What makes someone a real Russian?(135)
Anna, art student, Moscow
I think that real Russians are something of a senior generation: patriots who really love their country. The younger ones, when they see what happens in our state and how other countries live, come to the conclusion that our country isn’t very good.
Pause
Evgeny, 24, unemployed, Simferopol
Shoot, I have always thought of Crimea being in Russia. My passport says I'm Russian. So I have always been Russian. My father is Russian, my mother is Russian. I was born in the Soviet Union, so there's no other option. If I were to be born in the 1990s, I would have been born in Ukraine, and then it would have been different. As it is, I'm Russian. My dad is half-Greek and half-Russian and my mom is Russian.
Pause
Anastasia, 22, studies international relations, born in Moscow, living in Tallinn
I think that if someone says that he or she is a real Russian then he or she actually is.
Pause
Kirill, banker, Moscow
A real Russian is someone who lives in Russia.
Pause
Konstantin, 23, human rights activist, Tolyatti
I do not think there are real and non-genuine Russians. People who live in Russia and presumably have Russian citizenship can all be called Russians.
Pause
Vyacheslav, 53, homeless, used to work in construction, Saint Petersburg
Everything is changing now; you don’t even know who a Russian is.
Pause

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.

 

Galina, executive recruiter, Vladivostok
What is a real Russian? The first people who come to mind are writers—Chekhov, for example.
Pause
Tatiana, set designer, Volgograd
A real Russian is someone who loves his or her motherland regardless of where he or she lives.
Pause
Sergei, fisherman, Vladivostok
Everyone understands the notion of a real Russian in his or her own way. In a generally accepted sense of the term, a real Russian is someone who loves his or her motherland and is proud of it.
Pause
Tamara Alexandrovna, retired merchandiser, Volgograd
A real Russian is someone who loves his or her motherland.
Pause
Madina, nurse, Grozny
A real Russian is a person who loves his country, regardless of his nationality. Being a Russian is not based on nationality; he might be an ethnic Russian (Russky), a Kazakh, a Chechen. The main thing is that he respects his people, his republic, his motherland, his land. But the most important thing is, of course, humanism, understanding.
Pause
Emma Vasilievna, geologist, Khabarovsk
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.
Pause
Indira, make up artist, born in Chechnya, living in Sweden
A real Russian is probably someone who wholeheartedly supports his or her country, who does not sell out to the United States.
Pause

What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?

Lin Yutang
Lily, photographer, Moscow
I guess every Russian citizen is a real Russian.
Pause
Rukiya, nurse, Grozny
A real Russian is one who serves his people, feels for his people.
Pause
Dina, 34, event planner, Volgograd
A real Russian is someone who lives in Russia and tries to do something for his or her country instead of whining about how bad life in Russia is. The roads are poor? Well, yes, they are.
Pause
Sergei, 32, from Saint Petersburg, lives in Tallinn
For me, a real Russian is a patriot of his country.
Pause
Anna Ivanovna, 73, retired engineer, Vladivostok
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.
Pause
Evgeniy, 27, forest ranger, Samara
A real Russian is someone who respects Russian traditions and remembers Russian history.
Pause
Natalia, janitor, Birobidzhan
A real Russian is a person who thinks about his future, the future of his children, about prosperity. But our Russians think mostly about their own welfare.
Pause

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.

 

Vlad, hip-hop dancer, Volgograd
In my opinion, a real Russian is a person from the past. Today, I do not see any real Russians.
Pause
Zinaida, cook, Grozny
A real Russian is someone who lives and likes living in Russia.
Pause
Larisa, social worker, Kaliningrad
I think that real Russians are people with an active civic stance who want changes in this country and want them now.
Pause
Maks, 31, entrepreneur, Alushta
That's a tough question. I can't really answer it yet, because I became Russian myself just recently. I am not even sure what they look like. I haven't understood it yet.
Pause
Vera Ivanovna, retired nurse, Kaliningrad
A real Russian is a kind, compassionate person, someone with a big heart. In my family, everyone is like that.
Pause
Roman, executive recruiter, Vladivostok
I guess a real Russian is one who is proud to live in Russia, connects his life and the lives of people close to him with this country, [and] wishes it prosperity and well-being.
Pause
Alexander, 31, sailor, Kaliningrad
In my opinion, a real Russian is someone who loves Russia.
Pause

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.

