Fake Russian

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Very few characters from Russia or the former Soviet Union in Western television are played by native Russians. This was a particular case in the Cold War, for obvious reasons.[1]

As with Fake American, Fake Brit and all types of Fake Nationality, the quality of the imitation of the Russian accents varies from the very good to the awful to the not-even-attempted.

For convenience's sake, this trope covers the whole of the former Soviet Union on its post World War Two boundaries. Fake Russian text is The Backwards R.

Examples of Fake Russian include:


Anime and Manga

  • From Axis Powers Hetalia we have Russia, whose American actor has a distinct generic Russian accent, not that the fangirls seem to mind.
    • Although, considering that the show is based on national stereotypes, this actually makes sense.
  • Half-Russian Freesia Yagyuu spoke heavily Japanese accented Russian at times in Jubei-chan 2. Her mother being a member of a Siberian tribe from 300 years ago, she nevertheless makes many modern Russian stereotypical references. Subversively, this is because she's far smarter than she lets on, and her goofy "Rapanese" persona is fake.
  • Sergei Smirnov, and Sergei's estranged son Andrei from Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Also from the same series is half-Chinese Kazakhstani Allelujah Haptism.
  • Simon the sushi tout in Durarara!!. His voice actor doesn't even bother himself with imitating Russian accent—he just uses generic foreign one, which (as it is Japan, after all) just happens to be English. And besides, he's actually a Russian of African descent.
    • His dub voice actor, however, does adopt a Russian accent for the role—except when reading inner monologue.
  • Maria Tachibana in Sakura Taisen is half-Russian (though the series plays up her Russian-ness so much that if not for her name you'd never know it's only half). Her US voice actress decided to give her a Russian accent, which would have been a nice touch if she could imitate one worth a darn.


