What do Russians think about Americans?


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At the highest levels, politicians and policymakers in the U.S. and Russia seem to hold very different opinions of each other, which can clearly be seen between the two top leaders of the world. Is America truly stuck in it’s isolationist views or is this just one of misconceptions held by the rest of the world.

But what if it’s not just the top leaders and thinkers who hold these opinions and misconceptions? What if the majority of Russians – or at least, the Russians that Vladimir Putin wants to appeal to – do not consider Americans “exceptional” at all?

It’s too easy to blame a “Cold War mentality” when, in fact, cultural stereotypes about Americans seem to be deeply embedded in the Russian national psyche. Take these persistent cultural stereotypes about Americans, for example, that just about any American visitor encounters after spending time in Russia (I have).

Here are just a few examples.

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1.     “All Americans are rich”

In Russia there is a perception that all Americans are rich, or at least the majority of them. This comes from how western media portrays the average American. Wealth in Russia is viewed in a different way from the States, most people here live on very modest salaries compared to Americans.

American salaries are indeed higher than Russian ones. According to the United States 2012 Census, the median annual salary in the U.S. was $51,017. Meanwhile, the average Russian salary per year ranges from about $9,800 to $11,300 as determined by the Russian Federation’s Federal Statistics Service. Interestingly enough in Tatarstan we have a higher level middle class earners than most areas of Russia.

However, stating that Americans are rich isn’t correct, especially when one factors in the debt that Americans have. From Federal Reserve statistics, it is estimated that each American household has about $7,072 in credit card debt, $146,675 in mortgage debt, and $31,374 in student loan debt.

I remember after first arriving here I held a class about Credit and the use of credit cards, I asked my students how many credit cards they had in their wallets. The whole class was stumped by the question, none of them had a single credit card. They politely told me Russians don’t carry credit cards. I quickly had to change my lesson plans realizing that I had wrongly assumed everyone has at least a couple of credit cards. The reason they don’t, because they don’t trust the banks. Perhaps, once you factor this in, plus free education and health care, Russians don’t have it so bad after all.


fat guy

2.     “All Americans are fat because everybody eats fast food”

The number of Americans that are obese is indeed high. In January 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report placed American adult obesity at 37.5 percent. For children and teens the percentage is around 16.9. According to the Russian Academy of Sciences., 25 percent of the population of Russia is obese as of November 2012.

Comparing the number of super-sized Americans to Russians, I’d say that America has Russia beat. When I arrived in Russia I was 40 lbs. overweight due to consuming to much fast food. The number of Americans who indulge themselves in fast food is indeed high. One nice thing about living in Russia is that you won’t find fast food restaurants on every corner. Most people here make an effort to eat at home, if they choose to eat out it can be quite expensive. So saying that all Americans are fat is a unfair stereotype and does not apply to all of them.

obesity

For example, according to  Vegetarian Times, about 3.2 percent of American adults are vegetarian. This is about 7.3 million people. A July 2012 Gallup Poll recorded this percentage as even higher, with 5 percent of American adults declaring themselves vegetarians.

Occasionally I’ll find myself eating American-style junk food during sudden moments of homesickness, but that seems to be happening a lot less often, hopefully a good sign. Now if we had restaurants like, The Cheese Factory, P.F. Chang’s or maybe even Shoney’s I might just eat out a little more, but alas they are only in America.

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3.     “Americans are stupid”

Jokes about Americans being stupid are probably some of the favorite ones in Russia. If you type in “тупые” (stupid) in Google the third popular search result appears to be “Stupid Americans”(see picture above for proof).

See in Russia smiling is considered somewhat of a stupid thing. It’s one of the reasons I don’t smile so much in public here. When I leave the house I tend to wear a rather austere expression on my my face (especially if I’m alone). If you are smiling broadly or laughing loudly while on the bus or metro here, it will immediately become clear that foreigners are among them. The problem with this is that it tends to feed the stereotype that Americans are loud, obnoxious, and somewhat empty headed. See if we do smile at a stranger here, we were deemed foolish even though we only meant it to be polite. Why? Because Russians view it as though we were are naïve and a bit to trusting of someone we don’t even know.

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One of the real culprits of the dumbing  down of America is the mass media which started it’s campaign during  70’s and 80’s. The reasons behind are hard to understand but very real. More recently Kicker has worked hard to reverse this trend.

Russians know from their own history that trusting the wrong person can lead to disastrous consequences (are you paying attention America). So, unless you want to be known as the susceptible and goofy foreigner when visiting, I’d recommend keeping a facial expression that matches the weather. Cold and frosty.

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4.     “Americans hate Russia”

According to a September 2013 Gallup Poll, 50 percent of Americans see Russia as an enemy or unfriendly, while only 44 percent consider Russia as an ally or friendly.

American views of Russia have turned negative largely due to Edward Snowden’s asylum, LGBT rightsSyria, and now Ukraine.

Positive perceptions have not been this low in fifteen years. The last time Gallup posed this question, in 2006, 73 percent of those polled called Russia friendly or an ally, compared with just 20 percent who saw it as unfriendly or an enemy.

