Russia

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When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.' When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy. ~ Abraham Lincoln
I find it tragic how badly misgoverned Russia has been for so long, literally back to Ivan the Terrible. Russia has so much human capital. If only it was governed properly, it could be a serious emerging market player like China. But instead it's one megalomaniac czar after another. Whether they be imperial, Soviet, or Putin, wrecking the economy for their own vanity and nationalist unwillingness to accommodate the west. ~ Robert E. Kelly
You know what impresses me more about Russia than its T-80 tanks and MiG-31 fighters? The writing of Tolstoy, Pushkin, and Dostoyevsky. The music of Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky. The scientific achievements of Lomonosov and the engineering genius of Tsiolkovsky. What these brilliant Russians achieved will still be spoken of long after. ~ Jeffrey Evan Brooks
A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. ~ Winston Churchill
In a Russian tragedy, everybody dies. In a Russian comedy, everybody dies, too. But they die happy. ~ Barry Farber
The Autocrat of all the Russias will resign his crown, and proclaim his subjects free republicans sooner than will our American masters voluntarily give up their slaves. ~ Abraham Lincoln
We have now seen the weakness of Russia's democratic institutions, the ease with which a Russian leader can stoke nationalist hysteria. ~ Stephen Sestanovich
You know, I never planned to leave. I was not extremely patriotic about Mother Russia. You know, I played their game, pretending, of course. ~ Mikhail Baryshnikov
From the southern seas to the polar lands. Spread are our forests and fields. You are unique in the world, one of a kind. This native land protected by God! ~ National anthem of the Russian Federation
If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Look at Russia. They keep trying help each other out, extend a hand to a neighbor, and guess what? Every ten years, some one is invading, burning down their homes and taking their toilet paper. ~ Pastor Richards
Racism is a serious problem in the Russian game. ~ Sarah Rainsford

Russia, also known as the Russian Federation, is a country extending over much of northern Eurasia. A former member of the Soviet Union before its collapse in 1991, Russia is a semi-presidential republic comprising 83 federal subjects and shares land borders with the following countries (counterclockwise from northwest to southeast): Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (via Kaliningrad Oblast), Poland (via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It also borders the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Caspian Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Black Sea. Russia also has maritime borders with the United States of America via Alaska and Japan.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZSee also

Quotes[edit]

A[edit]

  • I did more for the Russian serf in giving him land as well as personal liberty, than America did for the negro slave set free by the proclamation of President Lincoln. I am at a loss to understand how you Americans could have been so blind as to leave the negro slave without tools to work out his salvation. In giving him personal liberty, you have him an obligation to perform to the state which he must be unable to fulfill. Without property of any kind he cannot educate himself and his children. I believe the time must come when many will question the manner of American emancipation of the negro slaves in 1863. The vote, in the hands of an ignorant man, without either property or self respect, will be used to the damage of the people at large; for the rich man, without honor or any kind of patriotism, will purchase it, and with it swamp the rights of a free people.
    • Alexander II, emperor of Russia, conversation with Wharton Barker, Pavlovski Palace (17 August 1879); reported in Barker, "The Secret of Russia's Friendship", The Independent (March 24, 1904), p. 647.
  • Russian Communism is the illegitimate child of Karl Marx and Catherine the Great.

B[edit]

