20+ Amazing Russian Tattoo Ideas And Their Meaning
Russia is a country with a rich culture, friendly people, beautiful landscapes, and a turbulent past. Tattoos are increasingly accepted as a form of protest in Russia. Alexei Navalny’s brother Oleg has been in prison for almost three years, and throughout that time, he has designed tattoos for people who wish to demonstrate their support for inmates.
The ancient prisoners who utilized tattoos as a means of identification have greatly influenced the creation of numerous renowned Russian tattoo designs. Russian tattoo designs are distinctive. They look aesthetically pleasing.
If you want to know more about Russian tattoos, then read this post.
Russian Tattoo Meaning
The meaning of a Russian tattoo varies greatly based on its design and significance. More often than not, a criminal’s “service record” is depicted in their tattoos. In addition, their tattoo designs also represent successes and failures, their time spent in jail, and the type of work they do.
The majority of Russian tattoos do not feature flags or other patriotic symbols. Instead, theology shines brightly in the spotlight. However, many Russians have emigrated to carry on their ancestral Christian practices. The majority of their tattoos feature their devotion to the Virgin Mary, saints, or angels. The skulls have a bad rep for being the embodiment of evil. Coffins have a similar association with death. There are several reasons people in Russia get tattoos.
Let’s now take a look at different Russian Tattoo designs. Here we go…
20+ Best Russian Tattoo Designs
1. Russian Khokhloma Tattoo
Khokhloma is a traditional Russian craft that has its origins in the 17th century, specifically in the region of Nizhniy Novgorod. The Khokhloma style is characterized by a striking red and gold flower pattern set against a dark background. This art is primarily done on wooden pieces, such as tableware and furniture. But a Russian Khokhloma tattoo also looks stunning.
2. Russian Star Tattoo
Russian star tattoos look great. A Russian star tattoo simply means, “I will never bow down to anyone.” The thieves’ star tattoos are pretty popular among people in Russia. A star tattoo on the chest indicates advancement in rank. The thieves’ stars are only allowed to be worn on the chest and shoulders by the most revered criminals. Inmates who flaunt unearned tattoos are subject to physical punishment.
3. 3D Russian Tattoo
3D tattoos look awesome. In addition to conventional tattoo designs, Russians also get 3D tattoo designs. They use unique methods to create a beautiful 3D tattoo design.
4. Russian Epaulette Tattoo
High-ranking offenders frequently have a corresponding nickname like “major” or “colonel” that corresponds to the epaulettes on their collars, displaying a negative attitude towards the system.
5. Religious Russian Tattoo
Religious Russian tattoos are pretty popular among people in Russia. The majority of religious tattoos feature the portrait of the Virgin Mary, saints, or angels. If you have a fondness for religious Russian tattoos, you can get this one etched on your arm.
6. Temhota Tattoo
‘Temhota’ simply means blackness or evil in Russia. The tattoo simply represents that ‘this man travels, steals, and escapes to tell the tale.’
7. Symbols of Faith
Symbols of Faith is yet another Russian tattoo design that people opt for.
A sacred mosque with a crescent moon is often tattooed on the prisoner’s arm. The tower in the tattoo symbolizes his desire for freedom, while the manacles on his wrists show that he has served more than five years in prison. The tattoo simply conveys a message, which reads, “‘Remember me, don’t forget me’ and ‘I waited 15 years for you'” were tattooed on his arm.
8. Russian Wording Tattoo
Russian tattoos also feature wordings, such as ‘Save love, keep freedom,’ ‘Sinner,’ ‘To each, his own’ on his chest, and ‘God against everyone, everyone against God.’
9. SOS Tattoo
Another popular Russian tattoo design includes the SOS Tattoo. The rose in prison language indicates that the person has lived over 18 years in the prison itself. While the ‘SOS’ stands for various connotations, including ‘Spasite Ot Syda’ (Save me from judgment), ‘Suki Otnyali Svobodu’ (Bitches robbed my freedom),‘ or Spasayus Ot Sifilisa’ (Saved from syphilis).
10. Russian Skull Tattoo
Skull tattoos are very popular in Russia. The skull represents defiance against authority, symbolizing the act of challenging Soviet power. People in Russia get Skull tattoos etched to demonstrate their lack of fear towards authority. Inmates acquire these tattoos by demonstrating resistance against figures of authority, such as correctional officers.
