60+(23)
Nikolai, construction worker, Tyumen Region

What makes someone a real Russian?

I think that a real Russian is someone who cares for the country where he or she lives regardless of his or her nationality. If he or she is a patriot of this land, I consider this person a genuine human being.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I do not believe I have ever performed any real patriotic deeds. I have worked for my whole life. This is my good deed, my contribution.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

I think that love of the motherland and love of the state are different things. Love of the motherland is love of the motherland, whereas the government consists of people who sometimes make mistakes.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

I think that a patriot can disagree with the government because not everything that the government does can be considered patriotic. The government’s current behavior is unpatriotic. Government officials all claim that the country’s industry is growing, but all I can see is fields overgrown with wild grass and farms that are falling apart.

Have you considered emigration?

I have not thought about leaving Russia, of course. I have never thought about that, and besides, I have never had any opportunities to leave.

What do you think about migrants?

I think migrants come to Russia for the money, that's all.

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Andrei, sailor, Vladivostok

What makes someone a real Russian?

What is a real Russian? What is that supposed to mean? How do you determine who is a real Russian and who is not? We are all real Russians.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I have not really performed any patriotic deeds, but I have never stood aside either.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love for the motherland and love for the state are definitely two different things.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

You can be a patriot and disagree with the government.

Have you considered emigration?

I have never thought about leaving Russia.

What do you think about migrants?

I have a positive attitude toward migrants who really come to our country for work. But if they come for other purposes, we have enough people as it is.

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Tamara Alexandrovna, retired merchandiser, Volgograd

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian is someone who loves his or her motherland.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I have never done any patriotic acts. I think for a man, doing a patriotic act consists of joining the army, completing his military service, and then returning home, finding a job, building a family, loving his family and his motherland.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love of the motherland and of the government are not the same thing. The motherland is home. You can love your motherland, but you cannot love the government.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

You can be a patriot and disagree with the government. One should not agree with the government at all. The government lives its own life that is different from ours.

Have you considered emigration?

I have never thought about leaving Russia myself. But when my son was 18, I wanted him to go abroad to get a degree—and then come back home, of course. I wanted him to have an opportunity to live somewhere else besides Russia so that he would have something to compare his life in Russia with.

What do you think about migrants?

I am comfortable with migrants.

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Yury Evgenievich, 76, retired, Tolyatti

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

The important thing is not to lie.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

I don’t like the state with its “sweet couple.” [implying Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev]. Old people vote for Putin, and I stay to be a dissident.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

I’m a patriot, but I don’t support state powers of any kind.

Have you considered emigration?

I haven’t been abroad. But if I possessed enough money and if I were oppressed like those who were at Bolotnaya Square, I’d leave. We are all people; everyone wants to live.

What do you think about migrants?

I’m not a radical nationalist. I don’t want ethnic cleansing. I’m acquainted with Georgians, Armenians, and Moldovans. But there have been several cases when I risked getting punched in my face [by a migrant], so in some sense, I embrace nationalism.

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Sergei Alekseyevich, 78, heating engineer, Samara

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

If you look at my service record, you will find a lot of commendations and certificates of merit. A patriotic act means working well. Patriots who would protect fortresses with their bodies existed in the Soviet times. I do not see any patriots today.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

The motherland and the state amount to the same thing.

Have you considered emigration?

I have not thought about leaving Russia. I have lived in this city for fifty years.

What do you think about migrants?

I respect all peoples.

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Sergei, retired engineer and taxi-driver, Kaliningrad

What makes someone a real Russian?

Firstly, a real Russian should be a patriot. Secondly—a doer, a creator.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I have, of course, done patriotic acts. I served in the army; I was proud of my country, the Soviet Union, and I’m proud of Russia now, in principle. And if there are military actions, I’ll always stand up for Russia, of course.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love of motherland and love of government are not the same thing, of course. Love of your motherland is, so to speak, genetically given to you. This attitude toward your motherland, it comes to you with your mother’s milk. But the government might of course be criticized. Although, as an adult, I understand quite well that nothing is done at once, and you can’t be good for everybody. But I think, things [for Russia] will turn out well eventually.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

One can definitely be a patriot and disagree with the government. We’ve got many such people. Look at the opposition in Moscow, for instance, at Navalny and others. I don’t think that they are not patriots. They are patriots, but they disagree with the authorities. Government has got its sordid motives, its commercial interests. Like in any country, we’ve got people who come to power and do what they shouldn’t be doing. They promote their own interests, invade markets, gas and oil markets, etc.