  • You know, I never planned to leave. I was not extremely patriotic about Mother Russia. You know, I played their game, pretending, of course. You have to deal with, you know, party people, KGB... Horrifying.
  • The crisis in the Ukraine has dominated the headlines of late, which is not surprising as it is the most serious confrontation between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War. President Vladimir Putin seems determined to make the world see that Russia is again a major world power and a nation to be reckoned with. He's like the loudest guy in the bar, thumping his chest to make sure that everyone else knows just how tough he is. This was on display today as the Russian military held its annual parade in Moscow to celebrate Victory Day, the commemoration of Russia's victory over Nazi Germany. Tanks, artillery pieces, rocket launchers, and even ballistic missiles rolled through Red Square, thousands of soldiers marched in perfect order, and fighter jets screamed overhead in an impressive display. For those who watched, it must have been hard not to be impressed. Yet what did the parade really demonstrate about Russia that was all that impressive? They have a lot of tanks and soldiers, but who cares? Does the true greatness of a nation lie in the amount of military firepower it might be able to bring to bear? I don't think so at all, and the fact that any of us think so should be a source of disquiet. You know what impresses me more about Russia than its T-80 tanks and MiG-31 fighters? The writing of Tolstoy, Pushkin, and Dostoyevsky. The music of Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky. The scientific achievements of Lomonosov and the engineering genius of Tsiolkovsky. What these brilliant Russians achieved will still be spoken of long after the name of Vladimir Putin has been forgotten. Russia is a great nation, but we don't need Vladimir Putin to tell us that. Rather than push the world towards conflict and show off the war-potential of his country, he would have saved everyone a lot of trouble if he had simply organized a tour of the Hermitage Museum.

C[edit]

  • I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.
    • Winston Churchill, BBC radio address “The Russian Enigma” (October 1, 1939) (partial text); in Robert Rhodes James, ed., Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963 vol. 6 (1974), p. 6161.
  • Judged by every standard which history has applied to Governments, the Soviet Government of Russia is one of the worst tyrannies that has ever existed in the world. It accords no political rights. It rules by terror. It punishes political opinions. It suppresses free speech. It tolerates no newspapers but its own. It persecutes Christianity with a zeal and a cunning never equalled since the times of the Roman Emperors. It is engaged at this moment in trampling down the peoples of Georgia and executing their leaders by hundreds.
    • Winston Churchill, speech to the Scottish Unionist Association, Edinburgh, Scotland (September 25, 1924); ; in Robert Rhodes James, ed., Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963 vol. 4 (1974), p. 3472.
  • Across the world academics still clung to the words and ideas of Marx and Engles and even Lenin. Fools. There were even those who said that Communism had been tried in the wrong country; that Russia had been too far backward to make those wonderful ideas work.
  • Slavery as an institution still exists today, although it's practice is mostly restricted to Islamic cultures. It also has taken many forms throughout history. In czarist Russia for example, serfs were regarded as being 'part of the land'. If a parcel of land or an estate changed hands between owners, the serfs who lived-upon and worked that land went with it. They were not legally allowed to leave and go elsewhere, and rarely permitted to seek other occupations. Regardless of the details of how slavery was legally managed from one culture to the next, the defining principle was always the same. As a slave, your labor belongs to someone else, and can be compelled. This recalls the very definition of liberty. Does your labor belong to you, or does someone else have the 'right' to either take the product of that labor, or compel you to perform it? There may be varying degrees of this claim to your labor, but the crucial point is this, if it is the right of someone else to decide how much of your labor they own, they effectively own all of it. How much of your labor they avail themselves of is entirely up to them.

D[edit]

  • Russia was a slave in Europe but would be a master in Asia.
    • Fyodor Dostoevsky, reported in Dominic Livien (April 1999). "Dilemmas of Empire 1850-1918: Power, Territory, Identity". Journal of Contemporary History 34 (2): p. 180.

E[edit]

  • It would appear that the natural frontier of Russia runs from Dantzic or perhaps Stettin to Trieste.
    • Friedrich Engels, "The Real Issue in Turkey", Karl Marx and Engels, Collected Works, vol. 12, p. 16 (1979). This article was originally published in The New York Daily Tribune, April 12, 1853, p. 4, and since that paper's European correspondent was at that time Karl Marx, it has generally been assumed the author was Marx. Collected Works, vol. 12, p. 639, note 17, makes it clear that Engels was the author.

F[edit]

  • In a Russian tragedy, everybody dies. In a Russian comedy, everybody dies, too. But they die happy.
    • Barry Farber, radio talk-show host in New York City, during a program on radio station WMCA; reported in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).