  • James Bond movies:
  • White Nights cast Soviet defector and ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov as a Soviet defector and ballet dancer who accidentally winds up back in the Soviet Union.
    • Jerzy Skolimowski, a Pole, was cast as the chief KGB officer assigned to keep track of him.
    • Isabella Rossellini (Swedish-Italian) is featured as a Russian.
    • Helen Mirren (born Ilyena Vasilievna Mironov), who is actually half-Russian, half-British.
  • In Dr. Strangelove the Russian ambassador is played by British actor, Peter Bull. Though to be fair he's not really fooling any-one.
  • Gideon Emery, also a British actor, plays the Russian mobster Sergei in Takers.
  • Ed O'Ross, who hails from Pittsburgh, PA, has played Russians several times in both TV and film.
  • In Hollywood, Russian characters have been played by Swedish actors on a number of occasions. This has apparently led some to perceive Swedish accents as Russian ones even when they are not intended as such. Then, of course there's the matter of spoken Swedish actually sounding more similar to Russian than even some Slavic languages, such as Czech. Examples include:
    • The actor who plays Ivan Drago in Rocky IV is Dolph Lundgren, a Swede.
    • Peter Stormare, another Swede, was one of the only good things about Armageddon with his psychotic cosmonaut character. He also got to be a Russian in Bad Boys II and Playing God. He was also a Soviet Mad Scientist in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. Apparently he plays a convincing enough Russian to do it over and over.
    • Lena Olin, Alias- plus Isabella Rossellini.
    • With the film being released a couple of months into World War Two, Greta Garbo in Ninotchka. (The other three important Russian characters are played by German actors.)
    • In another Nordic/Russian connection, the Russian terrorist villain of the Jackie Chan film The Spy Next Door is played by Magnus Scheving, an Icelander.
  • The film K19: The Widowmaker, set aboard a Russian submarine, is 138 minutes of non-stop fake Russian.
    • From Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard and Harrison Ford, of all people. Neeson wisely gives up and reverts to his Irish brogue about halfway through the movie.
  • Eastern Promises. Viggo Mortensen spent some time unaccompanied in the rural region of Russia his character is meant to originate from to not only absorb the dialect, but the regional culture as well. His costars did not however go to such lengths.
  • Sean Connery plays the half-Lithuanian, half-Russian submarine commander (with a Scottish accent) Marko Ramius in The Hunt for Red October. There are a number of other examples in that film alone, including the two other main Russian characters played by Sam Neill and Tim Curry, Peter "Harry Pearce" Firth, and Stellan Skarsgård, a Swedish actor, who has a small role as a Soviet submarine captain sent to hunt down the defecting eponymous vessel.
    • Though to be fair, the film transitions early from Russian to English being spoken aboard the Red October to simplify things. The crew wouldn't be speaking English with a Russian accent, they'd just be speaking Russian on the ship. Now the last twenty minutes where the Russians and Americans are on the ship together, yeah . . .
  • Firefox. (No, not the browser, a movie with Clint Eastwood.) "You have to think think think in (fake) Russian (fake) Russian (fake) Russian...."
    • Justified, as Eastwood's character is supposed to be half-Russian, and was born and raised in the United States. His accent being a bit off is understandable.
  • Nicole Kidman (Australian), Mathieu Kassovitz and Vincent Cassel (Two Frenchmen) play Russians in the movie Birthday Girl.
  • Enemy at the Gates, set during the siege of Stalingrad, featured Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Joseph Fiennes as members of the Soviet army... plus Bob Hoskins as (rather unconvincing—he failed to Chew the Scenery enough) Nikita Khrushchev. All of them are Brits. None of them used fake-Russian accents in that movie, however. Some of the American actors affected British accents as well. Led to some oddity when the Germans were primarily American actors, using American accents. This could be Translation Convention; English=Russian, American=German.
    • Heck, to this Russian troper, it’s painfully obvious that none of the "Russians" in that movie even looked Russian. Yes, there are certain visual ethnic characteristics that tend to distinguish us from other white Europeans. No, I don't expect most Westerners to pick up on the subtleties thereof.
      • But Bob Hoskins was made up not too badly to look like Nikita Khrushchev, and Joseph Fiennes looked almost stereotypically like what his character was supposed to be - Jewish and not only a bit Sephardic either.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull features Cate Blanchett (Australian) as an Eastern Ukrainian Soviet, and she reportedly did pretty well - while gleefully Chewing the Scenery.
  • In addition to the usual "British and Americans as Russians", Doctor Zhivago also stars Egyptian-born Omar Sharif as the title character.
  • In the action/parody Cats and Dogs there's a villainous cat-burgler (that's a cat who is a burglar) armed with numerous spy-gadgets known only as 'The Russian', who naturally speaks in the stereotypical Russian accent used by Cold War villains.