Have you considered emigration?

I personally haven’t thought of emigrating. But my kid does. She hasn’t lived abroad yet, just visited. Well, she’ll live on and see. Life will show.

What do you think about migrants?

I feel neutral about migrants. I understand these people. I understand that it’s not a good life that forces them to come here for work. People come to earn money; they need to feed their families. At his home, he receives $200, and he’s got a family of five people. Of course he’d go seek something better, somewhere he could earn more. But it doesn’t mean that he comes here forever: he comes, makes money, and goes. The same thing happens in America and in all other countries. Take Germany: blacks and Turks and others come there and earn money. It’s a normal thing, so to speak.

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I do not know who a real Russian is. This is a difficult question. I think the most important thing is that he isn't a Nazi.

 

Valentina, retired construction worker, Tolyatti

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

To do a patriotic act means to do something for one’s country, to improve something. I might have done something like that, but I cannot remember what anymore.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Not everyone loves his or her motherland.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

Can a patriot disagree with the government? I do not know. Some people agree, others do not.

Have you considered emigration?

I would not want to move to a different country even if I had the means. I would never exchange Russia for any other country. No matter how poorly we Russians live, our motherland is still the best there is. Something is wanting, of course, but I do not know who is to blame for that.

What do you think about migrants?

I do not want to talk about migrants. Too many of them have come to our country.

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Konstantin Iosifovich, 86, retired, Tyumen region

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian is someone who was born in Russia, whose family lives here, and who does not intend to leave.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

My patriotic act was working in the mines.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Why isn’t the government part of the motherland? It is still our government; Russia is still ruled by Russians—not by Americans. It is however, unclear, who Russia’s next rulers will be.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

How can one disagree with the government? How can one love one’s motherland and at the same time disagree with the government? If one disagrees, then he or she should be banished from the country so as to prevent him or her from getting in the way and spoiling everything.

Have you considered emigration?

I have never even thought about leaving Russia. One should live where one was born. Nowadays, everyone straggles off, even my grandchildren. Why the heck are they doing this? Where have they gone to? What do they hope to find there? They have no business going abroad. They should be living in Russia instead of wasting their time in the United States or in London. There is nothing good there.

What do you think about migrants?

Let migrants work if Russians cannot do it. Nowadays, Russia does not produce anything. People have no jobs. Nobody knows how to homestead. People do not even know how to milk a cow.

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Lyudmila, retired librarian, Volgograd

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian is someone who loves his or her motherland.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

Have I ever performed any patriotic deeds? I try to live like this.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love for the motherland and for the government are different things. There is only one motherland, whereas governments change all the time.

Have you considered emigration?

No, I have not thought about leaving Russia.

What do you think about migrants?

If migrants choose to come to Russia, they should accept our traditions and love this land as we do. They should try to make it richer and more beautiful.

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Vladimir Alexandrovich, engineer, Volgograd

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian is someone who respects Russian laws, someone who is ethnic Russian Natives of the Caucasus want independence; they are forming their own expatriate community. I do not consider them Russians.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I have never performed any patriotic deeds because I have never fought in any wars — I was three years old when the Second World War broke out.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love of the motherland and of the government are not the same thing. One cannot have any respect for Russia’s current government—this government is against the people. It does not do anything. Thievery goes unpunished.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

Of course a patriot can disagree with the government. There is actually no other way. A patriot should have his or her own opinion. But in order for that to happen, he or she should get an education, master philosophy, psychology, logic, mathematics. Only then can one form his or her personal opinion about anything.

Have you considered emigration?

I have never thought about leaving Russia. I am a patriot. My aunt lives in Moscow, and when her husband occupied a top position there, I could easily have moved to Moscow myself, but such an idea did not even occur to me. Even if I were offered a job with a big salary, I would not move.

