Russia's Putin Lays Flowers at Moscow Memorial on Russia Unity Day
Russian President Vladimir Putin laid flowers at a monument in Red Square commemorating Russian heroes, Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, who led an army of volunteers in 1612 to expel Polish factions who wanted to seize the Russian throne, marking National Unity Day. National Unity Day was created by Putin in 2005 to replace a holiday dedicated to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution that had been celebrated on November 7 during Soviet times. Meanwhile, Russia has been working with Turkey to hold the first round of joint patrols in Syria as part of a deal that forced Kurdish forces away from Turkey's border. The Turkish Defense Ministry said an initial patrol covered an area 87 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide and said, "The first joint patrol was completed as planned." The Russian Defense Ministry said the joint patrol included nine military vehicles, protected by an armored personnel carrier. The patrols follow an agreement that Russia and Turkey signed last week, which gave Kurdish forces 150 hours to withdraw from territory along Syria's border with Turkey.