 

Yulya, 27, art-director at a night club, Sochi
What is a real Russian? This is a difficult question. This is some big, strong man, blond, of course, who looks like Valuev [a former boxing champion]. His moral virtues are patriotism and love for the motherland. And I would place him in Central Russia rather than in our region. I see fields, greatheartedness, kindness.
Pause
Aleksei, 33, construction worker, Pionersk
Someone who was born in Russia is a real Russian.
Pause
Nata, neurosurgeon, Grozny
A real Russian is a person who’s got the same rights as all other Russians.
Pause
Andrei, 32, unemployed, Samara
I think a real Russian is a patriot. A patriot is someone who holds his or her motherland dear.
Pause
Irina, 50, social worker, Simferopol
I think all people are good. Who is a real Russian? We are half-Ukrainian, half-Russian. We love Russians and Ukrainians. I don't know, I was born in the Soviet Union, and was a Russian then. Afterwards I lived in Ukraine, now I'm back in Russia. But we still love both these people. Both are dear to me.
Pause
Alexei, 33, construction worker, Birobidzhan
I think we have no real, ethnic Russian here. Everyone comes from somewhere: they leave their roots and come here to settle down.
Pause
Tatiana, entrepreneur, Vladivostok
In my opinion, Professor Muldashev, ophthalmologist, director of the Russian Eye and Plastic Surgery Center in Ufa, is a real Russian. He is a one-of-a-kind human being. He operates around the world, performs unique surgeries, does mountain climbing. I consider him a real Russian.
Pause

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
Lera, fashion blogger, Vladivostok
A real Russian is one who is capable of openly admitting his and his country’s vices. You can boast about your patriotism and close your eyes upon what’s really happening for as long as you wish. But you can also sincerely laugh at it, as at your own flaws—and at the same time remain a person who loves himself and his country while openly admitting that some things should still be worked on.
Pause
Andrei, 13, Pionersk
A real Russian is someone who is loyal to his or her motherland.
Pause
Viktor Petrovich, 68, retired, Saint Petersburg
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.
Pause
Nadezhda Grigorievna, retired engineer, Tolyatti
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.
Pause
Maxim, financial advisor, Vladivostok
To me, real Russians are, I think, Landau, Chekhov, Saltykov-Shchedrin. Those are the people who would be ashamed when our tanks come to a foreign land. Russian culture is unique in the sense that we might not only be happy (like most normal people) when our tanks come to a foreign land, but might also be ashamed of it. Russian language, Russian culture, some common mannerisms—all of these form a concept of a “Russian.” I can’t call myself a Russian (Russky). I’m Jewish, but I’m definitely a Russian because I’m a product of this culture. That is why, for me, real Russians are those intellectuals who are well known all over the world, and of whom Russia can be proud.
Pause
Ramazan, 26, chef, Yalta
A real Russian is someone who probably was born in Russia and lives his whole life there.
Pause
Grigory, aid worker, Saint Petersburg
To me, real Russians are citizens of Saint Petersburg, for instance—with such delicate intelligence, a couldn’t-care-less attitude, light consumption. And the second type of “real Russian” is like an idealized figure from somewhere farther away than the Urals—tough guys who don't talk a lot but who’ve got a gun under the floor, and they’ll get it all right if anything goes wrong. I think the symbiosis of these two is what makes us all keep going.
Pause

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.

 

Alexander, 29, unemployed, homeless, Saint Petersburg
Real Russians are ethnic Russians.
Pause
Maria, 35, marketing manager, Yalta
It's a difficult questions, because since we had this referendum and Crimea became part of Russia I have decided to view myself as a Crimean. I'm now considering myself a Crimean because I don't want to think about all of these ethnic questions. There's so much different blood in everyone who lives on the territory of the Former Soviet Union. For example, my mom is half-Armenian, my dad – half-Russian and half-Ukrainian. There are so many different nationalities here and asking a question “who are you?” is not so simple. I think I'm a Crimean, and that's my self-identification.
Pause
Ksenia, 33, restaurant manager, from Saint Petersburg, lives in Kiev
A real Russian is a person who lives in Russia, loves his country, and wants things to be decent and nice there.
Pause
Marta, photo retoucher, Saint Petersburg
I haven’t got a concept of a “real Russian.”
Pause
Alexander, 18, architecture student, Samara
I do not know what a real Russian is.
Pause
Malika, 46, janitor, Grozny
A real Russian is one who will never leave Russia, by no means. I think of myself as a real Russian.
Pause
Maxim, furniture magnate, Kaliningrad
A real Russian is one who works hard and does things right.
Pause