What do you think about migrants?

Why do migrants come to Russia? They come because somebody has an interest in having them here—be it the authorities, businessmen, or the government. Migrants are employed because they represent a low-cost labor force compared to Russians. Migrants work while Russians have no jobs. I am opposed to migrants coming to Russia. Let them live as they choose in their own countries.

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Olga Mikhailovna, retired high school teacher, Jewish Autonomous Region

What makes someone a real Russian?

I think that a real Russian is an ordinary person, a hard worker who brings value to his motherland and doesn’t sin.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I haven’t done anything patriotic. I think that a patriotic act is when people gave their lives during the years of the Great Patriotic War, when they sacrifice their lives during times hard for their country. And meanwhile, we all just work within the limits of our law, of our conscience.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

We are all grown-up people, so we understand that love of your motherland and love of your government are not the same thing. Love of a government is a dubious concept in itself. Does it even exist? In Japan, they say that if the people don’t know who governs the country, then it means that everything is fine in the country and in the life of its people.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

A patriot might disagree with the government, of course.

Have you considered emigration?

I don’t want to emigrate myself, but I think there should be no borders on our planet anymore. We should all travel where we want and communicate with people from all over the world.

What do you think about migrants?

We’ve got migrant workers in our village of Priamursky. Those are ordinary people who’ve got very low incomes and who wish to support their families, so for God’s sake—let them work! As long as they don’t violate the law, as long as they stay tolerant towards others, I feel fine about them. The only question is why we give out our job vacancies to migrants. But I think that if a person, an ordinary Russian, possesses a desire to work, he’ll always find a job and earn some money.

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Anna Ivanovna, 73, retired engineer, Vladivostok

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian is someone who loves Russia or was born here. I think that love for one’s motherland is akin to love for one’s mother. There is after all only one mother, regardless of whether she is good or bad, a drunken hag or just awesome.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I might have done something patriotic in the past. I cannot remember. I am not suffering from megalomania, and I never boast, but I would give the shirt off my back to a good person.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love of the motherland and of the state are, of course, different things. The motherland is the motherland—there has always been and will only ever be one motherland, whereas governments change.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

Of course a patriot can disagree with the government. There was no such thing as bribery before: people just worked and were rewarded according to their work. Times have changed, however.

Have you considered emigration?

I have never thought about leaving Russia. If I had to, I would walk back to my motherland. No other country can compare to the motherland. My city, Chelyabinsk, is like a mother to me.

What do you think about migrants?

I treat migrants on a case-toby-case basis depending on their objective and on what sort of people they are. There are decent people among the migrants. Some people come to Russia to earn some money, while others come to just visit the country.

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Galina Petrovna, teacher at a village community center, Tyumen region

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian must love Russia and especially the region where he was born and raised, the place that gave him his life.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

It’s hard to say whether I have done something patriotic. I think I have, because I was born at a time when there existed pioneer and Komsomol youth organizations, and we were raised to think in terms of patriotism. I thought of myself as a patriot when I studied in high school; I was always participating in something and was even a chairman of a pioneer brigade. People would listen to me [and] follow my example.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

I think that love of motherland and of government are different things. We’ve only got one motherland, and governors change. Just as any one person might be loved or not, so it is with governors.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

I think it is possible to be a patriot and to disagree with the government. I bring up my children by my example, and I must raise them into people who love their motherland, Russia. This is the main thing. But, of course, sometimes I disagree with politicians, and I might disagree with my governors.

Have you considered emigration?

I’ve never thought of moving away from Russia. I was born in Siberia and I never abandoned my region, because I like the village. I’ve never dreamt of cities and other countries. Besides, I’ve never had the opportunity to go anywhere. I’m an ordinary villager; a town has never attracted me, and I’ve never taken any special trips. I’ve only been to Magadan.

What do you think about migrants?

It depends. Before jumping to conclusions I would need to communicate with this person.