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However, to say Americans hate Russia might be overboard. There may be some conflicting interests now, but this does not necessarily imply hate. Moreover, the lingering Cold War mistrust and labels of Russians as ‘Commies’, is very limited and confined to a small and uneducated part of the American populace.

When it comes to opinions regarding Russia, I would say that most Americans are more perplexed than anything because they do not have the full picture of Russia. The same may be true of our leaders, policymakers and analysts – it’s not so much that they are lost in some kind of “Cold War mentality” – it’s that they’ve allowed persistent cultural stereotypes to influence their thinking. Maybe what they need is a good trip abroad to open their eyes to reality.

Here’s a short video about what Russian’s think about Americans.

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58 thoughts on “What do Russians think about Americans?

      1. Well, let me look into that. If I find something interesting I will put together a post and let you know. By the way how do the English view Russians, is it in a positive light or what?

      2. Let’s aside the west’s perception of Putin and Ukraine for the moment as that’s not good!

        There’s been a lot of negative media coverage and I suspect many regard Russia as a difficult country although we know, without possibly fully understanding, how heavily history weighs on Russia.

        The perception is that modern-day Russia is racist (eg abuse to black players playing for Russian football clubs), polluting (eg Arctic Circle), paranoid, homophobic and going backwards in terms of freedom, democracy and national identity (Pussy Riot, media freedom, nostalgia for old Soviet Union).

        Part of the problem is that we hear far more about the problems of Russia rather than about its culture, progress or history. However, as far as I know, on a person to person basis, I think Russians in the UK are well integrated and are not treated better or worse than any other nationality. Although UK-based Russians may well have a different view on that!

        It’s why I enjoy your blog for giving different insights into Russia.

  1. The only one that surprised me is “Americans are stupid” – ouch! I can see how that could be a stereotype once you mention it, but CRAP! I would not do well in Russia, because I am too smiley … same way I was not taken seriously in Chuuk in my 20’s because I was too enthusiastic. I find “game face” culture sad.

      1. Send me your e-mail address that you use for your blog, I can invite you so you can post it directly on my blog as an author. Go through my about me section on the left hand side bar. It has my e-mail address there.

  2. No worries, not all the Russians call Americans stupid. If you travel and mingle with the locals you realise that there are folks in any country who call the other nations “stupid”. In Russia it gets more complicated because of the 100 years old propaganda machine brainwashing the population. Thousands of experts are working for it, every word, every image or video does its job. I don’t blame those who succumb to it.

  3. I’m American through and through and love this country very much. But I have to admit, I love Russia…not only the people but the physical land of Russia…it’s like a huge wild Alaska. The Russian people are the people of the Boreal and to me are the most respected people on the planet. They have had a very tough history with WW2 and Hitler thinking he could conquer Russia. What an idiot…I’m glad we had the opportunity to crush him and his Nazi party and I would fight beside the Russian people against any evil foe.

    1. Have you ever traveled to Russia? You are right, I’ve met a few from Siberia, wonderful people, but then most Russians are just like Americans at heart or is it the other way around, get a bit confused living in Russia.

      1. Just started reading the blogs , good to talk to you. I also believe most people are the same at heart. Seems to me that good and bad both are present in most societies. It is hard here in the US for a percentage of us, It seems a fact that 2 percent of the people here have 98 percent of the wealth. There is one family that owns Walmart that has more money than the 30 percnt of poor Americans combined. Now we have Obama care for mostly all, before that the poor actually had no clear cut medical!!!! Unfortunately a lot in this country were and probably still are against it. I dont understand that at all. One the other hand I heard in the seventies a lot of Russian USSR people were unhappy and so they drank a lot. Sounds like its good and bad both countries really. Anyway wish you and the Russian people the best , really like the scenery and reading about the Great Patriotic War how the Russian people basically almost completely singlehandedly defeated the Nazis . Best to you and any former USSR Soviet peoples.!

  4. I love the Russians and their old cameras myself 🙂 Seriously though, I think the Russian people have had more than their fair share of dictatorial and authoritarian styled leaders over the last few centuries, and this has caused a lot of cultural dissonance with other countries at times. Can I ask what younger Russians think of former leaders like Stalin and Lenin? Is that turbulent history seen in a particular light? I will say that I’ve only had good experiences so far with Russian and Ukrainian ebay sellers, despite the misgivings a lot of Westerners have about Russians online.
    I’d love to visit one day actually.

    1. Interestingly enough the younger generation regardless of the atrocities committed by the former leadership (they are always respectful) are very aware of what governments are capable of, they have a very healthy distrust of them. They do respect what Putin has been doing as does the rest of the world. If you think about it he’s the only one who really has stood up to the powers that be.
      About the honesty of our brothers, well most of them are honest to a tee. I’ve noticed this consistently with most of them.
      I hope you do get a chance to visit, it would be a experience you will never forget.

      1. I’d love to visit. We must also remember that Russia has had many dictatorial leaders and purges in the past too. I think it’s always wise not to trust leaders anywhere. I see how Putin would be respected. The perception of him outside of Russia is as a Cold War warrior fromt eh KGB who funnels millions of dollars intot he hands of his cronies, and has a grand vision for Russia that involves bloodletting.