  • None other than our favorite Austrian, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the movie Red Heat.
    • Which made it a cult classic in Russia for its sheer camp value.
  • Robin Williams in Moscow on the Hudson. Williams was particularly dedicated to being fluent in Russian for the role. Years later, he could still carry on a conversation in the language.
  • The President's Analyst - Severn Darden plays a sympathetic KGB agent with an accent like a toned-down Mischa Auer (comic actor known for "Mad Russian" roles) - when we first see him he is speaking in Russian with a superior.
  • The Dark Knight has Beatrice Rosen (French-American) as the Russian prima ballerina who lectures Harvey Dent, and Richie Coster (English) as the Chechen gangster (not Russian in the strict sense, but he portrays his character as a stereotypical Russian mafioso).
  • Little Odessa: in this story set in a Russian-Jewish community of Brighton Beach, everybody except for some minor characters is played by Americans or Brits. It sometimes shows, though for the most part the Russian dialogue sounds acceptable.
  • While we are at Little Odessa, Lord of War: Nicolas Cage as Ukranian-pretending-to-be-Jewish arms dealer Yuri Orlov. Funny how Orlov is a very Ukranian surname and not at all 'Jewish'. Cage, as well as his brother played by Jared Leto, even manage several lines in Ukranian on-screen - surprisingly recognizable, at least compared to many other instances. Averted with several secondary characters, like Yuri's uncle, who are played by actual Ukranians and get their lines straight.
    • Actually, there is probably no such thing as a Jewish surname. The stereotypical, German-sounding Jewish surnames like Goldstein etc. are in fact a very recent thing. In Central and Eastern Europe, Jews would usually adopt local surnames or create their own in the local vein.
  • Curiously enough, the Tartars (derived from real life Tatars) in The Golden Compass speak perfect Russian! That can be considered a part of Lzherusskie phenomenon, because, well, real Tatar language is quite different from Russian. While it's arguably true for the book/movie (where one guesses the Muscovites had not united Rus', though it's not stated outright), it's worth noting that most real life Tatars do speak fluent Russian, Tatarstan being part of the Russian Federation, after all.
  • Zlatko Burić (Croatian) as Yuri Karpov (the oligarch), Johann Urb (Estonian) as Sasha (the pilot), and Beatrice Rosen (again!!!) as Tamara (the oligarch's mistress) in 2012. Also, Zinaid Memisevic (Bosnian) as Sergey Karpenko (Russian president). His interpreter, played by Igor Morozov, is the only "true" Russian in the movie.
  • Mickey Rourke plays a Russian in Iron Man 2. Rourke spent time in a Russian supermax prison just to absorb some local flavor and was coached on the language by his Russian girlfriend. In the same film, Scarlett Johansson plays a character who was Russian in the comics, but is not said to be Russian in the film, and nothing in her performance even hints at it.
  • In Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three, the Russian characters are played by Austrian and German actors.
  • Salt has two Polish actors playing the Soviet defector and the Russian president, and the American Corey Stall playing one of the undercover agents (though like the rest of the agents in the movie, he's lived his whole adult life in America).
  • Esther from Orphan is played by an American actress, although her accent is actually quite well-done. The character herself turns out to be one of these as well - she's really from Estonia.
    • Actually, Isabelle Fuhrman's (the actress's) mother is Russian and speaks the language fluently, so she might not count as the trope.
  • British Daniel Craig played Belarussian Tuvia Bielski in Defiance. His accent when speaking Russian was less than convincing. Interesting fact: most Jews in a movie speak awful fake Russian while Russians speak perfect Russian. In Real Life Jews in Russia (and Belarus and most of Ukraine) can't be recognized by accent except of some special places.
  • Variously averted, subverted, and played straight in 2010: The Year We Make Contact. By the numbers:
    • Dana Elcar is not Russian in any way, and his accent as Dimitri Moisevich is subpar to say the least. His radio transmissions in Russian had to be dubbed in.
    • Helen Mirren as Tanya Kibruk is an interesting case. She is (of course) English and speaks no Russian, but she is ethnically Russian on her father's side and can do a flawless Russian accent.
    • The remaining Soviets are all either Czech or actually Soviet, even if some of them (e.g. Elya Baskin) aren't actually Russian per se (Baskin, for instance, is a Latvian from Riga—which at the time was part of the USSR).
  • Shannon Elizabeth played Nadia, a Czech (not Russian, but similarly Slavic) in American Pie.
  • Averted somewhat in the 2009 Star Trek: Anton Yelchin (Ensign Chekov) was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States as a baby. He would've done an accurate accent, but was directed to exaggerate it to match Walter Koenig's original performance of the character.


