Quotes: Russia

A politician is being given a tour of Hell. At one point he finds a giant, furiously boiling kettle with dozens of demons around it, tridents poking into the liquid. 'What's that?,' he asks.
His guard replies, 'That's where we keep the Jews. Every time one of them manages to get out, they all try to follow him, so we have to be very careful.'
They move on, and soon come to a larger kettle, but this one has far fewer demons. The guest asks why.
'Oh, that's where we keep the Poles. When one of them gets out, the others just ignore him. So we don't need to keep as much security.'
They move on again, and soon come to a still-larger kettle, but this time there are no demons at all. Before the guest can ask, the demon guide says,
'That's where we keep the Russians. Every time one tries to get out, the others grab him and pull him back in!'
—Typical Russian Humor

The Soviets put the gun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag. Since the end of the Cold War, the Kalashnikov has become the Russian people's greatest export. After that comes vodka, caviar, and suicidal novelists. One thing is for sure; no one was lining up to buy their cars.
Yuri Orlov, Lord of War

There is no need to prove that you are virtuous here. This isn't America.

The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.

Communism will probably disappear altogether when the Russian experiment comes to a climax, and Bolshevism either converts itself into a sickly imitation of capitalism or blows itself up with a bang. The former issue seems much more likely.
H. L. Mencken (who was right on the money, no pun intended)

If a Soviet-born Russian person were to come into my office and not complain about anything, I'd have him hospitalized. If he complained about everything, then I would know they are fine...It's our cultural norm. 'How are you?' 'Not so good', is the standard answer for Russians. It's part of what confuses them about the U.S., the statement that seems ridiculous, really: 'How are you?' 'Fine thanks! And how are you?' And honestly, it's difficult for me too, even now, to hear people say this. 'Fine thank you'?! Who's fine?
Dr. Anna Halberstadt

In a speech at Gorbachev's anti-nuclear forum in Moscow, I quoted a Japanese minister of trade who said that Japan would still be number one in the next century. Then, tactlessly he said that the United States will be Japan's farm and Western Europe it's boutique. A Russian got up and said, "What about us??" I said that they were not mentioned but, if they did not get their act together, they would end up as ski instructors. It is my impression that the Russians are eager to become Americans, but thanks to the brainwashing of the National Security States's continuing plan, Americans have a built-in horror of the Evil Empire, which the press and the politicians have kept going to forty years.
Gore Vidal, "The National Security State"

While it is never wise to speak of a culture as if it were inalterable and hereditary, it is not much of a stretch to suggest that, to the extent that Russian political culture can be discussed, it is a ghastly oppressive enterprise. This is, after all, a nation that has spent much of the past millennium stumbling from one oppressive autocracy to the next. The majority of Russia’s population lived, until as recently as 1861, as serfs...given the Russians’ iron-fisted history, they have traditionally expected their leaders to be groznyi, a word that, applied to Czar Ivan IV, was improperly translated as 'terrible' but really means 'awesome.' This, Pipes wrote, explains why a 2003 survey found that 22 percent of Russians supported democracy, while as many as 53 percent actively disliked it. Pipes called this phenomenon, still very much in force today, a flight from freedom, and he explained it had much to do with Russia’s perception of itself as a country under permanent siege. The prominent newspaper Izvestiya, he noted, captured this spirit perfectly when it described Russians as 'living in trenches,' surrounded by enemies.
Liel Leibovitz, "Left For Dead"

In the Russian language, the word for 'vanish' is the same word they use for 'ordinary' and 'boring.' People disappear so often in Russia that its topsoil is 40 percent human teeth. The most common high school mascot in Russia is the Armed Kidnapper.

Russia is a country that only has "laws" in the loosest possible sense, which is why people there drive like absolute fucking maniacs.

Finally, a plea to America's many beautiful women to place themselves into their bikinis and join me on oligarch's yacht in Zelenogradsk. Stop hanging around these limp American men who do nothing but watch The King of Queens. In Russia we kill monarchs, we do not venerate them with syndication on the TBS. Together we will ride horses and I will shoot a dolphin for you to make a coat. Do you like an eagle? I will kill twenty of them for you. Bald eagles.

Sorry, USA, you are just a joke.

Action movies have conditioned us to associate an actor's indifference toward devastating destruction with badassedness...Combine this trend with the Russian people's legendary inability to give a single shit and the result is the poster for Stalingrad, in which a giant plane is set to crash just above the scene and not one of the eight actors is even looking at it... hold on, is that guy playing a piano? Look at his face. He's clearly going 'So Adrien Brody played the piano in the safety of a studio while bombs were falling all the way outside? Wow, that's so badass. No, seriously, tell me more.'

It's hard not to look all all these war games about Russia invading America and not be reminded of fanfiction. America is a fat teenage virgin lying on her front on her bed staring up at her Edward and Bella poster while crossing and uncrossing her ankles and dreamily writing creepy stories about having filthy monkey sex with the quiet, Eastern European boy down the road.