      2. Come on, and Obama has clean hands and no responsibility. This is just media B.S., I don’t want to sound rude but you are buying into what western media is perpetuating, use your brains, Putin in every instance has tried to act with diplomacy, on the other hand the US government and the E.U. are working hard to advance their agenda, don’t you think they will use every tool available to demonize Putin? Putin didn’t rise to power like his predecessors, he was appointed. The following is from Wikipedia:

        On 31 December 1999, Yeltsin announced his resignation, leaving the presidency in the hands of his chosen successor, then–Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Described by the BBC as the “flawed founder of Russian democracy”, Yeltsin left office widely unpopular with the Russian population.

        Yeltsin appointed him because he knew his allegiances were in the right place. So to speak what you’re speaking doesn’t fit the reality, sorry don’t mean to be harsh but I believe he’s being smeared because he won’t fall into lock step with western leaders of the world. Personally I have a lot of respect for a man who is willing to stand up to these bullies. The western wolf pack want to eat the world and spit out the bones. The eastern wolf pack believes it has the right to be sovereign and would like to remain so. A slave is a slave, but one should chose their masters wisely.

  5. I didn’t say that I believe any of the media BS at all, but it would also be wise to remember that no political leader in the world is altruistic in their intentions. Obama has blood on his hands, as does just about every other leader. I’m certainly not a slave to so-called Western media. It would also be wise to remember that this entire concept of East and West is merely a convenient construct for those with their hands on power on both sides. Have a look at the ancient Battle of Thermopylae and written accounts of it to see the genesis of this East vs West concept.
    I don’t smear nations of entire people. I smear political leaders, zealots and true believers who are ruthless. These people exist in all countries of the world. The Russian people, more than just about anyone, would understand that it is wise to distrust authority! I could write a book on the atrocities of the CIA against other countries and its own people; there is lots to read on the ruthlessness of the British in their expansionism; I could go on. Sorry, but no country and no leader is exempt from bloodshed at times. You mistake me for some brainless media patsy, and I am not. I’ve lived in the US and I can tell you firsthand that it is the only country I have been to where an equal amount of people love and hate their own country. So, good people are everywhere, just as there are people who desire power and will step over the bodies to get there.
    Crimea might certainly have been ethnically Russian, and therefore closer to mother Russia, but it also contains a historically strategic port. Are you telling me that eastern Ukraine, including cities like Donetsk, are ethnically Russian majorities and desire to join with mother Russia too? Don’t forget that propaganda works both ways. Just as I don’t believe everything I hear outside of Russia, nor should you believe everything.
    NATO and the EU have made overtures to Ukraine over the past few decades because the US wants a military foothold closer to Moscow. The Allied forces went back on deals after WW2 and Russia ended up with egg on its face. The US took advantage of Russia when it was weakened and we saw the wall come down. Putin, in part, is trying to restore some of the glory of the nation in his empire building, but largely he is concened that the US has military bases very close to former Soviet countries. The US doesn’t need Russian oil. It has its own resources. The major problem is that Russian oil supplies half of Europe through pipelines, and Putin knows this is a good bargaining chip.
    The games being played aren’t about the regular people of Russia or the people of America; they are about a few military strategists and rich people wanting power. It is a game of Chess. If I sounded like I was smearing Russia, I was not. I am sure Russia is full of wonderful people and great places to see. I just don’t buy the BS fed to people on either side of the fence, here or elsewhere. We get propaganda too and lots of us realise it and turn off. We’re all people after all. It’s our leaders that we should be worried about. One who takes power should prove beyond any doubt that they are worthy of it.

    1. Touche, my point was and is that Russia has it’s right to sovereignty. Something they west resents. I think we’ve got a our points across. I’m also not trying to win with a wit of words, just believe in a balanced world, not one sided. Thanks for not attacking in response, many do which to me is the most offensive. It doesn’t help when we are that subjective in our thinking.

      1. Agreed. I think all countries have such a right. I guess the problem comes when you have people like the Tibetans, who are ethnically not Han Chinese, repressed by the Chinese government. Many examples of this across the world. And maybe patriotism and nationalism is just not the way to go anyway. Maybe it causes more problems in this way. Some political and rich figures in the US probably resent Russia, but I don’t think labelling this as the ‘west’ is really helpful. I don’t even think it’s about sovereignty anyway. That’s just a convenience. Most things come down to money and power. I think we can probably safely say that any war is about the same !!! I think the US military-industrial powers just want their military bases closer to Moscow and don’t care who gets killed. Neither side is right here.

  6. A very insightful post! I hope to visit Russia one day, and this information will be quite helpful to avoid acting like a stupid, rich American!

