Russia (ロシア, Roshia) is a main character in Hetalia. In 2008, Himaruya gave out human names to some of the characters and he received the name Ivan Braginsky (イヴァン・ブラギンスキ, Ivan Buraginsuki, Russian: Иван Брагинский).
Russia is the tallest of the Allies, as well as the tallest of all the nations alongside Sweden. Russia wears a long, heavy tan coat, dark green pants, brown gloves, and a long tan or pink scarf; in the mini-drama CD included with his character album, he mentions to Japan that his scarf is a body part and therefore he cannot take it off. This, though, might just be an excuse so he will not have to take it off, seeing as how he didn't wear it as a small child before Ukraine gave it to him, and that in some artwork he is actually seen with it off. He has a round, childish face with a more prominent nose, and tends to carry around a bottle of vodka, a sunflower, or a faucet pipe. His hair is a light beige-blond, and his eyes are violet (purple), though they were initially colored blue in early color artwork.
Personality and Interests
A large young man who is seemingly big-hearted and innocent, but is in reality childishly cruel often coming off as villainous to those who fear him. He comes off as intimidating without even saying a word, his gentle smile and disposition only intensifying the aura of dread which seems to constantly hang over him. In a recent profile from the third volume of the published manga, Russia was described as gentle and naive, and not malicious, but insane. Russia ends many of his sentences with 'da', the Russian word for 'yes', although in Japanese it is often used to confirm the topic of the sentence, as an informal form of 'desu', the ubiquitous form of 'to be'.
He has been tormented since his childhood, having seen many tragedies and wars, which have cracked his mentality, making him more easy to sympathize for. General Winter haunts and attacks him every year, which has caused him to hate the cold. However, in the face of war, General Winter is his best ally. He dreams of one day living in a warm place surrounded by sunflowers.
Though he is capable of being incredibly cruel-minded, Russia himself is unaware of it, and truly means well. Whenever he thinks of either of his sisters, he becomes very depressed.
Although Belarus is Russia's sister, she has a deep, obsessive love for him, to the point of stalking him and wanting him to marry her, but Russia is terrified of her and does not return these feelings.
Though Russia and China had a close relationship throughout their history, China is very suspicious and fearful of him, especially after the Sino-Soviet Split. In return, Russia has been shown to stalk China, especially when disguised in a panda suit, and takes a very special interest in him.
In the past, Lithuania was Russia's subordinate and is not-too-subtly hinted to be a victim of his abuse; Lithuania is once shown wearing a maid costume with Russia lashing him with a whip in the While You Were Gone strip. In the present, Russia wishes that Lithuania, along with the rest of the world, was "one with Russia". When he visited America, who was taking care of
Lithuania after WWI, he told America to be good to his 'ex'; but during the Great Depression, Lithuania returned to Russia's home. Once, Russia listened to Lithuania's dreams and went so far as to share his own of "living in a warm place with sunflowers"; soon after, Russia allowed Lithuania to fall asleep on his shoulder, though he replaced himself with a panda when Lithuania woke up the second time.
The two have argued with each other at least since the early 1600s, when Poland succeeded in capturing Moscow. Russia's revenge for this was taking part, together with Prussia and Austria, in the partitions of Poland. In 1939, Russia decided to partition Poland again, this time in conjunction with Germany. Their relationship was further soured by the years of post-war Soviet domination.
It should be noted that Poland is not afraid of Russia; he actively defends Lithuania from Russia, despite the inherent threat.
Russia's older sister, who acted as mother to both him and Belarus. She has giant breasts that make sounds when she moves. She was also the one who gave Russia his scarf. Though she wants to be with him again, she either winds up running away at the chance due to the issues that have arisen between them (such as paying for gas), or due to being blocked from seeing him in some way (such as her boss prohibiting her from seeing him). In his own way, Russia also cares about her, describing her in quite fond terms in the manga.
In The Anime
Russia appears at the meeting in Episode 1, stating that he only wants to see a troubled Lithuania come running back to him. His plan is quickly thwarted by Poland, who threatened to make his capital Warsaw.In Episode 42, Russia introduces us to his family, adapting the strip Russia's Older And Younger Sisters.
Russia's design is relatively the same in the anime adaptation, though the color of his scarf was changed from tan to pink. His hair is also colored more beige than blonde. His given name is believed to have come from Ivan the Terrible or, equally as likely, Ivan The Great. Ivan happens to have been a common name for Russian czars (there were six Czar Ivans, including two Romanov Ivans), as well as being a common name for Russian males. Ivan is also the name of most protagonists in Slavic fairy tales, such as The Death of Koschei the Deathless. Ivan has frequently been used as a stereotypical slang name for a Russian male. In Russian, it is pronounced 'EEVAHN' (with emphasis on the second syllable), not 'EYE-VAN'. The Russian diminutive of Ivan is Vanya (Ваня), and is frequently used in fanworks.
His commonly mistranslated surname is actually politically incorrect; traditionally the '-ski' suffix indicates Polish ancestry, while '-sky' is used for Russians instead, and specifically Russians with far-reaching familial roots in Poland, but in Russian it is spelt -ский either way. Braginsky is not a well-known or commonly used name in Russia.
Russia was not given a patronymic (ru: Отчество; otchestvo) to his name. The same is true for Belarus and Ukraine, as Belorussians and Ukrainians use (by default) the naming customs of the Russian people.
- Due to his thick clothing and his tall, somewhat heavyset appearance in comparison to the other characters, a fan had asked Hidekaz Himaruya if Russia was fat. The in-character answer from "Russia" was that he was simply "big-boned". A later black-and-white sketch also depicts Russia wearing a shirt that claims such.
- In the World War-set strips, Russia technically represents the Soviet Republic, rather than the Russian Federation (as evidenced by his flag). However, Himaruya explained in liner notes that he was simply called Russia in the series due to it being cuter and the kana being simpler to write. His birthday being given as December 30th also corresponds with the date that the Soviet Union was founded. Although, another possibility for Russia's birthday could be June 12, as that date corresponds with the day the First Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian Federation had adopted the State Sovereignty of the RSFSR on June 12, 1990. To this day, Russia Day is celebrated on June 12.
- While the flag used for Russia is the Soviet flag in most of the webcomic, the published version of the manga, as well as the anime and merchandise, has opted to use the standard Russian flag.
- Russia's jacket is a stylized Red Army overcoat, with the colors more or less reversed.
- In response to a fan's question (circa 2007), Himaruya stated that Russia is unaware of his own cruelty.
- In chapter four of the Hetalia manga, after a heart pops out of Russia's chest, he claims it as his own, saying "it just pops out of me sometimes". Some fans see it as possibly symbolic of the heartbreak he's suffered in his time, or a representation of just how mentally damaged he is (while the other Allies are completely freaked out, Russia doesn't even seem to mind that his own heart is literally falling out.)
- Notes in the special edition booklet for Hetalia: Axis Powers volume 3 revealed that Russia was originally intended to be dark-haired and middle-aged in appearance, as well as being a meek crybaby whose personality would reverse when he was drunk. However, Himaruya noted that he didn't like the plans, and made a new design from scratch when it came time for the Allies to appear.
- The instrumental part of his Marukaite Chikyuu is from "Коробейники/Korobeiniki" a Russian folk song popularized outside of Russia because of its use in Tetris.