G[edit]

  • After nearly fifteen years of systematic destruction of public space, engineered by Putin, the normal ways by which regular people absorb information about the state of their country are gone. Only a person who had lost his livelihood or half his savings would have been able to report that the economy was failing.
  • Russian activists and journalists who get enough death threats and take them sufficiently seriously to hire bodyguards are also usually careful about what they ingest. Soon after the chess champion Garry Kasparov quit the sport to go into politics full time, in 2004, he hired a team of eight bodyguards, who not only accompanied him everywhere but also carried drinking water and food for Kasparov to eat at meals shared in public. Three years ago, Kasparov told me that what he liked most about foreign travel was being able to shed his bodyguards for a while. A year after that, threats drove him to leave Russia permanently.
  • Attacks by poisoning are possibly even more common in Russia than assassinations by gunfire. Most famously, Alexander Litvinenko, a secret-police whistle-blower, was killed by polonium in London, in 2006. Last week, British newspapers reported that a Russian businessman who dropped dead while jogging in a London suburb in 2012 had been killed by a rare plant poison. He had been a key witness in a money-laundering case that had originally been exposed by the Moscow accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who was tortured to death, in 2009, in a Russian jail.
  • People who work at two Moscow restaurants have warned me, separately, about the precise locations of listening devices at the eateries. The warnings came unbidden. The food at both places was, incidentally, not only very good but also apparently safe. That, along with the springtime sun, helps maintain the bizarre sense of normalcy that has a way of going hand in hand with the mortal danger that has become a fact of everyday life.

H[edit]

  • Authoritarian state capitalism, seen today in China and Russia. While both countries have introduced elements of a market economy, private companies there operate side-by-side and at a significant disadvantage to state owned entities favored by government regulators. This mixed economy is not paralleled on the political side. What is emerging is an increasingly authoritarian political system with decreasing space for civil society, free media, and dissent. This model is attractive to authoritarian leaders around the world who see it as way to maintain power while still growing their economies.
  • We are also seeing a diffusion of power and competition at the nation state level. This competition comes not just from Russia and China, but also from emerging countries like Brazil, India, Indonesia, and the other ASEAN states. These states are also beginning to organize themselves into structures outside of and somewhat in competition.

K[edit]

  • I think Russian people are learning that democracy is not an alien thing; it's not a western invention. It's probably the most affordable mechanism to solve problems inside the country, inside the society because Putin proved to all of us that democracy has a world of alternatives, security forces and police and power abuse and that's why I think eventually the people of Russia will embrace democracy as the least costly institution to help them to solve their daily problems.
    • Garry Kasparov, statement in interview: Monica Attard (April 3, 2005). "Gary Kasparov", Sunday Profile, Australian Broadcasting Company.
  • I find it tragic how badly misgoverned Russia has been for so long, literally back to Ivan the Terrible. Russia has so much human capital. If only it was governed properly, it could be a serious emerging market player like China. But instead it's one megalomaniac czar after another. Whether they be imperial, Soviet, or Putin, wrecking the economy for their own vanity and nationalist unwillingness to accommodate the west.
  • My letter to Castro concluded an episode of world history in which, bringing the world to the brink of atomic war, we won a Socialist Cuba. It's very consoling for me personally to know that our side acted correctly and that we did a great revolutionary deed by not letting American imperialism intimidate us. The Caribbean crisis was a triumph of Soviet foreign policy and a personal triumph in my own career as a statesman and as a member of the collective leadership. We achieved, I would say, a spectacular success without having to fire a single shot!

L[edit]

  • If I see that the Russians are amassing their planes for an attack, I'm going to knock the shit out of them before they take off the ground.
    • Curtis LeMay, conversation with presidential commissioner Robert Sprague (September 1957), quoted in Kaplan, F. (1991). The Wizards of Armageddon. Stanford University Press. Page 134.
  • Complete equality of rights for all nations; the right of nations to self-determination; the unity of the workers of all nations—such is the national program that Marxism, the experience of the whole world, and the experience of Russia, teach the workers.
    • Vladimir Lenin, "The Right of Nations to Self-Determination", reported in Vladimir Lenin; Doug Lorimer (2002). Marxism & Nationalism. Resistance Books, p. 125. ISBN 1876646136.
  • The Autocrat of all the Russias will resign his crown, and proclaim his subjects free republicans sooner than will our American masters voluntarily give up their slaves.
  • As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except negroes.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.' When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.

