Sunday, August 12, 2018

Eight American Stereotypes about Russians Contain Positive as Well as Negative Elements, Russian Living in US Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 12 – Russians have long been fascinated by what they see as the stereotypes about themselves held by other nations, particularly by Americans. That interest has only been heightened by stories about the decision of some Trump voters to wear t-shirts declaring “I’d rather be a Russian than a Democrat” (

                Vadim Sovitsky, a Russian who has been living in the United States for some time, provided Open Russia with a list of what he describes as eight of the “most widespread stereotypes” Americans have about Russians,” a list that originally appeared a few days ago at but has been reposted numerous times since then.

            His list of American stereotypes about Russia and Russians includes:

1.      Russians are “inhibited” and do not express themselves emotionally.

2.      “All Russians are communists,” a holdover from Soviet times obviously and no longer the case.

3.      “Russians don’t know how to tell jokes and never smile.”

4.      “Russians are bold and brave.” Sovitsky says he never encountered a single Russian coward in US films about war even though Americans remain convinced that they alone won that conflict.

5.      “Russia is a very poor and underdeveloped country” which doesn’t have things like the internet or even telephones.  The fact that this stereotype exists, he continues, “means that we have lost in our information war with America.”

6.      “Russians are very intelligent,” capable of solving the most complicated intellectual tasks that are often beyond Americans.

7.      “Russians don’t understand how people live beyond their own borders.”   

8.      And “in Russia, practically every individual is quite capable of using weapons, especially guns.”  He admits he learned how to assemble and disassemble a Kalashnikov automatic in school and he impressed some young Americans with his ability to do so far more quickly than they. Of course, they “were convinced” that in Russia, “every youngster has his own gun and plays with it.” As far as that is concerned, Sovitsky says, “let them be afraid!”

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