Putin’s birthday may become Green Men Day

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin knows about the proposal on making October, 7 a Day of Polite People in Russia, but it is up to the parliament to approve the move, news agency TASS reports.

“Possibly, this will be considered, and the parliament’s attitude towards this will be formed,” Peskov said, declining to say how the Kremlin has reacted to the proposal.

A bill on creating a new holiday in Russia was proposed in mid-September by lawmaker Igor Zotov.

The lawmaker says that the idea came after many people sent their requests expressing gratitude to ‘polite people’ – camouflaged servicemen in balaclavas but without any insignia who appeared in Crimea before the March referendum.

“’Polite people’ not only became the guarantors of the Crimean citizens’ free expression of will, but also a new symbol of Russia’s Armed Forces,” Zotov said in an explanatory note.

Zotov reminded that October 7 is the birthday of President Vladimir Putin who is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces.

Speaking at a Q&A session in April, Putin acknowledged that the ‘polite people’ at the Crimean referendum were Russian troops, who “ensured proper conditions for the people of Crimea to be able to freely express their will”.

Media often call Russian militants ‘green men’ or ‘Putin’s tourists’. In September, 2014 NATO’s top military commander Philip Breedlove underscored fears that Russia might follow the same ‘hybrid warfare’ script in Moldova. Latvia echoed him: Raymond Vejonis, the Latvian Ministry of Defense, stressed that in this case ‘any green man would be shot’.


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