Russia is blessed to not have only the finest tattoo artists in the world but also the fiercest patriots who aren't afraid to pledge their allegiance to their country.
They mark their skins with tattooed tributes declaring their utmost respect and salute to their countrymen who gave their all to Mother Russia. While many of us can take cues from the Russians' devotion to their country, we can also learn from the way they value quality in their tattoos. Russia Beyond the Headlines proudly displayed the stunning works of art dedicated to their motherland and the men who wear them.
"I consider myself a patriot"
Alexander, 30, St. Petersburg
‘I consider myself a patriot,’ said Alexander as he showed off his large back piece which consists of Yuri Gagarin (the Russian astronaut who was the first man to have made a trip into outer space), Soviet vehicles, and the cat from Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita. You can't simply miss the bear with a vodka, either.
Anton, 28, Moscow
Anton, a 28-year-old barman proudly displayed his large “Moscow” tattoo. He was born in Moscow and is evidently proud of it.
Alexander, 47, Moscow
Alexander pledges allegiance to Vladimir Putin and hails mother Russia with USSR landmarks, symbolic chess pieces, and religious quotes. He proudly lists Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin as his idol.
Ivan, 18, Moscow
Despite his age, Ivan is in tune with his roots by inking his skin the image of the iconic ‘The Motherland Calls’ statue which commemorates the Battle of Stalingrad. His grandfather was born in Volgograd, the place where the statue was erected, and fought in the same war. To him, it's an honor to carry the symbolic tattoo with him.
Alexei, 30, Moscow
Alexei is a regular government worker who happens to have an insane trash style leg sleeve littered with pictures of Josef Stalin, the Spasskaya Tower, planes, soldiers, and vehicles. Like Ivan, this is the 30-year-old's tribute to his country and to a grandfather who served in the war.
Andrei, 27, Samara
A 27-year-old designer aptly chose a bear for his tattoo which greatly symbolized Russia. Being married to a fellow artistically inclined individual, Andrei let his wife design the dotwork bear tattoo for him, capturing Russia's splendor.
Eduard, 28, St. Petersburg
With a proud sleeve captioned with ‘1945’ depicting the war, police worker Eduard plans to tell the story of his country to his children and grandchildren through his tattoos painted with the colors of Russia's history.
Andrei, 33, Samara
Andrei had a large trash polka piece on his back done as tribute to all the people in his family who were in the military. He understands and has a strong sense of respect for his country.
"I got this tattoo because I love the land where I was born"
Mikhail, 32, Kazan
Finally, a tattoo artist named Mikhail screams ‘Glory to Russia’ with a simple script tattoo decorated with dotwork stitch designs and argued that, ‘As for me patriotism is a fake idea, aimed at dividing the various peoples of the world. I got this tattoo because I love the land where I was born.’
Read the rest of their stories here. All photos were taken by Ulyana Turchanina, with words by Ksenia Isaeva.