  • Parodied in Dave Barry's column "The Columnist's Caper," a spy-movie pastiche in which two Russian officers named Rasputin Smirnov and Joyce Brothers Karamazov Popov take turns frowning at each other while talking about how the Americans must be kept from interfering with their Evil Plan. When Smirnov asks, "Shouldn't we be speaking Russian?", Popov says that they should at least have accents. The rest of their lines have them doing every accent but a Russian one.

Live-Action TV

  • The classic example is Ensign Chekov from Star Trek: The Original Series, portrayed by an American, albeit one of Lithuanian descent. His surname, btw, means 'receipt-son'. Apparently a misspelling of Chekhov (Chekov), which means 'of Czech descent'.
    • Anton Yelchin's version is a borderline case; Yelchin is Russian, but came to America as a young enough child that he doesn't normally have a Russian accent at all when speaking English. He's also doing it in homage to Chekov.
    • If "Walter Koenig" sounds Lithuanian to you.... Baltic Germans are a separate ethnicity with a long and rather distinguished history.
  • In Twenty Four:
    • Julian Sands, a British actor, played Big Bad Vladimir Bierko. Mark Sheppard, also British, played Bierko's Dragon, and notably switched between British and Russian accents during his tenure on the show. However, since the nationality of them bad guys was Generic Central Asian it's rather pointless to discuss whether the names and accents were accurate to any particular real Central-Asian / Eastern-European country
    • In Season 8, Russian Big Bad Mikhail Novakovich is portrayed by Glasgow-born actor Graham Mc Tavish. Likewise, Sergei Behzaev in the same season was acted by Berliner Jurgen Prochnow.
  • A classic example was Illya Kuryakin on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., played by the Scottish David McCallum (who would go on to play Ducky in NCIS).
  • Averted in Babylon 5 where Claudia Christian uses her own (American) accent for the Russian character Susan Ivanova. The new president at the end of the fourth season was accused of it, but the actress was Polish and also using her own accent. Ivanova was particularly notable for the subtle (and realistic) hints of Russian inserted in her lines - most notably, the line "This, to me, is not a good combination" - which say that, despite her accent, she is a native Russian speaker.
  • Dr. Svetlana Markov [sic]; (corrected to Markova in the Russian dub) in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Watergate", portrayed by Marina Sirtis. On the other hand, the two Russian sailors from "Small Victories" look rather authentic, being portrayed by Russians. The one with glasses speaks Ukrainian, almost without an accent. The other one alternates between Russian and Ukrainian. One of them asks what is that noise they hear from the torpedo tube and the other answers "maybe those are the bugs from the previous episode?".
  • Aversion: Radek Zelenka in Stargate Atlantis was originally supposed to be Russian, but the producers changed the character's nationality to fit the actor's Czech origins. It should be pointed out that while actor David Nykl can speak Czech fluently, having been born in the country to Czech parents, he left at a very young age with his family (after the Prague Spring of 1968) and his actual accent is Canadian. That and it appears he's actually been a fake Russian in the past. Nevertheless, Nykl's Czech accent is pretty much spot-on.
  • Gary Chalk, Canadian actor of English birth, plays Russian General Chekhov on SG-1.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Our Man Bashir", Nana Visitor (who plays Kira Nerys) is clearly putting on the most ridiculous faux-Russian accent and having loads of fun while at it .
  • The 2007 BBC1 adaptation of Ballet Shoes features at least two, possibly three. With one, Petrova Fossil (played by London-born Yasmin Paige) the accent is not an issue- the character was brought up in England and accordingly has an English accent. She does on occasions have a Yulia Tymoshenko-style hairdo (Ukrainian, but near enough). The funny thing is that Timoshenko (nee Grigian) isn't Ukrainian herself—she's Russian-Armenian, and speaks Ukrainian with a heavy Russian accent. Her hairdo is an attempt to distance from her roots and lure hardcore Ukrainian nationalists to support her.
  • Several episodes of Law & Order: SVU feature bad Russian accents, most glaringly "Russian Love Poem" in the first season.
  • In an Angel episode, Summer Glau played the ghost of a Russian prima ballerina. The accent was fairly decent, as was the ballet—she is a trained dancer.
  • The Criminal Minds episode "Honor Among Thieves," involving Russian emigres and the Russian mob, combined actors from all over the place: two were Polish, one was Croatian, several were Americans of Russian descent, and at least one or two were from Russia.
  • On JAG, Harmon Rabb's half brother Sergei Zhukov is played by Canadian Jade Carter. Evidently he won the part over several Russian actors.
  • The TV adaptations of John Le Carre's "Karla trilogy" feature, among others, Curd Jürgens (German) as an Estonian exile and Michael Lonsdale (French) as a Russian bureaucrat. Also Patrick Stewart is Smiley's counterpart and foe Karla, although he more or less dodges this trope by having no spoken dialogue.
  • Reilly, Ace of Spies features New Zealander Sam Neil playing a Ukrainian Jew pretending to be Irish. With Translation Convention being used throughout, a load of English actors play Russians using British accents.
  • Russian Idol.
  • The MacGyver episode "Gold Rush" had several supposedly Russian characters. MacGyver full stop, really.
  • In the revival of Red Dwarf, there was a Fan Service-y science officer called Katerina Bartikovsky, who spoke with some kind of accent.
  • British actress Zuleikha Robinson as Ilana Verdansky on Lost.
  • In the first few episodes of Dollhouse, we are led to believe that the character Enver Gjokaj plays is that of Russian mob goon Lubov—of course, this is only an imprint and he is in fact the active named Victor. Worth noting here is that Gjokaj's accent was so good and his name so exotically Eastern-European (though he's actually Albanian) that a lot of viewers never thought to guess his character was anything but what he seemed at first.
    • It's also later established that "Victor" is actually American.
  • Black Books has an episode with a Russian piano teacher played by Scottish actor.
  • The Suite Life on Deck episode "Das Boots" had Sasha Matryoshka, a Russian junior chess champion played by Cody Kennedy, who's of Russian ancestry, but otherwise American as apple pie.
  • Lampshaded slightly on Sex and the City with Carrie's inability to pronounce Aleksandr's name. He finally says "Call me 'Bob.'"
  • On Six Feet Under, Ruth Fisher's Russian employer/paramour Nikolai is played by Ed O'Ross, a Pittsburgh-born and raised American of Czechoslovakian descent (his real last name is Orosz).
  • On Chuck, Russian Arms Dealer Alexei Volkoff is played by former James Bond Timothy Dalton. His big reveal had him switch to a Russian accent, but he slips back into an English accent most of the time anyway. It starts to make sense when we learn that Volkoff was actually an English scientist accidentally implanted with the "Volkoff" cover identity during a CIA experiment.
  • On Nikita, one of the main characters is Alexandra Udinov a.k.a. Alex, daughter of a Russian oligarch, played by the half-Portuguese Lyndsy Fonseca.
  • Alias: Julian Sark is a borderline case as his exact nationality is never directly confirmed. He's played by American David Anders but the character speaks with an Irish-influenced British accent. The character is not British, however, he was merely educated in Britain and spent a lot of time in Galway. It's eventually revealed he's the son of a Russian diplomat and was sent to Britain at a young age to escape from his father's abusive behaviour.
    • Andrian Lazarey is a Russian diplomat and descendant of the Romanov family. He's Sark's father and is played by American Mark Bramhall, making him a straight example of this trope.