  7. I have been living in Moscow since 2012 before Ukraine crisis but the anti-Putin, anti-Russia propaganda was already full speed with harsh criticism about the Sochi Olympic games for example. I lived 7 years in the U.S. too, in 3 very different locations and mentalities: NYC, Atlanta and NJ, and I think majority of “average” Americans are not interested about what is happening outside America as long as the prices of gasoline and Big Mac do not increase. In contrast I would not say the same about “average” Russians. The level of education in Russia is much higher than in the United States with about 50 % of the workforce having secondary (High School) or third level education (University degrees). Russians know more about American culture than the opposite. Stereotypes about Americans are quite standard everywhere on the planet because of globalization and Hollywood movies. Europeans like the French and the British people too think Americans are pretty naive, superficial (because they smile too much at strangers) and are too much centered in material values. “Time is money”. Regarding propaganda, I agree both Americans and Russians use it, but unlike Americans, Russians seem unpredictable to the West simply because they do not share the same values and same logic. From the Russian point of view, they are the ones who paid the biggest tribute to WWII with 20 millions dead soviet army soldier. Nobody understand how much painful it was for the vast majority of Russian people to go through the collapse of the Soviet Union transitioning to wild capitalism. The people got spoiled, robbed by the ex “Soviet Nomenklatura”, aka the State Oligarchs and lost everything that was provided free from the government : health, education, pension etc. Under Putin’s first presidential mandate from 200-2008 the GDP growth was 8 %, a middle class emerged with development Of innovative sectors. However even those “privileged” educated people who are used to travel abroad support their president and have no choice but to become more and more nationalist against what is seems to be a very unfair treatment by the West about the Ukraine crisis.

    1. The more I study about Russians and the culture I begin to see just how opposite the mindset is, what I’ve failed to see up until recently is just how much they disliked bourgeoisie and why. It’s the one thing that Americans embraced that Russians did not and still don’t to a great degree. We must also remember that a highly educated society is hard fool which Communist Russia did a great job of doing in the end. The US on the other hand has dumbed down it’s citizens to the point what Russia went through America must get ready to embrace. I’m not opposed to nationalism since at the height of America it was a very nationalist country. It’s my personal opinion but if push comes to shove and a war occurs the outcome would certainly be in Russia’s favor. It’s not that I wish it to happen but American hegemony as it is can not last forever. Thank you for your interesting comment.

      1. About your comment on Russians hating bourgoisie, I don’t think it is relevant in today’s Russia. Lenin was from a family of intellectuals and was opposed to the Mencheviks who advocated parliamentary government and cooperation with bourgeois socialist parties. Lenin and his Bolshevik partisans believed Russia must be led by the workers, the country’s proletariat. In October 1917 he took power of Russia but for the next three years the country was devastated by civil war until 1920 when the Bolsheviks emerged victorious. However, in 1921, following WWI, revolution and civil wars, Russians suffered from deep poverty and great famine. The Bolsheviks seized food from the peasants and properties from the Orthodox church. Starved peasants started revolts against the Bolshevik power. Later Stalin came to power and started the war against the peasantry through collectivization. So I don’t see that Russians today have any problem with capitalism, entrepreneurship or a raising wealthy middle class. But 85 % of Russians who support Putin dislike the couple of hundred Oligarchs living an extravagant lifestyle and seen as traitors for investing money outside Russia.

      2. I don’t they hate the bourgoisie today, but I believe they have a healthy distrust of them which is probably well founded. In a Capitalistic country the capitalists blow the trumpet (Obama), in a healthy society the government keeps the capitalist in check. See my comments to BarbarianTinker, they will help you see my personal viewpoint better.

    1. Sorry I think I was not clear about attitude on capitalism or “bourgeoisie”. It is good for those who are benefiting from the market economy but for majority of ordinary Russians, including those in their mid-30s,they believe life was better under communism.

      1. Imo y r not completely right with that statement or rather partially right.

        1)Most westerners (both europenian and american ones) don’t have ANY clue what is communism. 99,9% of them live and think in their own “glass(buble)-ISM” world.
        Even more..they believe that if some lider or party in some country is communistic then such country and it’s ppl live uder communism – what an ignorance!

        2) Russians never lived in communism as well as never lived in communism any other nation\country in the world. Russians tended\seeked and tried to build communism, but they lived during that building period under high-level socialism.
        However they was the only one nation that can be called high level socialistic country with true communistic strategy.
        I just don’t wanna wright an essay here, but some short detail: good FREE medicine, best in the world and completely FREE education system, good social system, homeless pll didn’t exist at all, exellent science and spectacular industrialization of huge(size is very matter in such case!) and almost destroed country from WW2 and till 80s, very high control of food industry – as relust super quality of food, and many more.
        Opposite to that you can compare to any other so-called “communistic” coutries. In fact all other so-called “communistic” states didn’t achive even good socialism. From communism they usually had and have only lound claims, the word “communism” by its own as word\term and nothing more. This can be said about all of them begining from bloody bastards in Cambodia(Pol Pot) and ending by China.
        Maybe only Vietnam achived some level of it own socialism, but neverthelsss it’s incomparable to USSR level.
        Actually, in 80s USSR civil industries, agriculture sector and economics growed to the bordeline level where during next 15-20 years real communism and prosperity of the soviet sosciety could jump very high.
        Now imagine if that would happen in all that high level socialism conditions etc… and imagine if after such jump USSR would cut off the iron curtain.
        Imagine what destiny then western elites, banksters, and governments may have if their pll will see how society can live on “other side”?

        That was one of the most important reason why for the west elites destroing of the USSR and stopping its grow during 80s was extreemely important and urgent issue – question of survival\existence and capitals status quo.

