Is it one and the same thing to love the motherland and to love the government?(140)
Asya, 16, Saint Petersburg
Love of motherland and love of government are different things, of course. Motherland is the place where we were born, where we live, a place that we love and respect; it’s something spiritual. But the government is [made up of] separate people who are busy with politics; I think they are less related to the motherland.
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Konstantin Iosifovich, 86, retired, Tyumen region
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.
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Anna, interior designer, Saint Petersburg
To me, love of your motherland and love of your government are different things. Motherland to me is, I think, more the society with which I communicate, and the government exists somehow separately.
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Natalia, singer, Vladivostok
Love of motherland and love of government are different things. A state is state borders, sovereignty, government, the president, some social norms. But each person has got his own understanding of what a motherland is. Some think that motherland is your land, some think it’s the people who populate this land, memories connected with them. For me, the motherland is the periods of my life, people who surrounded me, places. This feeling has got nothing to do with the government.
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Alexander, 29, unemployed, homeless, Saint Petersburg
Love of motherland and love of government are different things. It seems to me that government is never even related to love.
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Aleksandr, 43, unemployed, Samara
In my opinion, love of motherland and of a government are not the same thing. It works out better to love your motherland than to love your state.
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I, of course, despise my Fatherland from head to toe, but it vexes me when a foreigner shares this feeling of mine.

Alexander Pushkin
Lyudmila Andreevna, 58, street cleaner, Birobidzhan
Love of motherland is different from love of government. Motherland is motherland; one could really give his soul for it, his life. But what is a government? I was fighting my government for rent invoices, for example.
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Oksana, 33, lawyer, Samara
A state is an institution of power and governance. The motherland is birch trees.
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Nadezhda Aleksandrovna, 76, retired, Sochi
Love of the motherland and of the government are, of course, the same thing.
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Galina Nikolaevna, 83, retired, Samara
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.
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Akim, 38, butcher, Bakhchysarai
What can I say, motherland is motherland. As for the government, as long as it's understanding, it's okay. When the government pays attention to everyone equally, it's a good government. When the government starts to treat different people differently, then what sort of love can it expect? Everyone should be equal, law applies to everyone with no exceptions. All of us abide by the law, no matter where we live, be it Uzbekistan, Ukraine or Russia. It can't be that Crimean Tatars have one set of laws, Russians have their own, and Ukrainians – their own too.
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Igor, 49, unemployed, Simferopol
A government can change any day. You can't point at one person and love him because he might get re-elected the next day, and your love will vanish. As for motherland, it's different. Look at what's happening in the country now. I was never into politics, but I think President Putin is doing everything to the most of his ability. I can only tell from the news on TV, since I'm not a politician. He's trying his best to improve the country's economy.
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Alexander, 50, mayor, Tyumen region
Love of motherland and of government are different things. People who work in the government have been elected, appointed. In thirty or forty years it might be revealed that they didn’t always do things correctly. Motherland is the economy and people and a way of life. One should work for his motherland.
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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.

 

Yury Evgenievich, 76, retired, Tolyatti
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.
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Olga, retired foreign trade expert, Pionersk
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.
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Lily, photographer, Moscow
Love of motherland and of government are, of course, not the same thing. There is only one motherland, and many emotional, geographical, and some deep feelings and thoughts are connected with it. But a government is those people whom we elect for a period of time; it might change, and it might and should be treated critically, and one ought to try to improve it in one way or another.
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Konstantin, 23, human rights activist, Tolyatti
My motherland is Abkhazia; this is why I cannot answer this question from the perspective of someone who was born in Russia. I cannot say that I am particularly fond of my motherland. Nor can I say that I love the state, because I am not comfortable with this state. But in any case, I think that love for the motherland and for the government are different things.
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Ksenia, 26, waitress, Alushta
I think, no. Motherland is where you are born, where you spend your childhood. As for the government – why would you love it? It changes day to day.
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Natalia, janitor, Birobidzhan
Today, no one likes our leader. But motherland isn’t synonymous with the government, of course. A motherland is a motherland, you were born here, your roots are here, your relatives. But a government is an absolutely different thing, in my opinion.
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Valentina, graduate student, Saint Petersburg
Love of motherland and love of government are different things. A government is just an institution of public power.
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What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?