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, retired librarian, Volgograd
A real Russian is someone who loves his or her motherland.
Pause
Alexander, entrepreneur, Moscow
A real Russian is someone who has Russian citizenship — who else?
Pause
Bakhotyr, 64, unemployed, Sochi
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.
Pause
Nikita, 12, Kaliningrad
A real Russian is a proud person who loves and respects his or her country.
Pause
Igor, 49, unemployed, Simferopol
Foremost, a real Russian is someone who loves the city he lives in and also supports his government, cherishes historical values. By that I mean he cherishes our victory, our veterans. This is for the most part. But also, this person helps those around him. That's why I agreed to social work. I wanted to help people. Then of course, those who work earn money, no matter how little or much.
Pause
Shamil, 19, studies interior design in China, Grozny
Firstly, a real Russian is one who can stand up for his country at any moment. Secondly, it’s one who doesn’t despise whole nations, but understands that there is a black sheep in every flock. There are no bad nations—there are bad people. For instance, I can’t openly say that I’m a Chechen here.
Pause
Andrei, sailor, Vladivostok
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.
Pause

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.

Ivan, entrepreneur, DJ, Saint Petersburg
This question makes me think really hard, because I haven't ever conceptualized this idea.
Pause
Nadezhda, flower vendor, Tolyatti
A real Russian is someone big, strong, bold, real. I’m a Russian myself, and I think that Russia is cool.
Pause
Lyudmila Andreevna, 58, street cleaner, Birobidzhan
I think of a real Russian as an ethnic Russian. Even if he’s Armenian. For instance, my father is Ukrainian, my mother is Polish, and I’m Russian, because I was born here.
Pause
Olga, retired foreign trade expert, Pionersk
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.
Pause
Alexander, 50, mayor, Tyumen region
A real Russian is one who loves the place where he was born, where his parents live, and where his children will live; he is one who tries to put his mind and forces into making this place better. A Russian, like an American in America, must work for his country. That is, he doesn’t necessarily have to be Russian by nationality. I’m an ethnic German; my ancestors came to Russia 250 years ago, invited by Ekaterina II. And we’ve always worked for the good of Russia.
Pause
Sergei, 35, activist, Saint Petersburg
I think a real Russian is someone who thinks about the future of his fatherland, at least sometimes.
Pause
Mikhail, homeless, Saint Petersburg
I’ve never actually thought about what a real Russian is. I guess it’s someone who adores Russia, tries to make things better for it.
Pause

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

 

Viktor Alexandrovich, cobbler, Kaliningrad
I am the real Russian.
Pause
Sergei, retired engineer and taxi-driver, Kaliningrad
Firstly, a real Russian should be a patriot. Secondly—a doer, a creator.
Pause
Roman, medical equipment supply, Saint Petersburg
What is a real Russian? I do not even know. I think this must be someone who knows the national anthem, a bit of history, and also the Russian language.
Pause
Natalia, singer, Vladivostok
I love Russia very much, but I haven’t got very nice feelings about the [typical] Russian. He’s very aggressive, angry, and envious. I believe that there are lots of genuinely talented, strong people, beautiful in every sense of the word. But why is there so much aggressiveness and anger? I face it rather often. I mean, a real Russian is sort of a very angry, self-contained, and closed person. Russians are afraid of their own thoughts, afraid to be open, to talk about some private things. And this leads to all other problems.
Pause
Dmitry, theater directing student, Volgograd
A real Russian is, above all, a patriot, of course, but at the same time, he or she can be a citizen of the world, like Solzhenitsyn.
Pause
Olga Mikhailovna, retired high school teacher, Jewish Autonomous Region
I think that a real Russian is an ordinary person, a hard worker who brings value to his motherland and doesn’t sin.
Pause
Vladimir Alexandrovich, engineer, Volgograd
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.
Pause

Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.