  • Tom Lehrer's "Lobachevsky" is sung in a fake Russian accent. One part of the song actually includes lines that are instructed to be sung in Russian (if the audience doesn't speak Russian) or in gobbledygook (if they do).
  • The Leningrad Cowboys are actually Finns.

Professional Wrestling

Tabletop Games

  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse core rulebook, there is a picture of a werewolf from the Silver Fang ("Серебряные клыки" in Russian) tribe over the Cathedral of Vasily Blazhenny, titled: "СЕРЕБРЯНЫЦ КЛЫКЦ". This has become a meme among Russian WtA fans. Perhaps compounded by the fact that the werewolf in question appears to be the signature character King Albrecht; while the Silver Fangs as a tribe are associated with Russia, Albrecht himself is thoroughly American (and, to top things off, once called a Russian Silver Fang he didn't like a "commie bastard").
  • In Paranoia, members of the "Commies" secret society tend to speak in Fake Russian accents. One rulebook recommends using Pavel Chekov's accent as a guide.


  • Not only does Chess have several Russian characters likely to be played by non-Russians, its creators made the mistake of naming one of them "Svetlana Sergievsky[3]".

The original Anatoly on the concept album (and the West End production) was Swedish performer Tommy Korberg. His accent is tough to place, sounding somewhere between English (to match the rest of the cast) and his native Swedish. Bjorn Skifs, the original Arbiter, is also Swedish, but his character's nationality is made intentionally ambiguous—pretty much the only thing we can say for certain is that he isn't American or Russian.


  • The Heavy from Team Fortress 2, who has a Slavic accent, is played by the same voice actor who does the Demoman.
  • British actor Gary Oldman put on a fairly convincing Russian accent as the Badass Sgt. Reznov in Call of Duty: World At War.
    • Averted, humorously enough in a scene from the first Modern Warfare game where you are attempting to ambush and capture Victor Zakhaev. Your character actually sits up in the guard tower with Griggs while Captain Price and Gaz go about Dressing as the Enemy Griggs says that Soap looks nothing like a Russian.
  • Juhani. The same voice actor went on to portray Jack in Mass Effect 2, who does not speak with anything remotely resembling a Russian accent.
  • Call of Duty and Command & Conquer: Red Alert both has enough of linguistic and cultural pratfalls in "red balalaika" style that they are attractive for Russian-speaking players just because of the inherent hilarity (as great Easter Egg feasts). Not counting such obvious over-the-top things as paratrooper bears. The more "realistic" and "live" images are, the crazier they look. Starting from its trailer. On the other hand, as long as Ivana Milicevic in that... "uniform" is there, who cares about what "regalia" she put on?
    • The crowning bit has to be Tim Curry as the Soviet Premier - who cares about how good his accent is(n't) when he gets going?
  • Bishop Ladja in the Nintendo DS remake of Dragon Quest V. It helps boost his image as a cold-hearted villain.
  • Jim Cummings does a good job of this in Baldur's Gate as Minsc, who is from the Forgotten Realms land of Rashemen (geographically located in the same area as Belarus/Western Russia).
    • Minsc has the same name (phonetically) the capital city of Belarus; one would hope that he would have something of a Slavic bent.
    • Dynaheir (who is also from Rashemen) and Edwin (from neighboring Thay) are also varying degrees of lzherusskie, although Dynaheir edges close to What the Hell Is That Accent?, sounding like some sort of mixture of russian and french. Jaheira (from Tethyr, located on the opposite end of Faerun) also had a lzherusskie accent in the first Baldur's Gate for some inexplicable reason, but it's significantly toned down for the second game.
  • The voice emotes for Draenei PCs (and most NPCs) in World of Warcraft have Hollywood-Romanian accents.
  • The Metal Gear series has many, most notably Revolver Ocelot (voiced by two Americans, but his mother is American). In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, however, which entirely takes place in Russia, nobody has an accent at all, as part of the Translation Convention. Well, except Granin.
  • Surprisingly averted in the English version of the video game Metro 2033, whose voice actors happen to actually be Russian native speakers (in both the original and the dub), with the exception of Yuri Lowenthal and Steve Blum, who sound quite convincing.
  • The Russian voice option in Saints Row: The Third is done by American voice actress Tara Platt.


