MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Putin said that sincere love for homeland and willingness to stand up for its protection have always been the basis of independence and sovereignty of Russia.
"Our strength is in the loyalty to traditions of national unity and to that supreme freedom which a human finds when swearing allegiance to the homeland, in the faithfulness to the love for it, which does not come on the orders. It is there in our hearts," Putin said at an awards ceremony held on the occasion of the National Unity Day.
The Time of Troubles in the early 17 century was marked in Russia by both internal crises and external invasion, which benefited from the instability in Russia. In early November, 1612, the Russian Nizhny Novgorod people's militia, led by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, expelled the Polish invaders out of Moscow, preserving the Russian statehood.
"More than four centuries ago, this deep, genuine sense of patriotism united people of different nationalities and social classes. Back then,… the [Russian] people took responsibility to prevent the enslavement of the country, and this powerful unity helped put an end to the tragedy of the so-called Time of Troubles," Putin said.