Lin Yutang
Nata, neurosurgeon, Grozny
Love of your motherland and of your government is the same thing because people who elect a president, they really elect a man whom they want to see. This is also patriotism.
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Olga Pavlovna, pediatrician, Tyumen region
I think that love of the motherland and of the government are different things. Governments come and go, whereas the motherland remains the same. There were czars, communists, now democrats, but there is only one motherland.
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Pyotr, advertising, Moscow
Love for the motherland and for the government are of course absolutely different things. I love Russia very much, and I wish everything were all right in our country, but I am afraid I do not really care for our current government.
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Anatoly Yevgenievich, doctor, Saint Petersburg
Love of motherland and love of government are different things. Governors can vary. One might agree with a governor, respect him, support him in many ways, but one can also feel neutral toward him.
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Marta, photo retoucher, Saint Petersburg
Love of motherland is not the same as love of government. Motherland is the place where you were born; you might have some pleasant memories about it, associations, beloved people, but a government doesn’t always match our expectations and desires.
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Anastasia, 18, student, Tolyatti
Your motherland is the place where you were born; the state is the place where you live, the government. Motherland is something more spiritual.
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Farhat, 40, driver, Tyumen
I think that love for the motherland and love for the state are different things. The motherland is the motherland, you love it unconditionally. As for the government, some people love it, [and] others do not.
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In other countries, you either agree with the government and dig the ditch, or you disagree and don’t dig the ditch. In Russia it's different: you disagree with the authorities but you still dig the ditch—not because you are told to do so, but out of spite.

 

Ramazan, 26, chef, Yalta
No, these are different, absolutely different. One can't choose his motherland. Motherland is where you are born. And you love her not because of her actions, but just because she is. As for the government, that's just your relationship with the current regime. Governments change whilst motherland remains. Motherland is a person's soul.
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Vladimir Alexandrovich, engineer, Volgograd
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.
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Evgenii, entrepreneur, Tyumen
Love for the motherland and for the government are two absolutely different things. Governments and regimes change, but there is only one motherland.
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Anastasiya, clown and ex-specialist in fraud detection, Volgograd
Love for the motherland and love for the government are of course different things. The motherland is the motherland, whereas the government merely consists of people—today one set of people is in power, tomorrow another.
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Madina, nurse, Grozny
I think that love of a motherland and of a government are not the same thing. Motherland is not a government, not the laws run by the government. Motherland is a motherland. The government has got its own laws. Governments demand, but a motherland doesn’t demand anything but love.
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Alexander, 18, architecture student, Samara
Love for the motherland and love for the state are different things. The state is one thing; the motherland is a completely different one.
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Larisa, social worker, Kaliningrad
Love for the motherland and for the state are two different things. Governments change, whereas the motherland, just like a mother, remains the same.
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Patriotism is too deep a feeling to depict in the posing for a photograph.

Charles Chaplin
Grigory, aid worker, Saint Petersburg
Of course love of motherland and love of government are different things. There are times when one should forgive his government, like during the Great Patriotic War. Or like during the putsch, when those who stood up announced a state of martial law. They were trying to improve the situation in some way, and maybe they thought that it would be better if the Soviet Union remained. But there are also times when one shouldn’t forgive such things—like now, for instance.
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Viktor Petrovich, 68, retired, Saint Petersburg
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.
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Galina Petrovna, teacher at a village community center, Tyumen region
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.
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Yulia, trader, Moscow
In my opinion, love of the motherland and of the government are not the same thing. Love of the motherland is a stronger feeling than love of any group of people. Love of the motherland is love of the land, of people around you. The government, on the other hand, is some distant, hypothetical community of people that one does not really identify with a broader concept of a country.
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Elena, brand manager, Sevastopol
Of course not. Governments can be very different, and motherland is just one and will remain one and only one. These are absolutely different things.
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Igor, coach, Tyumen Region
Love of the motherland and of the government are two different things. My motherland is here, but the government is far away.
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Nikita, 8, Yalta
I think not, but I'm not sure.
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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.

