Moscow, July 28, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the Christianization of Kievan Rus as the starting point of the establishment of Russia's statehood.
"The Christianization is the starting point of the establishment and development of Russia's statehood, the true spiritual birth of our ancestors, the determination of their identity and self-awareness, the prosperity of the national culture and education, and the development of multifaceted ties with other countries," Putin said at a ceremony marking the 1030th anniversary of the Christianization of Kievan Rus in Moscow on Saturday.
"The Christianization of Rus is a key and momentous stage in our history, an event of civilizational scope and transforming spiritual power," Putin said.
"It predetermined the further centuries-long way of Russia and had an effect on the entire global development," he said.
"Our ancestors displayed wisdom and great foresight by opening an era to which all of us belong now," he said.
Putin particularly commented on Prince Vladimir's personality. "He made this decisive choice, became a guide of faith, and saw its moral support, beauty, and basis for renewing life, for strengthening the unity and identity of the peoples inhabiting Ancient Rus," Putin said.
He called Prince Vladimir "a warrior who went through cruel fights and trials and who became a creator, enlightener, and founder," under whose guidance churches, monasteries, cities, schools, and libraries were built.
The ceremony took place near a monument to Prince Vladimir. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia spoke before Putin to greet him on his name day and wish him "to rejoice not only in prayer and communication with your loved ones but also seeing the fruits of your labors."