In 1993 the Patriotic Song written by the Russian
nineteenth-century composer Mikhail Glinka replaced the Soviet state
anthem on Yeltsin’s decree. However, in 2000 the tune of the old
Soviet state anthem (composed by A. V. Aleksandrov) was reinstated
as Russia’s official anthem on the initiative of the new President
In the following year, the anthem’s new text, written by one of the
surviving co-authors of the text of the Soviet anthem S. V.
Mikhalkov, was approved by the parliament. The new words, designed
to appeal to the patriotic feelings of Russians, are free from all
traces of communist dogmas and even include a reference to God:
From the southern seas to the
Lie our forests and our fields.
You are one in the world! You are one of a kind,
Native land protected by God!
As a result, Russia now has a seemingly incompatible combination of
state symbols: the classic fifteenth-century double-headed eagle of
the Muscovite tsars, the eighteenth-century westernised imperial
and the Soviet anthem with new words. Yet, it is highly emblematic
of the substantial re-evaluation of Russia’s past and present that
has occurred in the minds of Russians over the recent period of