N[edit]

  • From the southern seas to the polar lands. Spread are our forests and fields. You are unique in the world, one of a kind. This native land protected by God!

O[edit]

  • Moscow has changed. I was here in 1982, during the Brezhnev twilight, and things are better now. For instance, they've got litter. In 1982 there was nothing to litter with.

P[edit]

  • They're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.
    • Sarah Palin, to Charles Gibson, ABC News, September 11, 2008.
      • This was parodied as "I can see Russia from my house", on "Saturday Night Live", a comedy television show, two days later, by Tina Fey. Fey resembled Palin in appearance, and was portraying Palin, and so the latter quote is often misattributed to Palin.
  • Russia has made its choice in favor of democracy. Fourteen years ago, independently, without any pressure from outside, it made that decision in the interests of itself and interests of its people -- of its citizens. This is our final choice, and we have no way back. There can be no return to what we used to have before. And the guarantee for this is the choice of the Russian people, themselves. No, guarantees from outside cannot be provided. This is impossible. It would be impossible for Russia today. Any kind of turn towards totalitarianism for Russia would be impossible, due to the condition of the Russian society.

R[edit]

  • Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demands for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966).
  • Try to tell a Russian housewife, who trudges miles on foot in sub-zero weather in order to spend hours standing in line at a state store dispensing food rations, that America is defiled by shopping centers, expressways and family cars.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (1971).
  • Rule of law is not consistent with state-sponsored brutality. When the Russian government attacks civilians in Chechnya, killing innocents without discrimination or accountability, neglecting orphans and refugees, it can no longer expect aid from international lending institutions. Moscow needs to operate with civilized self-restraint.
  • Look at Russia. They keep trying help each other out, extend a hand to a neighbor, and guess what? Every ten years, some one is invading, burning down their homes and taking their toilet paper. Napoleon, Stalin, Attila the Hun, all of them. After you read my book you will understand. I may have been born in the see, but I'm no dummy!
  • In my former constituency there is stud "Khrenovskoy" and that stud is older than all of the United States, older than America. Naturally, that's why we have archaic views.

S[edit]

  • In Russia we only had two T.V. channels. Channel One was propaganda. Channel Two consisted of a KGB officer telling you: Turn back at once to Channel One.
    • Yakov Smirnoff, reported in Bob Fenster (2005). Laugh Off: The Comedy Showdown Between Real Life And The Pros. Andrews McMeel Publishing, p. 101. ISBN 0740754688.
  • Russian society as a whole does not care if its leading scholars and scientists have a way to publish their research and discoveries and that nobody has the power to prevent abuses and torture by the police.
  • Russians have been more united during these last 18 difficult months than during the whole of the post-Soviet period. As they say, the person who holds the flag determines what is written on it.

T[edit]

  • A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally, both in mind and body, as irresistibly attractive to men and women. An Englishman is self-assured, as being a citizen of the best-organized state in the world, and therefore as an Englishman always knows what he should do and knows that all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct. An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people. A Russian is self-assured just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that anything can be known. The German's self-assurance is worst of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth--science--which he himself has invented but which is for him the absolute truth.
    • Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, (1865-1869). Book 9, Chapter 10.
  • Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain — at least in a poor country like Russia — and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires. In America it takes an automobile to produce this effect.
    • Leon Trotsky, The History of the Russian Revolution (1930). See edition: Leon Trotsky; Max Eastman (1957). The History of the Russian Revolution. University of Michigan Press, p. 213.
  • I got very well acquainted with Joe Stalin, and I like old Joe! He is a decent fellow. But Joe is a prisoner of the Politburo.
    • Harry S. Truman, informal remarks, Eugene, Oregon (June 11, 1948); Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1948, p. 329. Truman refers to his meeting with Stalin at the Potsdam conference in July 1945.

Y[edit]

  • We don't appreciate what we have until it's gone. Freedom is like that. It's like air. When you have it, you don't notice it.

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