and Minin are Russian heroes from 1612, the end of Polish occupation. Such heroes in fact, that the statue above is in front of St. Basil's. Today was the first Day of People's Unity, marked by swastikas and neo-Nazis. Patriotism and nationalism are part and parcel of Russian life, as Stalin and Putin, amongst others have realised, but this aggressively negative form, with its basis in the far, almost legendary past, echoes the tribalist tendencies of the more southern Slavs, the effects of which we saw as Yugoslavia collapsed. This holiday is even more concerning given the recent rash of anti-Polish sentiment and violence in the Russian capital.