While the notion of new Russian patriotism is being profoundly propagated to general public, Russia’s high-ranking officials are hardly adhering to the ideals, which they are trying to promote to the masses.
Yelena Mizulina, a member of the Russian Parliament and the supporter of the Anti-Magnitsky bill (a law that prevents United States citizens from adopting Russian children) evidently has no second thoughts about allowing her own offspring to reside in Europe. Her son, and even her grandchildren are residing in Belgium (Source: echo.msk.ru). A question arises – if Ms. Mizulina believes that Russian children will have a better future if they stay home, is it not applicable to her family as well?
“Three daughters of the United Russia member and a Vice Chair in Russian Duma Sergei Zheleznyak are studying abroad, while their father won’t tire of talking about patriotism” Alexei Navalny, Russian political and financial activist states (Source: rb.ru). Ekaterina Zheleznyak is attending an “elite” school in Switzerland (tuition fee for grades 6 to 12 comprises 2.4 million RU, or about 800000 US), while vice-chair’s other daughter Anastasia is studying in London. At the same time Mr. Zheleznyak has stated that he believes that a government official must not have economic ties to states other than Russia, since then he becomes dependant on the expectations of leaders of other countries rather than interests of Russian citizens. A discrepancy between words and actions is evident.
There are many more examples where Russian officials talk of patriotism and unity of the Russian people, while their children and other relatives reside abroad. Sons of the president of the state-run Russian Railways company Vladimir Yakunin both live in Western Europe, Andrey in London and Viktor is in Switzerland (Source: grani.ru). The trend is evident even among the highest echelons of Russian leaders. Illya, the son of the Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev has a permanent residence in England. Both daughters of the President Valdimir Putin grew up in Germany (Source: echo.msk.ru). According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf his daughter Maria currently resides in a penthouse in the city of Voorschoten (Netherlands) with her boyfriend Jorrit Faassen, the local businessman (Source: telegraaf.nl).
A general message streaming from modern Russian media sources is that a true patriot must stay in their country and work towards its welfare, rather than travel abroad in search of greater prospects. While it is a noble sentiment, it is devalued by the fact that those who preach it, do not abide by it.