11. Russian Woman Tattoo
The woman tattoo in Russia simply represents that the person has been initiated into the Thieves in Law. You can even get a rose etched along with a symbol. Russian woman tattoo designs make for a distinctive body artwork. A woman’s tattoo etched on her stomach is simply a sign that she is a prostitute.
12. Oskal-Style Russian Tattoo
Oskal-style tattoos are used as a means of expressing strong dissent and hatred towards the government and its representatives. These tattoos are commonly known as oskal or ‘grin’ in the local language. Oskal-style tattoos are a playful critique of the political system. Some individuals go as far as incorporating anti-Soviet slogans or phrases into these tattoo designs, aiming to convey a sense of hostility.
13. Image of Madonna and Child Tattoo
The image of the Madonna and Child is commonly used as a protective charm by criminals in Russia. The crucifix symbolizes a clear conscience in the presence of friends, while the Madonna and Child represent a commitment to loyalty and the refusal to betray.
14. Russian Prisoner Eagle Tattoo
The Russian two-headed eagle is a traditional symbol of Russia. During the Soviet era, prisoners would defiantly tattoo themselves as a form of rebellion against the communist regime. People usually get these tattoo designs etched on the centre of their chest. The hammer and sickle were added to the emblem following the fall of Communism in Russia to symbolize the Russian Federation.
15. Russian Nesting Doll Tattoo
Russian nesting dolls, or matryoshka dolls are popular wooden toys for all ages. Thses doll toys contain too many dolls inside them. Players need to safely open the dolls to display smaller miniatures inside each container. The largest doll is considered the mother of the set, thus the name matryoshka dolls. The smaller dolls, on the other hand, represent potential growth. The largest doll represents the Russian family matriarch, who is traditionally a strong, independent woman. The smaller figurines unearthed inside the larger one are its progeny. The matryoshka symbolizes motherhood and new life.
16. Russian Tattoos Inspired by Soviet Cartoons
Tattoos can also be done in the style of famous Russian cartoons. If you love cartoons, then a classic “Tom and Jerry” cartoon tattoo is for you. You can get it etched in small size on your arm or shoulders.
17. Portraits of Stalin and Lenin
During the 1900s, prisoners used to get portraits of Stalin and Lenin etched on their bodies. They had this belief that having tattooed portraits of Lenin and Stalin on their chests would provide them with protection against a firing squad. It is because the authorities did not shoot at any images of their leaders; instead, they executed prisoners by shooting them in the back of the head.
18. Russian Spider Tattoo
People in Russia also get spider tattoo designs. Often people get these tattoos etched on their shoulders. The spider etched on the right shoulder represent a thief. It is a sign that the burglar is still at large if the spider is climbing up the shoulder. If the spider is moving downward, it indicates that the thief has given up his life of crime and is ready to move on.
19. Russian Flower Tattoo
Russian flower tattoos are also very popular. Each flower represents different things in Russian culture. For instance, a rose or tulip flower simply represents the person’s time in prison, especially before the age of 18, which is represented by a tulip or a rose in barbed wire or twisted around a knife.
20. Russian Ring Tattoo
Russian ring tattoos etched on the hands simply represent the person’s past. It shows that a person has a criminal past. The nature of the crimes could be hostility against those in charge, time spent behind bars, and so on.
21. Russian Protest Tattoo
Russian protest tattoo designs usually feature Nazi symbols. Tattoos like these are a form of protest against the authorities at a prison or concentration camp. During the Soviet era, these tattoos were forcibly removed by the government.
Where to Get Russian Tattoo Design?
When it comes to the placement of Russian tattoo design, it is advised to get your tattoo etched on the upper body parts, such as arms, shoulders, chest, nape, and so on. Often, Russians get their tattoos etched on their upper body only. Also, different placements stand for different meanings in Russia; hence, it is crucial to choose the right place for your Russian tattoo design. Doing so will help you avoid any regrets or disappointments later.
Wrapping it up…
So, these are some of the best Russian Tattoo Ideas for you. Know that both the design and the placement of your tattoo are your personal choice. However, it is crucial to get even the minutest of the details of your Russian tattoo design prior to getting one.
Happy Tattooing… 😊 😊
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