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date: 22 May 2022


see also Communism
  1. Every country has its own constitution; ours is absolutism moderated by assassination.
    Anonymous: Ernst Friedrich Herbert, Count Münster, quoting ‘an intelligent Russian’, in Political Sketches of the State of Europe, 1814–1867 (1868)
  2. [Russian Communism is] the illegitimate child of Karl Marx and Catherine the Great.
    Clement Attlee 1883–1967 British Labour statesman, Prime Minister 1945–51: speech at Aarhus University, 11 April 1956
  3. 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.
    Anton Chekhov 1860–1904 Russian dramatist and short-story writer: The Cherry Orchard (1904) act 2
  4. I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
    Winston Churchill 1874–1965 British Conservative statesman, Prime Minister 1940–5, 1951–5: radio broadcast, 1 October 1939
  5. Petersburg, the most abstract and premeditated city on earth.
    Fedor Dostoevsky 1821–81 Russian novelist: Notes from Underground (1864)
  6. A land that does not like doing things by halves.
    of Russia
    Nikolai Gogol 1809–52 Russian writer: Dead Souls (1842) pt. 1, ch. 11
  7. The idea of restructuring [perestroika]…combines continuity and innovation, the historical experience of Bolshevism and the contemporaneity of socialism.
    Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev 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
  8. Russia has two generals in whom she can confide—Generals Janvier [January] and Février [February].
    Nicholas I 1796–1855 Russian monarch, emperor from 1825: attributed; in Punch 10 March 1855
  9. Moscow: those syllables can start
    A tumult in the Russian heart.
    Alexander Pushkin 1799–1837 Russian poet: Eugene Onegin (1833) ch. 7, st. 36 (tr. B. Deutsch)
  10. Anyone who doesn't regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains.
    Vladimir Putin 1952–  Russian statesman, President of the Russian Federation since 2000: in New York Times 20 February 2000; a similar remark was attributed to General Alexander Lebed in St Petersburg Times (Florida) 28 June 1996
  11. 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.
    F. I. Tyutchev 1803–73 Russian writer: ‘Through reason Russia can't be known’ (1866)
  12. 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.
    Prince Peter Vyazemsky 1792–1878 Russian poet: ‘The Russian God’ (1828)
  13. Today is the last day of an era past.
    at a Berlin ceremony to end the Soviet military presence
    Boris Yeltsin 1931–2007 Russian statesman, President 1991–99: in Guardian 1 September 1994