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Deputies Aim to Switch Russia Day to a New Date

A group of State Duma deputies have proposed changing the date of Russia Day from June 12 to a more "profound" date in national history, a news report said Wednesday.

The bill was initiated by United Russia deputy Yevgeny Fyodorov and a group of lawmakers from the Russian Sovereignty parliamentary club — which he heads — who are preparing amendments to the Labor Code concerning national holidays, Izvestia said.

Russia's state sovereignty was declared on June 12, 1990, but Fyodorov said that "a holiday such as Russia Day should be connected with a much more profound part of Russian history than the events from 20 years ago."

The deputies have not yet decided yet which historical date would be better suited for the holiday. Some want it to be moved to July 28, the day Ancient Rus was Christianized, while others vouched for  Sept. 21, the day the Russian state was founded.

To decide which date deserves to become the new national day, the bill's authors are planning to consult with "scientists and church authorities" and they will also conduct public opinion polls on the issue, Lenta.ru reported.

Education Committee head Vyacheslav Nikonov, has endorsed Fyodorov's initiative, saying that Russia's sovereignty declaration of 1990, which signified the breakup of the Soviet Union, was not a significant event in Russia's modern history.

Russia Day was instituted as a national holiday in 1994 by then-President Boris Yeltsin.

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