Anastasia, theater student, Volgograd
Love of the motherland and of the government are two absolutely different things. I do not remember who said that “I love my country, but I hate the state.” I agree with this statement. Governments change, but the country remains the same.
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Vera Ivanovna, retired nurse, Kaliningrad
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.
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Maxim, financial advisor, Vladivostok
Love of your motherland and love of your government are contradicting things. In Russia, state and motherland have always been like yin and yang. This was clear during all of the Russian revolutions.
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Movsar, neurosurgeon, Grozny
Love for the motherland and for the government are two absolutely different things.
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Shamil, 19, studies interior design in China, Grozny
Love of a motherland and love of a government are not the same thing. Love of a motherland is one thing. And frankly speaking, I don’t even know if there can be love of a government.
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Aziz, 21, fast food worker, Kaliningrad
Love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing.
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Dmitry, retired, Kaliningrad
Love of motherland and love of government is not the same thing. Governments change, but the motherland stays.
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Let migrants work if Russians cannot do it. Nowadays, Russia does not produce anything. People have no jobs. They don't know how to take care of their land. People do not even know how to milk a cow.

 

Ilya, software engineer, Vladivostok
Love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing. As a matter of fact, I do not understand what love for the government is. I do understand what love for the motherland is, but not for the government.
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Nikita, 49, actor, Moscow
There can’t be any “love” of government. It is some other kind of feeling. But we also mustn’t divide these concepts: there are birch trees [a symbol of Russian culture] and [the Russian poet] Esenin, and there is Putin. These are all different sides of the same thing.
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Aleksei, 33, construction worker, Pionersk
Love of motherland and love of government are different things. People disrespect the government now, just as it disrespects people.
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Maxim, furniture magnate, Kaliningrad
I’ve reached the age already when words like “love of your motherland” are nothing but words. You can’t love your motherland with words, and you can’t say that you love your motherland. You should just act in such a way that betters your motherland, not walk around shouting, “I make good things!” but just fulfill your everyday duties at a high professional level. If you are making your business professional, then your motherland will prosper.
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Andrei, 31, hostel manager, Sevastopol
A government can change all the time, while how can the motherland? But honestly, Sevastopol has become my second motherland.
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Kirill, 14, Kaliningrad
Love for the motherland and for the state are two different things. To love one’s motherland means to love its forests, its landscapes. Love for the government is love for the president, for the authorities, for the way the system works.
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Frida, retired, Tyumen region
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.
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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.

 

Dmitry, theater directing student, Volgograd
Love of the motherland and of the government are two absolutely different things. The government is supposed to serve the people. One of the lyrics by the Lumen rock band are, “I love my country so much, but I hate the state!” I cannot say that I hate the state, because I understand that sometimes the government has to resort to drastic measures with regard to the people. There is, however, nothing to love the government for.
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Ksenia, 16, Saint Petersburg
Love of motherland and love of government are definitely different things. A man might love his motherland dearly but at the same time be against his government and absolutely dislike it.
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Indira, make up artist, born in Chechnya, living in Sweden
Love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing.
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Stanislav, 42, entrepreneur, Moscow
Throughout my childhood, I was impressed upon to love the government and the Communist Party. There is love of motherland, love of labor, but one mustn’t love government.
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Maks, 31, entrepreneur, Alushta
No, absolutely no. Government is one thing, and motherland is completely different.
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Ismail, 61, construction worker, Bakhchysarai
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.
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Elena, fish monger, Samara
I do not know if love for the motherland and love for the government are different things or not. I have nothing to say in this regard.
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I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. I don't want just any greatness for it, particularly a greatness born of blood and falsehood.