Guy de Maupassant. My Uncle Sosthenes
Kostya, 15, Tolyatti
Russians are normal, kind people.
Pause
Aziz, 21, fast food worker, Kaliningrad
I do not know what a real Russian is. This is a difficult question. I think the most important thing is that he or she does not act like a Nazi. A real Russian understands that migrants only come here to work—not to kill people. This is what a real Russian is.
Pause
Dmitry, 44, dental technician, Samara
I do not really know what a real Russian is.
Pause
Valerii, taxi driver, Sochi
One who lives in Russia is a real Russian — that’s what I think.
Pause
Nikita, 8, Yalta
A person who voted for Russia.
Pause
Elena, brand manager, Sevastopol
A real Russian is a patriot of his country. He's a person for whom spiritual is more important than tangibles. But foremost, it's important for a Russian to know that those who are close and dear to him, be it his family or friends, are safe and comfortable. He's a person who cares more for others than for himself. More or less like that.
Pause
Maria, painter and art teacher, Moscow
A real Russian is anyone who lives in Russia.
Pause

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.

 

Tatiana, chef, Pionersk
Real Russians are those who live in Russia—and don’t leave it, for instance.
Pause
Farhat, 40, driver, Tyumen
Real Russians are people who live, work, and raise their children in Russia, people who do something for the good of Russia and their families.
Pause
Sergei, bartender, Vladivostok
A real Russian is a patriot, but maybe not in the sense that is usually attached to this word. It is not someone who shows off his or her love for the motherland. A patriot is someone who loves his or her country and does not even consider emigration. I suppose this is the main thing. People whom I can call real Russians are patriots in the sense that I have just described. However, Russians and citizens of the Russian Federation are not the same thing.
Pause
Peter, editor, New York City
A real Russian is a patriot, who loves Russia and serves Russia.
Pause
Aleksandr, 19, law student, Tolyatti
A real Russian is, first of all, an non-aggressive person. A real Russian is, however, not wimpy, which is to say, as he or she is usually portrayed.
Pause
Pyotr, advertising, Moscow
I would like to make a distinction between the terms “Russian” and “Russky.” “Russian” does not mean “Russky.” Russia is a multi-ethnic country, and I consider Russian any person who was born in Russia or just became a Russian citizen. In other words, anyone who considers Russia his or her motherland is a true Russian.
Pause
Olga Pavlovna, pediatrician, Tyumen region
A real Russian is someone who lives and works in Russia and does not whine a lot, so to speak, but meets misfortunes that befall the country with a smile. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I think that someone who bears his or her country’s tribulations bravely and lives on is indeed a true Russian.
Pause

Patriotism is too deep a feeling to depict in the posing for a photograph.

Charles Chaplin
Galina Petrovna, teacher at a village community center, Tyumen region
A real Russian must love Russia and especially the region where he was born and raised, the place that gave him his life.
Pause
Ksenia, 16, Saint Petersburg
A real Russian is a person who cares about his country, supports its ecology, and just loves his country.
Pause
Nadezhda Aleksandrovna, 76, retired, Sochi
What is a real Russian? All those who do something for Russia are real Russians.
Pause
Movsar, neurosurgeon, Grozny
In my opinion, a real Russian is someone who works first and foremost for the sake of his or her family. Working for the sake of your family is the same as working for the good of the state. I have always respected hard workers who produce and accomplish something.
Pause
Andrei, 31, hostel manager, Sevastopol
A real Russian probably loves Russia, his motherland and takes care of his country. That's if one is to look at it globally. Life has changed drastically recently, and lots of people are starting to love their country. But it's not enough just to love her, one has to take care of her too. One can start with cleaning his own staircases. The easiest thing to do is to sit at home, watch TV and complain about the government.
Pause
Yulia, trader, Moscow
A real Russian is a farmer.
Pause
Stanislav, 42, entrepreneur, Moscow
For me, a real Russian is my mother.
Pause

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.

