Lawmaker suggests marking Crimea reunification day as national holiday

Spectators at a concert during celebrations of the first anniversary of the Crimean Spring in Simferopol. (RIA Novosti / Evgeny Biyatov)
A Lower House lawmaker from the populist nationalist party LDPR wants to make March 18 a Russian national holiday to honor the first anniversary of the accession of the Crimean Republic and the city of Sevastopol as new subjects of the Russian Federation.

The signing of the unity treaty with Crimea and Sevastopol is a major event in Russia’s modern history, and this fact must be fixed in the Law on Commemorative Dates and Days of Military Glory, MP Sergey Furgal told Izvestia.

The feelings of restored historical justice, happiness and pride for our Motherland fill our hearts.But the years will pass and new generations will come in the place of older ones. It is important for us that no one distorts history. We understand that these events will be interpreted in various ways, some might describe them as occupation and use other similar terms. But it is important that the date remains bright and luminous in the memory of our descendants,” Frugal said.

The politician also said that in his opinion the reunification of Russia and Crimea marked the start of the new period in history. “With every year of perestroika our country was losing a lot. It is today that people started talking about the “Russian world” and Russia starts to re-emerge as a great nation,” he said.

The motion was supported by several senior officials, such as the member of the Public Chamber and the Presidential Human Rights CouncilIosif Diskin and The head of the Russian Foundation for Development of Civil Society Konstantin Kostin.

The latest holiday established in Russia is the Special Operations Forces Day which was marked on February 27 for the first time this year. The date was chosen because the corresponding branch of the military was formed in March 2013, but the holiday was almost immediately dubbed “The Polite People Day” – after the nickname given by mass media to the Russian servicemen who helped to provide security in the Crimea when it chose to secede from Ukraine in 2014.

READ MORE: Coming home: Crimea marks 1 year since voting to rejoin Russia

The Crimean Republic became part of the Russian Federation a year ago, after over 96 percent of its residents – the majority of whom are ethnic Russians – voted for the move in an urgently called referendum. The decision was prompted by the change of regime in Ukraine, which ousted the democratically-elected president and government.

In mid-March this year, Russia’s VTsIOM public opinion research center conducted a poll that showed that today over 90 percent of Crimean residents have positive feelings about the reunification with Russia.