Albert Camus. Resistance, Rebellion, and Death
Kostya, 15, Tolyatti
The motherland can never be sold. As for the government and police, I don’t like them. A law was recently passed prohibiting smoking in public places—but cops themselves still smoke [in public].
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Bakhotyr, 64, unemployed, Sochi
The motherland is the mother. There is only one mother, and there is only one motherland. Governments, on the other hand, come and go.
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Sultan, security guard, Grozny
Love of motherland and of government is not the same thing, of course. I think that regardless of who is the governor and who’s in his cabinet, you must love your motherland. It is your duty. Love of motherland stays forever, whoever is in power.
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Ksenia, 33, restaurant manager, from Saint Petersburg, lives in Kiev
Love of a government is quite a scary phrase. I haven’t got it in me. I have got love for my motherland, by I don’t feel any love for a government—never did and never will.
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Grigory, 21, construction worker, Samara
Love of motherland and love of government are different things. Motherland is one thing, and government is another. I really don’t like our government: Putin, anyone.
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Aleksei, artist, born in Moscow, currently in New York
Love of the motherland and of the state are two different things. Love of the government is love of certain people or their specific actions. As for me, I cannot love such things. Love of the motherland is a more appropriate feeling; this is the affection that you have for your village or your neighborhood or, for example, Russian literature.
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Tatiana, set designer, Volgograd
Love of the motherland and of the government are not the same thing. I love my motherland, but I do not care for our current government.
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Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.

Guy de Maupassant. My Uncle Sosthenes
Sergei, 35, activist, Saint Petersburg
Love of your motherland is not the same thing as love of your government. Moreover, I would say that our current government can by no means be thought of as a legitimate one, nor as equal to the concept of a “state,” because what we’ve got now is the usurpation of power. That is, the current leaders who usurp the power have nothing to do with a state, a government, or a parliament, or anything that stems from the definition of the term “state.”
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Vyacheslav, 53, homeless, used to work in construction, Saint Petersburg
It is possible to love your motherland. But there shouldn’t be any love for your government. It is changeable, a position program—nothing else.
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Maria, 35, marketing manager, Yalta
I don't know, I doubt anyone can love the government. I have seen that only in Singapore. What they have achieved there – ended corruption and other things, and all within a short amount of time. They have created one of the most progressive countries in the world from a country in which everyone was just smoking opium . That's when it's possible to love a government that has achieved all of that. I don't feel love neither toward politicians nor the government. And motherland is a very different matter. I love Crimea very much, and I'm proud to be a Crimean. I realize how lucky I am to be living here – near the sea, near the mountains. That's really great.
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Roman, executive recruiter, Vladivostok
I think that love of your motherland and love of your government are fundamentally different things. Love of your motherland has nothing to do with your attitude towards government.
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Aleksei, 37, delivery driver, Kaliningrad
Love toward motherland and government is not the same thing. Motherland is the place where you were born. But government changes: it is here today, but tomorrow it isn’t.
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Roman, medical equipment supply, Saint Petersburg
I am not interested in politics at all. I am not interested at all in what politicians do, because they live their own life that is different from Russia’s life. I couldn’t care less about who the leaders are.
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Sergei, 49, unemployed, Kaliningrad
I guess love of your motherland is the same thing as love of your government. As it’s been said, any authority comes from God. This means that if you love your motherland, your land, then you must at least respect your government.
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We were supposed to spend a month in Vietnam, but after the first two weeks we longed for those Russian birch trees and for the language. We found Russian TV channels and watched them, although I never watch those at home. I felt so warm at heart, and I realized that it would probably be hard to emigrate.

