Personifications of Russia

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"Mother Russia" redirects here. For other uses, see Mother Russia (disambiguation).

Since medieval times personifications of Russia are traditionally feminine, and most commonly are maternal.[1]

Most common terms for national personification of Russia are:

  • Mother Russia (Russian: Россия-Матушка, transliterated as Rossiya-Matushka, also, Мать-Россия, Матушка Русь, Матушка Россия).
  • Mother Motherland (Russian: Родина-мать).

Notice that in Russian language, the concept of motherland is rendered by two terms: "родина", literally, "place of birth" and "отчизна", literally "fatherland".

Harald Haarmann and Orlando Figes see the goddess Mokosh a source of the "Mother Russia" concept.[2][3]


A cover of Sentry (ru) magazine, approx. 1932, depicting Russia as a woman in a traditional costume liberated by a warrior in medieval armor, trampling the Bolshevik flag.

During The October Revolution and The Civil War, the image was in the propaganda of the supporters of the White movement, interpreting the struggle against the Bolsheviks as a battle with "aliens" as "oppressors of Mother Russia".[citation needed]


During the Soviet times many statues of Mother Motherland had been constructed, most to commemorate the Great Patriotic War. These included:

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Ellen Rutten, Unattainable Bride Russia: Gendering Nation, State, and Intelligentsia in Russian Intellectual Culture, 2010, ISBN 0810126567. The book discusses personifications of Russia as a bride in 20th century Russian literature and art.