        3)Now most russians had realise that market economy is a myth as well as so-called western democracy and so-called western “freedom”.
        They have understood that so called “Invisible maket hand” which should (in theory) naturally regulate free market – doesn’t exist.
        And that “market economy” is never market in RL, but rather is hidenly controllable and manipulative for the sake\wealth of power or finance(what is the same today in the west) establishment.

        4)Today, russians see the “hypocrisity face” of western market economy model and societies. The same time they know the problems and weak dots of the soviet system.
        Today they can compare western model to soviet one.

        So most of well educated russian pll considering the symbiosis of Soviet system with some aspects of so-called maket economy as the best choise\model for the society.
        In simplified version\view it should be Soviet system with private property rigths and limited private business (no private business in such areas as: strategic industries, raw materials, education and science, public healtcare system, military and in other similar crucial for the country fields).

        Afterall that a reasnoable aproach imo… i mean loot at the nature y will never find anything comletely black or completely white – all is in some colour tones.

        p.s As a summary:
        You’ve got such impression on russians society\economic view not b\c russians like communism\true socialism more. Explanation is simpler – when they talk on this issue and begin to compare two systems from not consumeristics point of view it appears that soviet systems is mcuh better than current europenian\american one. But that doesn’t mean that soviet one is the best – no, it also had its own problems.
        So we should focus on gathering the best features of both ones. 😉

      2. So, the book is written. Agree with you on most points. Would like to add that I understand now why Russians detested the bourgeoisie. They enabled the rich to become even richer which led to a monopolistic capitalistic society. I can see how this has become embedded into Russian society. This helped expose the lies that are perpetuated in American society. Yes, the American dream is available to everyone but a what expense? I’m not saying that a individualistic freedom loving society is bad, but it does tend to be a more “Me” oriented society. This seems to be less the case here in Russia. It’s taken me three years to understand the dynamic here. The question is, do Americans truly have more freedoms, or are they just perceived? The next question is, What is true freedom? Personally I’ve always seen money as a dead albatross hanging around the neck, yes it serves a purpose but it isn’t the true meaning of life. The more I read, the more I realize the depth and breadth of the Russian culture. If I was to compare the two societies I’d say one is like a shallow puddle, if you throw in a rock it may stick of the top of the puddle. On the other hand the opposite is true of the other. It’s like a deep pool, throw in a rock and watch it disappear into the depths slightly rocking and swaying on it’s descent to the bottom where sunlight pierces in the shadowy murkiness of knowledge and spirituality. The second fits my personality much better than the first. The transcendence is like the morphing of a Caterpillar into a butterfly. The first is satisfied with munching and eating leaves even possibly killing the plant. The other dances between flowers gently caressing them tasting them, but not destroying them. Oh, I wish society would chose the later to the former, we’d be such a better society as a whole.

    2. I read your comment and I understand better your point now. I agree that money is not always a strong motivator for Russians, but pride or face is and people come first ! I often look at history to understand today’s Russian’s logic. Russia has a very unique past with a long list of autocratic rulers from the Xth century. We have to understand that three cultures co-exist today: Traditional, Soviet and Modern, so it is very difficult to understand Russians as they have complex mindsets and conflicting images of the past. Their behavior and thinking mode really depend on the context . Although Ethnic Russians look like Europeans and Tatars, the second largest ethnic group in Russia, look like Asians, Russians are neither Europeans nor Asians. In a sense Americans and Russians seem to come from different planets as their cultural values are totally opposite:
      Russia-USA:
      Collectivism-Individualism
      Emotional-Material
      Irrationality-Predictable
      Judgmental-Politically correct

      1. RE:[ Although Ethnic Russians look like Europeans and Tatars, the second largest ethnic group in Russia, look like Asians, Russians are neither Europeans nor Asians.]:

        Anne, how long do you live in Russia? =)

        There is NO such thing as Ethnic Russian! Even more, some would say that there is no such thing as Russian nationality, b\c it is far more wider term. Russian – is the cultural\civilization term – smthg that reflects belonging to some type of culture or civilization and kind of mindset\mentality.
        Not understanding of this is usually tied to not knowing even basics of ethnogeneology, genetics and cultural genealogy.

        For example i noted, that it is becoming fashionable\popular today in the west to boast one’s russian roots. But any russian will say you that if one was growed or was born in west – he usually lost it’s “russian thing” – he is not russian by culture and mentality in such case b\c was formed\shaped as a person in a different society\culture\civilization.

        Next:
        From Ethnic or genetic point of view there is no any difference between Russian, Belorus pll, Ukranians and Poles – genetically all of them are one pll with haplogroup R1A.
        But can you call\name Pole as Russian in such case? – SURE NO, you can’t !!!
        It’s the same as to call Russian British or German ppl – i.e. nonsence.

        Any Mari, Tatar, Bashkir, Buryat, Sakha, Dagestani or even Kazakh etc are far more Russians than Poles.

