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This article draws on ethnographic research into a state-funded homecare service in rural Russia. The article discusses intersections between care, work and kinship in the relationships between homecare workers and their elderly wards and explores the ways in which references to kinship, as a means of authenticating paid care and explaining its emotional content, reinforce public and private oppositions while doing little to relieve the tensions and conflicts of care work. The discussion bringsdoi:10.1080/09668136.2013.778566 fatcat:hstoegwo3vb4ppwfx34tkxd2ue