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Real Russians are from Saint Petersburg—with such delicate intelligence, a couldn’t-care-less attitude, light consumption. And the second type of real Russian is someone from beyond the Urals—tough silent-type guys who've got a gun under the floorboards, and they’ll sort it all out if necessary.

Bakhotyr, 64, unemployed, Sochi

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian is someone who loves his or her Russia and is willing to protect it, whatever happens. It is someone for whom nothing is dearer than Russia.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I have never done anything patriotic.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

The motherland is the mother. There is only one mother, and there is only one motherland. Governments, on the other hand, come and go.

Have you considered emigration?

Have I ever thought about leaving Russia? God forbid! No matter how good or bad life is, Russia is my motherland. My future is in Russia; there is nothing dearer to me than Russia.

What do you think about migrants?

People are all the same. Who cares where they come from? We all walk under the same moon, regardless of nationality. All people should get along. There is only one God—only faiths are different, and this is it.

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Nadezhda Grigorievna, retired engineer, Tolyatti

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian is an honest, decent, objective person. He is a volunteer who can work just for an idea; although there are not many people like that. I like them; I’m one of them myself.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I have done something patriotic. I was no longer a young woman, but when I saw that a man was being beaten with bottles, I stood up for him and saved him. I’m a patriot in everything: I do my work well; I help people. I can help with growing flowers, with road repair...

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Usually it goes like this: people are patriots, and the government is isolated from people. Not only the government, but any superiors—which is rather bad.

Have you considered emigration?

I’ve never thought about emigration. I’ve traveled across Russia a lot, but have never been abroad. I’m not interested in it.

What do you think about migrants?

I feel neutral toward migrants. There are all sorts of people you have to deal with at your country house. Sometimes I even feel sorry for them—when they build something at my dacha, for instance. But I like foreigners: Germans, Balts. They are much like Russians, but they think differently.

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Vera Ivanovna, retired nurse, Kaliningrad

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian is a kind, compassionate person, someone with a big heart. In my family, everyone is like that.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love of motherland and love of government are different things. State power, government, changes, but the motherland stays. And love of your motherland also stays.

Have you considered emigration?

I like living in Russia.

What do you think about migrants?

To some extent, I feel for migrants, because they live a difficult life here. Maybe they cause some harm, but they also bring a lot use. They work jobs that our people don’t wish to work.

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Viktor Petrovich, 68, retired, Saint Petersburg

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian is one who doesn’t sin, and in his soul believes in and worships God, who wears a cross, but not for a showing off.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I used to help people, and I’m sort of having it come back to me now. Well, what are patriotic acts? You ought to just respect real, true people.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love of motherland and love of government are not the same thing. Motherland is a motherland, but governments change: there were Brezhnevs and Khrushchevs and Gorbachevs, and now there is Putin. But we shouldn’t get into this; it has nothing to do with us. Politics is a dirty business. Motherland remains a motherland: it’s the only one; we were born and grew up here; and we should always remember that.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

It is possible to be a patriot and disagree with the authorities. It is possible, of course, but it’s not likely. But can we do? We live in Russia, but we are not the masters here. The masters are standing behind the wheel of power, but they are not always decent people,

Have you considered emigration?

What is there abroad? Bread doesn’t grown on trees there, either; people work just as hard and suffer just as we do.

What do you think about migrants?

What have migrants left to do when things are so hard in their motherland? They come here to work for pennies. They work here, but, of course, they bring their wives and children with them. They want to stay here, but the matter is complicated: registration, etc. Tadjiks, Uzbeks now work building houses here. They are all good workers and they try to survive. Let’s imagine that we, Russians, come to their countries without knowing the language or the traditions. We believe in Christ; they believe in their Allah. There’s just one God, but that’s not the point. It’s not easy for them, either. Why do they come here? Because they’re in a hopeless situation.

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Galina Nikolaevna, 83, retired, Samara

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian is Putin. I voted and will vote for Putin if he’s a candidate again.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

A patriotic act is to save someone if he’s drowning or in a fire. I don’t know if I’ve done anything like that.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love of motherland is not the same thing as love of government. We’ve got such a state now, Heaven forbid! Neither capitalism, nor communism—I don’t know what we’ve got now.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

I think that more or less intelligent people come to power.