 

Khan, 29, migrant worker, Tyumen region
Love for the motherland and for the government are two different things. I love my motherland more.
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Said, street cleaner, Saint Petersburg
Love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing. The motherland is the motherland.
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Irina, 50, social worker, Simferopol
I think, no. I don't really have any love for the government, while of course I love the motherland. I love my motherland, where I was born, where I live, I love both Ukraine and Russia, I even love America. I think only governments have problems with one another, whereas people are good and help one another. I attend a baptist church, for example, and we are very friendly with American baptists, they help us. I think people would live much better without our rulers.
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Dina, 34, event planner, Volgograd
Love for the motherland and love for the government are entirely unrelated. You can love your country without loving its government. You can love the city you live in without loving the people who rule it.
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Vera, 33, manager, Samara
Love of motherland and love of government are different things. A state is an institution. I’m not obliged to love an institution that might not reflect my personal goals and aims in life.
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Alexander, 39, geography teacher and botanist, Khabarovsk
Love for the motherland and for the government are different things. They are two different things.
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Yulya, 27, art-director at a night club, Sochi
Love for the motherland and for the government are two different things. The government is politics, the economy. The motherland is the motherland that is the place toward which you gravitate, where you feel good and comfortable, where the things you love are. You go outside, you take a deep breath, and you feel great.
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Patriotic acts are done during wars, especially against some foreign invaders. There can be no patriotic acts during civil war, because any civil war, any war within one country, is fratricide. Even a heroic act is a sin and a crime.

 

Aishat, studies in a community college and works at a travel agency, Grozny
I guess love of motherland and of government are the same thing.
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Andrei, 13, Pionersk
Love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing. A government can rule by dishonest means.
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Igor, sculptor, Saint Petersburg
Love of motherland and love of government are, of course, different things. Motherland is the place where I’m from, the place everything draws back to, the place where you want to go. But what is love of government? Love of a tsar?
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Nadezhda Grigorievna, retired engineer, Tolyatti
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.
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Evgeny, 24, unemployed, Simferopol
Honestly I'm not very serious about it. If I like a politician I support him, but if I don't like a politician I will say that's he's no good.
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Vlad, hip-hop dancer, Volgograd
Love for the motherland and love for the state are definitely different things. Unfortunately, the government and the motherland are not always the same thing. I believe that it should ideally be like this, but in our country this is not the case.
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Lera, fashion blogger, Vladivostok
Love of your motherland and love of your government are absolutely different things. Very often we try to explain some of our flaws and problems by saying that it was the government that did something wrong, that a fish rots from the head down. But it’s not like that. If we began to pick up our litter in the streets, if we had astronomical fees for littering, like in Singapore, our life would become a lot better.
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I, of course, despise my Fatherland from head to toe, but it vexes me when a foreigner shares this feeling of mine.

Alexander Pushkin
Leonid, 34, industrial alpinist, Saint Petersburg
Love of motherland and love of government are cardinally opposite things, as a rule. The current, somewhat lapsing powers and love of motherland are things that have nothing in common.
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Khristina, 30, financial analyst, originally from Saratov, lives in Kiev
In my opinion, love for the motherland and love for the state are different things. I love my motherland because it gives me energy. For example, when I come to my hometown, where I have not been for five years, it gives me an energy boost, gives me new ideas, a new, fresh impulse. The state, on the other hand, is a certain structure by the means of which we all function. That is to say that the motherland and the state are two absolutely different things.
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Sergei, 53, TV repairman, Kaliningrad
Love of motherland and love of government are, of course, different things.
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Lyudmila, retired librarian, Volgograd
Love for the motherland and for the government are different things. There is only one motherland, whereas governments change all the time.
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Olga Mikhailovna, retired high school teacher, Jewish Autonomous Region
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.
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Tatiana, chef, Pionersk
Love of motherland and love of government are different things.
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Sergei, 32, from Saint Petersburg, lives in Tallinn
To love your motherland and to love your government is not the same thing. A government might be very different.
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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.