 

Zarima, works in the Akhmad-Hadji Kadyrov museum, Grozny
A real Russian is our Ramzan Kadyrov. And our Akhmad-Hadji Kadyrov was also a real Russian.
Pause
Ismail, 61, construction worker, Bakhchysarai
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.
Pause
Yuliya, 19, attends beauty school, Tolyatti
A real Russian is someone who was born and lives in Russia.
Pause
Ksenia, 26, waitress, Alushta
I don't know who a real Russian is. Maybe a patriot, a person who lives in Russia, drinks vodka, bears and gypsies, eats dumplings. Maybe a worker, who loves his job, or not.
Pause
Asya, 16, Saint Petersburg
A real Russian is a person who was born in Russia, who basically respects this country, respects its rules, traditions, its history, and other Russian citizens.
Pause
Valentina, graduate student, Saint Petersburg
Who is a real Russian? It’s a complex question, considering what’s happening. I think that it is a patriot, a person who loves his country, is tolerant in in every meaning of the word, ready to do practically anything for his motherland. He should possess some moral qualities, of course, and shouldn’t lose them. And he should possess a so-called “Russian idea,” which has been very popular lately.
Pause
Aleksei, 37, delivery driver, Kaliningrad
A real Russian is a non-corrupted person, not dependent on anyone. One who’s not pulled by strings, who doesn’t obey anyone, but has his own opinion and does his job. Everything is done by collusion in our country today; everyone is being pressed upon.
Pause

What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?

Lin Yutang
Akim, 38, butcher, Bakhchysarai
A person who lives in Russia is probably a real Russian. A person born there. A person's motherland is where he was born, and so is for Russians. And now we have become Russian too.
Pause
Anastasia, theater student, Volgograd
A real Russian is someone who really loves his or her motherland, its nature, its landmarks, and who tries his or her hardest to help our country move forward. In my opinion, this is the most important thing, because today’s Russia is not, so to speak, looked on favorably by other countries. Our country is really wonderful—it is immense and beautiful. However, many foreigners do not see it that way, and this is a shame. In American cartoons, Russians are always portrayed with a bottle of vodka, wearing a Russian hat, and accompanied by a bear who dances to a harmonica. Such stereotyped images are often used.
Pause
Ilya, software engineer, Vladivostok
I suppose a real Russian is someone who considers Russia his or her motherland, someone who likes living here. I think someone who lives in a different country cannot be considered Russian. A person can be an ethnic Russian and live in a different country, but in order to be Russian, he or she has to live in Russia.
Pause
Aleksandr, audio salesman, Tyumen
A real Russian is a common man. In my personal opinion, he is a collective farm worker, who is Russia’s backbone. He might be a drinker, but he is authentic; the rest is just a shell.
Pause
Yury, 12, Volgograd
Not sure, maybe the Russian national soccer team, something like that.
Pause
Galina Nikolaevna, 83, retired, Samara
A real Russian is Putin. I voted and will vote for Putin if he’s a candidate again.
Pause
Natalia, art director, Tyumen region
A real Russian is someone who was born and grew up in Russia, regardless of his or her nationality.
Pause

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.

 

Aishat, studies in a community college and works at a travel agency, Grozny
Who is a real Russian? It’s a complicated question. I’m a real Russian, and every citizen should be a real Russian.
Pause
Nikolai, construction worker, Tyumen Region
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.
Pause
Aleksandr, 23, barista, Moscow
I think a real Russian is a person who recognizes his motherland and identifies himself as a Russian.
Pause
Alina, event planner, Moscow
My image of a real Russian is of a man who drinks vodka, works at a factory, and talks to a TV-set.
Pause
Khristina, 30, financial analyst, originally from Saratov, lives in Kiev
A real Russian is someone who was born in Russia and does not want to leave, someone who likes living in Russia.
Pause
Sergei, 49, unemployed, Kaliningrad
A real Russian is a person who cares not only about his personal problems, but also about the problems of his fellow neighbors. If someone appeals for your help and you don’t turn him down, but do help him, then you might be called a real Russian, I guess.
Pause
Sultan, security guard, Grozny
A real Russian is a Russian patriot, a person who was born in Russia, lives here, and loves it no matter what. To be a Russian, it’s not necessary to be born in Russia or Saint Petersburg—you could be born on any farm.
Pause

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.