        That’s is why “Russian” is a civilization term and should include in itself many pll who live in Russia and not only in Russia begining from small Finno-Ugric ethnic groups of Karelia(such as Mari) and ending by various Caucasian pll, various Tatars, Sakha, Far North ethnic groups(Even,Evenk), Aynu and so on – all of them are Russian people!
        All of them jointly formed\shaped the Russian culture, mentality and civilization, enriching and complementaring each other.
        And that process goes on even for not centuries, but probably for thousand years. (for example read about such things as TaRtaria, Ariyan \ Slavic mummies found in China etc).
        ————————————
        That is one of the reasons why Russian Empire wasn’t a colonial one – it didn’t have colonies as opposite to all western ones.
        Also that is one of the main reasons why so many various ethnic groups and native indigenous people were well preserved in Russia and again opposite to most western empires(British, Spanish etc), Turkish Osman one, Chinese or even Japanese one.

        Even today app near half of russian language vocabulary have Sanskrit roots and additionally one third of the vocab have Turk (don’t confuse with Turkish!) roots.
        For ex.: How it was called in RE the process of miltary campaign against enemy – “ORDOY hodit’\poyti na vraga” – to go against enemy by ORDA.
        Or the name of strong or\and respectful man in Russia – “BOGATYR” from Turk word “BATYR”
        ————————————

        So in ethnic matter theose ones that you call russians is more correctly to call Aryans or Slavic Russians.
        Or to be more exact / precise and to avoid confusion / mess if you appealing to ethnic or genetic group it would be more rightly to call them Aryans or even Russian Aryans, b\c:
        1)Not all slavic ppl have R1A haplogroup as a main, which dominates among those who you call Russian Slavs.
        2)Also exist various Aryans – Russian(Ukranian, Byelorussian), Polish, Indian, Tajik, Afghan, Pakistani(Kasivo or Kalash ppl) and even Nepalese ones.



        Hope that this was a useful information for you. 🙂

      2. Wow, absolutely loved this comment. Please send me an e-mail, we need to talk about having you do a guest post concerning this topic.

  8. Is that a job offer? lol )))
    Kidding.
    Writing you know.

    p.s. I can tell a lot of interesting things…just dunno if western reader is ready enought for some of them.

    1. Oh, I wish it could be (a job offer). My hopes are that someday “Life in Russia” will have a large enough audience to support such a thing. Alas right now it’s not possible. Don’t worry – think it’s time to start enlightening them.

      1. RE:[Don’t worry – think it’s time to start enlightening them.]

        He-he.. well, at first when i read this in Anne’s post:
        [“Russia has a very unique past with a long list of autocratic rulers from the Xth century.”]
        i wanted to answer and provide some data, chronicle and annalistic facts and various other historical docs from various cultures, so one would be able to compare the level of so-called “autocracy”, hygiene and social standarts in the societies, disease epidemiology (esp. appearing and spreading of syphilis, plague epidemics, levels of pediculosis and so on) in Russain Empire (Rus’) and various Europenian states.

        Also thought about providing info about so-called Ivan (The 4th) Grozniy (so-called Ivan the Terrible by western historical “science”) …you know… the most “Terrible Russian Ivan” afterall – axcording again to western “historical” “science”. 😉
        And then just compare the amount of pll which were repressed and executed during his regime in the 16th century in Russia (Rus’) with amount of ppl which were executed and killed in enlightened and humanistic France(massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy is only one example), Germany and Greate Britain during the same period of time (16th century) for example. Both data according to europenian “historians”. 😉

        But then decided that such analytics would be too painful for many sensual western “humanists” and other historically progressive western mids.
        So i decided to not deliver such a hurtful data into developed full of human rights and democracy world of “freedom” of usual europenian or american folks. At least now….
        =)))))))))))))))))))

      2. However imho such wide report with excursus to europenian and catholic historic reports and assay on Russia from Xth to XIXth ceturies would be pretty interesting for ppl.
        It might be pretty hard work to wirte such huge article, but such article can show that nothing really changed in medias res for at least 500 years in world… unfortunately.

      3. To avoid any confusion I did not talk about races as definition of being a Russian. I just wanted to say that because of its location, history and as the biggest country in the world, Russia is highly diverse in ethnic terms and although sharing borders with the West and Asia, Russian culture is quite unique neither European nor Asian.

        I did not invent the word “ethnic Russians” here the full population profile :

        Ethnic groups: Russian 77.7%, Tatar 3.7%, Ukrainian 1.4%, Bashkir 1.1%, Chuvash 1%, Chechen 1%, other 10.2%, unspecified 3.9%
        note: more than 190 ethnic groups are represents in Russia’s 2010 census

        In Russian languages there are two ways of saying Russians’: “русские” refers to ethnic Russians regardless of where people live, while citizens of Russia or ” Russians” is “россияне”
        In my case when I speak about “Russians” without adjectives I refer to people living in Russia and Russian Citizen.

        Beyond stereotypes and generalizations it is important to recognize and understand cultural differences in the hope to improve communication not to tell who is better than the other.

        In the context of this article listing the stereotypes and cliches that “Russians” have about “Americans” we need to understand that this can’t be interpreted as an analysis of both cultures .