 

Alexei, 33, construction worker, Birobidzhan
Love of motherland and of government are absolutely different things. Government is [made up of] the bosses who sit there up high. What do they do for Russia? Nothing. Or maybe just a few individuals do something. But Russia is one big country; we live here, raise our children here.
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Nadezhda, flower vendor, Tolyatti
I think that love of motherland and of government are different things. You shouldn’t love government, but you should at least respect it and listen to it. And the government should listen to its people.
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Sergei, retired engineer and taxi-driver, Kaliningrad
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.
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Tamara Alexandrovna, retired merchandiser, Volgograd
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.
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Yury, 12, Volgograd
Love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing. Love for the motherland can be different, since for the government, it is all about the laws by which our country lives.
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Anastasia, 22, studies international relations, born in Moscow, living in Tallinn
Love of the motherland and of the state are, of course, different things. The motherland consists of things that one can really love, such as nature, the country’s greatness, a rich history, the Russian language and culture. But when you see the bloody government destroying everything you love, how can you care for such a government?
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Ivan, entrepreneur, DJ, Saint Petersburg
Love of motherland and love of government are cardinally different things. Love of motherland is love of a place, of a mentality, of your own environment. Government and motherland are different things.
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What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?

Lin Yutang
Zarima, works in the Akhmad-Hadji Kadyrov museum, Grozny
I am not interested in politics, but I think that love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing. Love for the motherland is a special feeling: you feel closer to your motherland, that is, to your native land, than to any other country.
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Valentina, retired construction worker, Tolyatti
Not everyone loves his or her motherland.
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Natalia, art director, Tyumen region
Love of the motherland and of the government are two absolutely different things. You can care or not care for the government, but you have to love your motherland. You cannot belong anywhere like you do in your motherland. The government, on the other hand, is only a government; it lives in one reality, whereas the people live in a different one.
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Aleksandr, 23, barista, Moscow
No, of course not. Love of motherland and of government is not the same thing. The motherland is large, from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad, and the government is here [in Moscow], within a radius of 100 kilometers.
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Anna, art student, Moscow
I think that love of your motherland and love of your government are not the same things. Motherland is the place where you were born, it’s not the government.
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Nikita, 12, Kaliningrad
Love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing. The motherland is the country, and the government consists of people who are supposed to improve this country.
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Viktor Alexandrovich, cobbler, Kaliningrad
Love of motherland is, of course, not the same thing as love of government.
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In other countries, you either agree with the government and dig the ditch, or you disagree and don’t dig the ditch. In Russia it's different: you disagree with the authorities but you still dig the ditch—not because you are told to do so, but out of spite.

 

Nikolai, construction worker, Tyumen Region
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.
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Aleksei, aid worker, former soccer player, Saint Petersburg
Love of motherland and love of government are different things. Firstly, I haven’t got any love for our government at all, because all the laws that they’ve passed during the last twenty-something years—starting with sports and ending with healthcare (which is what I do now)—it’s all been done kind of crappy. Besides, there’s corruption again. I’m now monitoring who buys what and at what price. I used to sell metal furniture to state museums. So I bribed and gave “kickbacks”; otherwise I wouldn’t have sold anything. So motherland and government are really different things. Motherland is a motherland; it can’t be measured in money or anything else. But in our government the only things that matter are money and connections.
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Tatiana, entrepreneur, Vladivostok
I am a citizen of the world, and I do not understand what the motherland is. We are all in the same boat, and today’s globalization prevents me from seeing Russia as an isolated country. In other words, I am as much concerned about Burmese women whose children can be taken away by the regime as I am about women in some remote Russian village who are unable to defend themselves against men who choose to use their own kitchens as a boxing ring.
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Alexander, 31, sailor, Kaliningrad
I think that love for the motherland and love for the government amount to the same thing.
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Natalia, 38, entrepreneur, Sevastopol
Absolutely not. These are absolutely different concepts. Ukraine is my motherland, one third of my life was spent there. All of my life, my family – everything is Ukrainian. But the politics in Kyiv now, the parliament, the president – that's a totally different concept. People are separate from the government.
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Rukiya, nurse, Grozny
Love of your motherland and love of your government are almost the same thing. Those who are in the government, they also work for their motherland.
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Peter, editor, New York City
I think, these are different. When politics and patriotism mix, patriotism disappears and motherland disappears. I believe patriotism is not about person vs person, nor one system vs another system. Patriotism is for something, not against something. I think, it's one of these words which has been misused the most in our civilization, not only in Russia but in many countries, including the US.
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Patriotism is too deep a feeling to depict in the posing for a photograph.