  • Pitr from User Friendly - though he's a Life Embellished version of an Estonian co-worker, the author thought it would be funnier to give him a "blatantly fake Slavic accent." (Estonians, for the record, aren't Slavic, though he didn't actually say they were.)
    • Pitr's fake-Russian dialect is actually justified - he spoke standard English at the beginning of the strip. He later adopted the accent to reinforce his "Evil Genius" persona.
    • Pitr actually does have Russian ancestry, as indicated by his bio. At first, he pretended his accent was an attempt to be more connected to his family because he didn't want them to know he was trying to be evil.
  • A Miracle of Science, though it's not clear whether this failure happened in or out of the 'Verse.

Web Original

"The Russian" in The League of STEAM.

Western Animation

  • Linka, the Ukrainian Wind Ring from the Planeteers in Captain Planet was voiced by Katherine Soucie, an American voice actress. She can be identified by misplaced inflections and occasionally misusing a phrase.
  • Jetstorm and Jetfire from Transformers Animated are voiced with Russian accents.
  • Ravage from Beast Wars has a similar accent.
  • An American Tail: At least the parents try to put on Russian accents, Fievel and Tanya sound like regular Americans even before they immigrate to America.
  • Parodied in Total Drama Action in the spy episode when Chris claims a butchered accent— the stumped cast guesses Jamaican, Japanese, Swedish, French and Italian in order— is Russian.
  • Mr. Bobinsky in Coraline, complete with a funnily overwrought accent and surprisingly decent Gratuitous Russian.
  • A generation of kids learned how to speak with a bad Russian accent from Boris and Natasha spies from the fictional country of Pottsylvania on Rocky and Bullwinkle.
  • Dr. Jumba Jookiba in Lilo and Stitch, a Kweltekwanian alien, is speaking vaguely Russian accent if only because he is a Mad Sci-, erm, Evil Genius.
  • None of the voice actors in Anastasia is Russian, and their accents (as well as the attempts to speak the language) are wildly off the mark.
  • The Trunkovs and Ivan from Cars 2.
  • Dr. Andre Chezko from Speed Racer: The Next Generation. In-universe. For he is actually none other than Wilson "Sparky" Sparkolemew.

Real Life

  • Many Chess champions were described as "Russian," even though they were:
    • Latvian: Mikhail Tal (Mihails Tals)
    • Armenian: Tigran Petrosian
    • Azeri: Garry Kasparov (though ethnic Armenian)
  • The "Russian linesman" from the 1966 FIFA World Cup was actually Azeri.
  • Modified example: After the breakup of the Soviet Union other athletes were heard to bemoan the amount of "Russians" now in the games. "It used to be you had to beat the Russian, now you have to beat the Russian, the Kazakh, the Uzbek, the Georgian...THEY'RE ALL RUSSIAN!"
  • Actors from former Yugoslavian countries working in USA or United Kingdom are usually cast as Russians, mainly because Yugoslavia wasn't behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. Rade Šerbedžija has made a Hollywood career out of playing Russians (The Saint, |Mission Impossible II, Space Cowboys, Snatch, 24...) On British TV, Serbian actors Branka Katić and Dragan Mićanović played Russians on the TV series Auf Wiedersehn, Pet. Katić has also played Russians on Trial and Retribution and H G Wells: War With The World.
  1. During the Cold War, it was relatively uncommon for Soviet citizens to have the wealth and permission from their own government to travel to the west. Couple that with restrictions from western governments on where they could go or do while there, and it’s easy to see why the supply of Russians from Russia was limited during this time.
  2. his family moved to Russia
  3. For people not familiar with Russian naming conventions, "Sergievsky" is the masculine form of the name; Svetlana, being female, would more properly be "Sergievskaya".