them work not because they are paid for it, but because of their feeling of duty towards their country and their people.
What you said about philanthropy, about a feeling of comradeship, is one of our people's traditions, and I mean people in the broad sense since many peoples live in Russia. If one speaks in general about the Russian nation, charity is characteristic of each people of the Russian Federation, and of course this must be supported. I think that for its part, the state should pay more attention to these sorts of activities. So should our colleagues from the media who are here today.
Question: Which idea do you think is capable of uniting our people even more, so that they can show even more civil initiative, like they did 400 years ago when people were united and when this helped end the Time of Troubles?
Vladimir Putin: The feeling of participating in state affairs.
Question: Do you consider the question of further unifying the different peoples, faiths and political forces of Russia a pressing one, and how do you foresee going about this?
Vladimir Putin: Absolutely. Moreover, I would very much like for today's event and the tradition we create with this holiday, to help accomplish the task you just mentioned.
Our country has enormous cultural riches that are not present in any other state. Dozens of ethnicities live on the territory of our country. Together all these original languages and original cultures have a huge value, a value which exists in no other country in the world. We should treasure, develop and support this which, without a doubt, is our strength. For this reason I would like to repeat once again that the traditions begun by this holiday must work towards these goals.