Russia’s Unity Day cannot consolidate country – expert

Oleg Matveychev, a professor of the Higher School of Economics in Russia, emphasized that November 4, the Unity Day of Russia, could not consolidate ethnicities in Russia. He reminded that communists continued calling the day artificial and replacing November 7, nationalists using it for their own good and liberals criticizing nationalistic marches.

Matveychev clarified that the Unity Day needed rituals and reminded about propositions for the format of the event proposed at the Russian parliament in 2005. One of the ideas was to make it the Day of Russian Regions, to make a symbolic shift of the capital to different cities every year.

Alexey Mukhin, Director of the Center for Political Information, noted that Russian marches had been helping make the social atmosphere less tense. He predicts that such marches would continue due to activation of ethnic groups in Moscow and other cities.

The expert clarified that Alexey Navalny, the unofficial leader of Russian opposition, had refused to participate in the Russian march in Moscow due to recent probation.