Have you considered emigration?

I’ve never thought of leaving Russia. I’m pleased with everything. But my daughter lives in Slovenia: with the beginning of her pension, she just left for Europe to live.

What do you think about migrants?

I feel bad toward migrants. They are so rude—so rude! Heaven forbid, heaven forbid!

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Emma Vasilievna, geologist, Khabarovsk

What makes someone a real Russian?

I think there is no such notion as a “real Russian.” . . . There are, however, some common traits. First of all, they show a constant complacency but at the same the ability to concentrate at the right moment. I also think that every Russian, even the worst drunkard, has a very strong sense of internal patriotism, a sense of the motherland. First it was the slogan “For the Czar and for Russia!”, then “For the motherland! For Stalin!” and this one is etched in everyone’s soul, including mine. We are now experiencing a patriotic uplift in connection with Crimea: we will not abandon our brothers! The same thing happened during the events in Yugoslavia. If people only could, they would all have volunteered then! On the other hand, I am only talking about ethnic Russians, because I cannot say what patriotism is for Jews or Tatars. But judging by how World War II united people, they too share this feeling—everyone on Earth shares it.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I was little when the war broke out. When I was young, I worked hard for my motherland, I worked with heroism: we would write to the Komsomol Committee, asking them to send us to the most difficult sites [to work]—to the Baikal–Amur Mainline or to the Virgin Lands Program. This probably was my patriotic deed. But in general, people manifest their love for the motherland under some force-majeure circumstances.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love for the motherland and for the state are, of course, different things. I do not equate the motherland with the government. But when the government is already chosen, it should work for the duration of its term.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

It is absolutely natural for a patriot to disagree with the government. However, this will not affect the authorities.

Have you considered emigration?

Neither I nor my children have considered emigration. I do not want to go anywhere—not to China, not to the United States, not to Germany. I do not even want to visit other countries.

What do you think about migrants?

I feel sorry for migrants: their life at home is hard, and so they come to our country, poor, desolate people. If they like it here, let them come and work, let them unite into communities, because this is easier than trying to manage one by one. I do not think this should be a problem. If there are extra jobs, let migrants take them. On the other hand, I am concerned about employers—they should only hire migrants if they have a surplus of jobs. The unemployment rate in our country is low, but it still exists. Russians, however, do not want to accept low-wage jobs: they know their worth.

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Ismail, 61, construction worker, Bakhchysarai

What makes someone a real Russian?

I don't divide nations. We are all guests in this world. One person was born over there, his ancestors lived there and they've got Russia. Our ancestors lived in this land from time immemorial, so it's ours. But I don't divide people into nationalities.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I'm a patriot when it comes to my national traditions. I want everyone to cherish our traditions and ways so that they continue to be. I have done nothing patriotic in a political sense though. But I honor my family and my people, and that's patriotic in my understanding.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Motherland is like air. When a person misses something it's air. When air is gone, a person dies. I believe that motherland is air. As for the government – it's a structure, it changes all the time. But of course, one has to respect the current leader, like one would a family patriarch.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

Yes, it's possible. If the government doesn't look after you, your people, then you can disagree with it. The government – it's like a father of, say, five children, he has to pay attention equally to all of them. If he doesn't then children argue with their father. And so with the government.

Have you considered emigration?

No, I never thought about immigration. I know that when it's difficult, when one needs to study or work somewhere else, it's okay to leave. But why would I want to leave, if I'm left to be, if everything's to my liking. In my opinion, it's okay to travel, to look at other countries. Our nation is so small.

What do you think about migrants?

We always had lots of migrant workers here, before the war – from Ukraine. And many would leave too, to the West, Turkey. When life's difficult, a person tries to improve it, because it's short, everyone wants to live, to have a family, a house, and so much more.

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My image of a real Russian is of a man who drinks vodka, works at a factory, and talks to a TV-set.