 

Dunya, philosophy and theology lecturer, Moscow
I do not like the word “Russian.” This is a new word that came into common use under Yeltsin. I do not really understand it, but I think it means a citizen of the Russian Federation.
Pause
Khan, 29, migrant worker, Tyumen region
A real Russian is someone who was born in Russia.
Pause
Anatoly Yevgenievich, doctor, Saint Petersburg
A real Russian is a person who lives on Russia’s territory, admits it, possesses a kind attitude toward the country and its people, and wishes the best for his country, of course. That’s who can be called a real Russian.
Pause
Anastasiya, clown and ex-specialist in fraud detection, Volgograd
I know many people whom I could call real Russians. For example, I have friends who are true military officers—not desk-bound ones. Teachers, doctors who are not planning to leave the country, are also real Russians.
Pause
Anna, interior designer, Saint Petersburg
I don’t understand the meaning of the term “a real Russian.” Maybe it’s a person who tries to live here somehow, to find a way here, who’s got a family here.
Pause
Dmitry, retired, Kaliningrad
A real Russian is one who lives in Russia.
Pause
Sergei, 53, TV repairman, Kaliningrad
Well, who is a Russian? I’m half Tatar, but I’m still a Russian. There is a big difference between being an ethnic Russian and a Russian citizen. Russians are also Chechens, Ingushes—everybody.
Pause

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
Igor, coach, Tyumen Region
A real Russian is someone who lives here in Siberia.
Pause
Nikita, 49, actor, Moscow
A real Russian is [someone like] me, I think.
Pause
Evgenii, entrepreneur, Tyumen
I think that Stolypin, prime minister under Tsar Nicholas II, was a true Russian. He used to say: “You, gentlemen, are in need of great upheaval; we are in need of Great Russia.” He was a great man! A pity he died so untimely [a death]: if not for his death, all the convulsions that the country suffered afterward could have probably been avoided.
Pause
Konstantin Iosifovich, 86, retired, Tyumen region
A real Russian is someone who was born in Russia, whose family lives here, and who does not intend to leave.
Pause
Siyavush, 24, taxi driver, Tolyatti
It is hard for me to say what a real Russian is. But I do not think that a real Russian is someone who, globally speaking, fights for his or her motherland or, for example, insults foreigners.
Pause
Vera, 33, manager, Samara
A real Russian as a “type” is a fair-haired, blue-eyed, self-confident young man, developing and looking forward into the future.
Pause
Alexander, 39, geography teacher and botanist, Khabarovsk
A real Russian is someone who lives in Russia and has Russian citizenship.
Pause

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.

 

Oksana, 33, lawyer, Samara
A real Russian is an ordinary citizen with a clear civil position, regardless of his nationality, race, and religion.
Pause
Frida, retired, Tyumen region
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.
Pause
Grigory, 21, construction worker, Samara
A real Russian is one who was born here, who gave up everything for Russia.
Pause
Anton, 18, student, Tolyatti
What is a real Russian? I do not even know.
Pause
Aleksandr, 43, unemployed, Samara
Real Russians are those people who live in Russia.
Pause
Amir, 18, student, Kaliningrad
A real Russian is, I suppose, a patriot of his country. If he’s got a choice about whether to go abroad for work—to America, for instance—or stay in Russia, to work for its recovery, then he chooses his motherland.
Pause
Kirill, 14, Kaliningrad
I think a real Russian is a patriot, perhaps.
Pause

I, of course, despise my Fatherland from head to toe, but it vexes me when a foreigner shares this feeling of mine.

Alexander Pushkin
Natalia, 38, entrepreneur, Sevastopol
I rarely meet real Russians in my life. Honestly, I don't know who they are. I have very little connections to Russia. Unless one counts the Black Sea fleet, Soviet Union, I actually have no connection at all to Russia. I don't have Russian friends, I don't have relatives in Russia, I have never been to Russia. When I was very little I've been to Moscow and St Petersburg, it was still Soviet Union, and I don't remember those trips. In my world there's no Russia. What I can tell about Russians is what I see on TV, in the movies, or read on Facebook.
Pause
Elena, fish monger, Samara
A real Russian is anyone who lives in Russia. We are not nationalists.
Pause
Aleksei, artist, born in Moscow, currently in New York
A real Russian is someone who never wants to leave Russia.
Pause