        In the previous post I talked about cultural dimensions that are coming from various research fields : ethnogy, linguistics, sociology, history, etc. these are not my own opinion only, a biased interpretation by a stupid Westerner living in Russia. Please read articles about understanding Russians by professor Mira Bergelson of University of Moscow and other reknown interculturalists

      4. RE:[I did not invent the word “ethnic Russians” here the full population profile: Ethnic groups: Russian 77.7%, Tatar 3.7%, Ukrainian 1.4%, Bashkir 1.1%, Chuvash 1%, Chechen 1%, other 10.2%, unspecified 3.9%]

        That is kind of ridiculousness and ingnorance what you can find even among various russian media.
        It has two roots:
        1) From soviet times, when they messed all that in completely unbeliable ways in matter of term.
        2)From western data and western founded organizations and NGO. It’s a kind of many pushed terminology.

        Look, think yourself: what kind of ethnic difference could be between russians and ukranians(except western ones in Galicija region of Ukraine)? It the same people with abs. the same genetics, culture, mentality and even language in 80% of cases.
        Kind of nonsence.

        The same time if you talking about poles(who are geneticaly similiar to Russians and Ukranians for example) – they are completely different in matter of culture, worldview, society and personal values, language etc. And that difference is very deep from the times when Poland was f***ed up by Catholic Rome and their original ancient culture and traditions were destroyed, ancient vedic values transformed to western type, and language was latinized after what it even changed it’s structure during several centuries.

        =====================================
        Ok.. lets check out the term for experiment purity. 🙂
        What is ethnicity?
        Modern definition: An ethnic group or ethnicity is a socially defined category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural or national experience.
        Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, origin myth, history, homeland, language and/or dialect, ideology, symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, physical appearance, etc.
        =====================================

        If so, then how we can talk for example about different ethnicity between Aryan russians, many various Tatar russians and Bashkir russians? Anne you live in Russia – do you find Tatar Russians and Aryan Russians different to a way decribed in definition of term “ethnicity”?
        And Steve, what about you?

        I for example can’t see diffences to a such degree.
        Moreover one shoud pay attention that Russia is very big and very different country with many climatic and time zones etc – thus even the same Aryan Russians living in various regions will have some small differencies in culture, behaviour, habits, kitchen\food, dressing style and even language. And what – are these Aryan Russians (living in Moscow, Altay, Circumpolar Ural, Causasus region, Kuban’, Far East, Far North\Arctic regions) of different ethnicity in such case? I think that even you ,as expat living in Russia, undestand that it is bearsh***t. xD

        So imho all that “models” based on past soviet aproach or ones that forcely imported by some from abroad – are complete as i said above BS.. pardon )

        ————————————
        RE:[In Russian languages there are two ways of saying Russians’: “русские” refers to ethnic Russians regardless of where people live, while citizens of Russia or ” Russians” is “россияне”]

        You are correct in this regard. This mess with definitions exist in Russia from soviet times. It also exist outside the Russia.

        That is why i wrote that comment to provide some real common sence to clear the situation with all that mess and wrong definitions and so on. If you someone alse have any good arguments to dispute that common sence and what i described in first and second posts about Russian ethnicity – i’m ready to start a discussion. 😉

      5. RE: [In the context of this article listing the stereotypes and cliches that “Russians” have about “Americans” we need to understand that this can’t be interpreted as an analysis of both cultures.]

        It was important to specify the diffrencies and explain why all of them exist to make a reader be able to understand the complexity of of term “Russians” and “Russian culture”. Idea was to provide answers to What? When? How? and Why?.

        First: I didn’t talk about cliches that “Russians” have about “Americans”.
        Moreover i didn’t even talk specificaly about Americans. I used term westerner – it is not only americans as you know.

        Second: About what exactly cliches you are talking in regard to my comments?
        Cliches about how many various ethnic groups and native indigenous people are well preserved in Russia and how such ppl were genocided by various Europenians in North and South America? Or how Eropenians treated Indians in India or Africans in Africa (in South Africa damn apartheid existed till 1994 – ITS DAMN YESTERDAY!) or other colnies? Or how they was delivering “democracy”, “prosperity” and “freedom” by Opim during Opium Wars in China no so long time ago?

        To what kind of cliches y trying to point me?
        Maybe to the level of how live most native Indian in reservations(!) in developed USA and how live Altay ppl, Buryats or Yakutian\Sakha and others in Russia? Or accessibility of good education to such ppl by their wish?

        Hm… maybe you talked about “autocracy” in Russia from Xth to XIXth century?
        As i told before Ivan The 4th Grozniy is a good example – during his regime in 16th century 4,500 of ppl were killed.
        The same time in France only during genocide of Huguenots by “god protected” Catholic church in 1572 year during one night (massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy ) were killed 30 000 of people – almost 7 times higher than Ivan Grozniy druing all his life. And this is only one episode from France during 16th century.
        Numbers of killed\executed in Germany and England during the same 16th centruy is about from 60 000 to 100 000 of people in each one.
        I can give more precise numbers and specify in more details the “events” if needed.
        Yes definitely… Russian Czar Ivan The 4th Groniy was the most “Terrible autocratic Ivan” in the whole cultural Europe of those times.