 

Olga, retired foreign trade expert, Pionersk

What makes someone a real Russian?

f you’re judging by mentality, then a real Russian is a person who was born and grew up here. Because people who come from somewhere abroad, like Central Asia, still have an absolutely different mentality, and it takes a long time to adapt. A person should strive for it, but most migrants don’t. A newcomer might be a Russian, of course—if he sets a goal to become a Russian as soon as he comes, not just to earn some money or somehow bully to get money and then leave.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

A “patriotic act” is a complicated concept for me, because I can’t say that throwing yourself in front of a gun is a patriotic act. I think that there can be patriotism even when you dislike something in this country, when you are not pleased with something but you understand that times change, and that it happens to be hard now. But you keep on living in this country and try to live in such a way that you don’t make things worse for your motherland but change something for the positive. I mean, you shouldn’t set global goals. If I see that someone misbehaves, litters, does something of this kind, then stopping him could also be a patriotic act, I suppose.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love of motherland and love of government are totally different things, absolutely. Governments come and go. You might be fond of [the government] or dislike it—this is all a temporal thing. But motherland is forever.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

Of course it is possible to be a patriot and disagree with the government—this is absolutely not a rare occurrence. Love of motherland is such an inner state; it doesn’t mean that you should be pleased with everything, but it is your country. If you haven’t got it in you, then you are free to go live anywhere else.

Have you considered emigration?

I haven’t thought of leaving Russia. I think it’s easier to move when you are young, but when I was young, I didn’t have such a desire. Then I got an interesting job, I traveled all over the world, saw a lot, so I think I look a bit differently at this—citizenship and everything. It seemed strange to me also when our experts were moving to other countries, thinking that they would go there and live by Russian or Ukrainian laws. Well, of course, if you are interested in these people, this culture, then it’s great to come and see. But moving... Although I felt very comfortable in India, I wouldn’t like to stay there forever.

What do you think about migrants?

Migrants are mostly people who come here with some mercantile interests, and that’s why they are not trying to become citizens of this country. One should put some effort into this, but they mostly live on their own and think that they can live here by their own laws and rules. But this might be an issue for the whole world now, not only for Russia. Germany suffers from the same problems, and Europe as a whole, and America, too. I mean, migrants lock themselves in, form their own communities, and live like that. It is easier to live like that, in your own community. But when a person comes to a foreign country, he must understand that there are its own laws there, its own culture and traditions, so if he desires to become its citizen, he must follow its laws and not try to set his own.

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Frida, retired, Tyumen region

What makes someone a real Russian?

A real Russian is a person who loves his or her land. But anyone can be Russian, regardless of their skin color or education level. However, it's not necessary to divide people into nations.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I didn't have the chance to perform a patriotic act in my lifetime. When I was young, I think I could have done something patriotic, but I just didn't get a chance.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

I don't think that it's the same. Our government is a small bunch of people, but the motherland doesn't consist of these people only. The motherland is one’s own land, air, trees, cities. I love my village, my house—that's my motherland. But for someone else, his city is the most beautiful and the best, —that's his motherland. And I think that these small pieces of personal motherlands form our common homeland.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

Why not? It is quite reasonable not to agree with the authorities. The authorities can be different, but people are different too.

Have you considered emigration?

I've never thought of emigration. I could have left, but my motherland is Russia. Why should I go somewhere else? My soul would hurt abroad.

What do you think about migrants?

Migrants are just unfortunate people, driven away by a poor life at home. They, too, have their motherland, families and children. But to survive, they need to earn money. For as long as I’ve lived, life has always depended on money for some reason.

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Nadezhda Aleksandrovna, 76, retired, Sochi

What makes someone a real Russian?

What is a real Russian? All those who do something for Russia are real Russians.

Have you done anything Patriotic? What do you think an act of patriotism is?

I have never done anything patriotic.

Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?

Love of the motherland and of the government are, of course, the same thing.

Can a patriot disagree with the government?

There are times when patriots disagree with the government. But everything works out eventually.

Have you considered emigration?

I have never thought about leaving Russia.

What do you think about migrants?

Migrants are ordinary people who want to make a living. They probably cannot find any work in their native countries, and Russia offers them ample job opportunities. Migrants come to Russia because they get well paid here. They are happy. They work for me too. I have no problems with them.

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