Charles Chaplin
Dmitry, 44, dental technician, Samara
Love for the motherland and for the government are, of course, one and the same. The motherland and the state are inseparable, so to speak.
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Alexander, entrepreneur, Moscow
Love of the motherland and of the government are not the same thing. One can love his or her motherland. The government, on the other hand, is just a certain group of people who are supposed to serve the country. They are in the service of the state. Why should I care for them? I can respect them, but love is a different thing.
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Anna Ivanovna, 73, retired engineer, Vladivostok
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.
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Mikhail, homeless, Saint Petersburg
I wouldn’t say that love of motherland and of government are the same thing. Governments might change, but there is only one motherland.
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Andrei, sailor, Vladivostok
Love for the motherland and love for the state are definitely two different things.
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Andrei, 32, unemployed, Samara
Love for the motherland and love for the state are most probably different things. A state is a society, whereas the motherland is the motherland.
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Amir, 18, student, Kaliningrad
I don’t think that loving your motherland is the same thing as loving your government. Many people love their motherland but dislike its government. These are totally different things.
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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.

Malika, 46, janitor, Grozny
Love of motherland and of a state is not the same thing. But I really respect our government and have a positive attitude toward our president. If it weren’t for the help of President Putin and our Ramzan [Kadyrov, President of Chechnya], everything would still be in ruins.
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Emma Vasilievna, geologist, Khabarovsk
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.
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Zinaida, cook, Grozny
Love for the motherland and for the government are two different things. Governments change all the time, whereas love for the motherland remains the same.
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Galina, executive recruiter, Vladivostok
Of course, love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing. Governments change, the motherland does not.
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Alina, event planner, Moscow
Love of motherland is not the same thing as love of government. I think that love of a government is a somewhat social thing, a matter of whether you are pleased with the taxes you pay, with the politics of your state, both foreign and domestic. But love of motherland, to me, is I think love of birch-trees, daisies, spaces, and forests, and of the scent of the freshly cut grass.
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Sergei, fisherman, Vladivostok
Love for the motherland and for the state are of course two different things.
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Kirill, banker, Moscow
Love of the motherland and of the government are two different things.
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Let migrants work if Russians cannot do it. Nowadays, Russia does not produce anything. People have no jobs. They don't know how to take care of their land. People do not even know how to milk a cow.

 

Siyavush, 24, taxi driver, Tolyatti
Love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing. I hate the state.
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Sergei Alekseyevich, 78, heating engineer, Samara
The motherland and the state amount to the same thing.
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Anton, 18, student, Tolyatti
Love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing. The motherland is a country, its natural resources and so on, whereas the state is a government.
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Yuliya, 19, attends beauty school, Tolyatti
Love for the motherland and for the government are not the same thing.
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Aleksandr, audio salesman, Tyumen
Love for the motherland and for the government are two absolutely different things. On the other hand, these concepts sometimes become intertwined.
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Evgeniy, 27, forest ranger, Samara
Love for the motherland and for the government are two different things. The state is a political notion and has little to do with such feelings as love.
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Dunya, philosophy and theology lecturer, Moscow
Love for the motherland and for the state are of course not the same thing. In my opinion, the state and Russia are different things. A wise man once said that the state is a machine to suppress individuality. The state has nothing to do with my country, especially in the context of modern Russia. I hate our state that suppresses individuality and all that is good in general. But I do not equate the state with Russia.
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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.

 

Maria, painter and art teacher, Moscow
Love for the motherland and for the government are two very different things. In my opinion, love for the motherland includes the knowledge and the understanding of one’s country and all its aspects. Russia actually has many aspects—not only national ones. Governments, on the other hand, change. In Russia, the government is always a sort of artificial superstructure.
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