        ******* Trust me it is better do not start the comparable history and cliches reviews as well as falsifications for the sake of sensual western reader (esp. for such long period from Xth to XIXth centuries) *******

      6. RE:[In the previous post I talked about cultural dimensions that are coming from various research fields : ethnogy, linguistics, sociology, history, etc. these are not my own opinion only, a biased interpretation by a stupid Westerner living in Russia. Please read articles about understanding Russians by professor Mira Bergelson of University of Moscow and other reknown interculturalists]

        Sure she definitely has a proffestional inside into russian reality, b\c she was trained by well-know ppl, after all 😉 :
        ====Professional Development of Mira Bergelson====
        * Seminar “TMC Cultural Navigator and other systems” Certification Workshop (2006)
        * Seminar “Self quality in higher education.” *** Budapest *** (1999)
        * Seminar “Methods of teaching of public relations”, *** Riga *** -Sankt Petersburg (1998)
        * Seminar “Leadership Communication”, University of Oregon, *** United States *** (1997)
        * research internship at the University of Oregon, *** USA***; listening courses at the School of Journalism and Business College (1996-1997)
        * International Summer Institute for Cognitive Sciences (courses in the field of cognitive psychology and anthropology), University of Buffalo, *** USA ***(1994)

        = Worked as a consultant for the US White House advance team =

        Next, she is from University of Moscow, but from National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) – well known and one of the most powerfull centre of liberal proaganda and education\zombiefication in Russia.

        The HSE was founded on November 20, 1992, by Yevgeny Yasin, Yaroslav Kouzminov, Revold Entov, Oleg Ananyin and Rustem Nureev. These founders were well known Russian economists who believed in !!! market reforms !!! – LOL!

        And the HSE was established to support the new Russian !-reformist-! government plans. (omg it is during “reformist” Boris Yeltsin – the true “independent” russian president which leaded the country to “prosperity” and “development” during 90s – LOL)!!!.

        From the very start, HSE was able to benefit from resources under the European Communities TACIS programme. [Ofcourse..how it could be in other way? ;)]

        Soviet education in economics was believed not to reflect market standards and a new type of education in social sciences needed to make new Russian scientists, officials and businessmen understand the “market economy”.
        The HSE was the first Russian University to introduce the system[citation needed] and strongly supported Russian participation in the Bologna process. – yes exactly that one damn Bologna process which lead to fragmentaion knoweledge, “clip thinking” and ruining the complexity of higher education making students more narrow-minded and more stupid.
        ————————————————————–
        So, Dear Anne, there is nothing special that such “reknown interculturalists” as Mira Borisovna as well as whole HSE publish some rubish (often harmful), BS, falsifications\fabrication, lobbying western cultural influence, economic interests and data pervertions\manipulations.
        Half or even more of the clown russian opposition which you can regulary observe passing in and out of US Embassy in Moscow are from National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) or linked with it.

      7. Afterall.. coulf it be that you talked about these cliches:










































        ********************************************************************************
        Masterpiece of the day “nothing is changing”:

        In summary: cliche-touché … touché-clishe – such nice and funny word, don’t you thnik? 😉

      8. Dear Anne Egros, here is some little insightful and teasing videos for you about The National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), where a “russian expert” professor Mira Bergelson was formed and now working.
        I hope you know russian language enough to pick up the sence:

        So i hope, after watching this video you undestand how and from where all that pseudo-ethnic crap is borning in the “enlightened” highly “interculturalists” and “truly russian” head of Mira Bergelson. And sure she will provide you with very right information(in best tradions of HSE) how you should understand Russians and Russia. 😉

        but… it is only one thing that’s disturbs me much.. Is professor Mira Bergelson ethnic russian according to her crappy theories? =))))))

        And once again professor Mira Bergelson is NOT from Moscow University – she is from HSE.

        Some additional videos:

        Another connected guy and “expert” to HSE – bastard and liberal banksters dog Sergey Guriev (ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%93%D1%83%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B5%D0%B2,_%D0%A1%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B3%D0%B5%D0%B9_%D0%9C%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87) former rector of New Economic School:

        ——————————
        Exist a lot of such videos and other media data. I posted just very few examples and scandals

        In general, Anne, you can ask any well informed Russians what they think of HSE and all those ppl. 😉

        Hope that this light insight into russian political, cultural, infuentual undeground battles was somehow useful for you.
        (Sure if you love Russia and want Russia to be and stay Russia, but not new type of US or UK etc.)

      1. Btw here is interesting subject for you. Few days ago (1st of May) runet (russian internet segment) was once again attacked by “copyrast” lobby in Russia with new restrictive law and blocking lists. A lot of warez sites, trackers and some other sources could be blocked.

        Since runet was and still is probaly the most free internat segment – kind of “communistic” in matter of content, soft and data availability It might be an interesting theme to post and interesting investigaion(esp lobby roots) for you imho.

        * copyrast is a russian derivation word from two terms: copyright and pederast =D

  9. Great to see Americans and Russians communicating by blog! I have great respect for the Russian people. I have read a lot about the Russian Great Patriotic War (what we call WW2) It is apparent to me by my studies the Russian people 90% had pretty much singlehandedly defeated the Nazis and basically Britain and America came in to help after. that in Normandy.. Over here that wasnt played up at all. Eisenhower at the end of ww2 made a comment that between Poland and Moscow not one house was seen standing by him after Nazi invasion as he flew over Russia during the German Russian war on his plane trip to Moscow .I think that war showed what Russian people can really achieve together and I pray we can all live together in peace and harmony.

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