- Every country has its own constitution; ours is absolutism moderated by assassination.
Political Sketches of the State of Europe, 1814–1867 (1868): Ernst Friedrich Herbert, Count Münster, quoting ‘an intelligent Russian’, in
- [Russian Communism is] the illegitimate child of Karl Marx and Catherine the Great. 1883–1967 British Labour statesman, Prime Minister 1945–51: speech at Aarhus University, 11 April 1956
- The Lord God has given us vast forests, immense fields, wide horizons; surely we ought to be giants, living in such a country as this.
The Cherry Orchard (1904) act 2 1860–1904 Russian dramatist and short-story writer:
- I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. 1874–1965 British Conservative statesman, Prime Minister 1940–5, 1951–5: radio broadcast, 1 October 1939
- Petersburg, the most abstract and premeditated city on earth.
Notes from Underground (1864) 1821–81 Russian novelist:
- A land that does not like doing things by halves.
Dead Souls (1842) pt. 1, ch. 11 1809–52 Russian writer:
- The idea of restructuring [perestroika]…combines continuity and innovation, the historical experience of Bolshevism and the contemporaneity of socialism. 1931– Soviet statesman; General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR 1985–91 and President 1988–91: speech on the seventieth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, 2 November 1987
- Russia has two generals in whom she can confide—Generals Janvier [January] and Février [February].
Punch 10 March 1855 1796–1855 Russian monarch, emperor from 1825: attributed; in
- Moscow: those syllables can start
A tumult in the Russian heart.
Eugene Onegin (1833) ch. 7, st. 36 (tr. B. Deutsch) 1799–1837 Russian poet:
- Anyone who doesn't regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains.
New York Times 20 February 2000; a similar remark was attributed to General Alexander Lebed in St Petersburg Times (Florida) 28 June 1996 1952– Russian statesman, President of the Russian Federation since 2000: in
- Through reason Russia can't be known,
No common yardstick can avail you:
She has a nature all her own —
Have faith in her, all else will fail you.
1803–73 Russian writer: ‘Through reason Russia can't be known’ (1866)
- God of frostbite, God of famine,
beggars, cripples by the yard,
farms with no crops to examine—
that's him, that's your Russian God.
1792–1878 Russian poet: ‘The Russian God’ (1828)
- Today is the last day of an era past.
at a Berlin ceremony to end the Soviet military presence
Guardian 1 September 1994 1931–2007 Russian statesman, President 1991–99: in