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Stereotypes and mistakes to avoid with Russians


Common stereotypes

Cold climate, vodka, poverty, Mafia, corruption are the common stereotypes. These elements are present but they are emphasised by mass media and are often reflected in a misleading way. Surprisingly, many foreigners still confuse Russia and the Soviet Union.

West vs. Russia

The West should not take the images of certain disorder, Mafia and the war in Chechnya as the sole features of contemporary Russia.

During the last decade, much was done institutionally and privately to advance understanding of the West among Russians. Unfortunately, less was done the other way round.


Mistakes to avoid

Subjects to avoid:

- Chechnya

- Reasons of the USSR collapse

- Jewish “pogroms”

One should avoid to say that the USA won the World War II

One should not confuse the USSR with the Russian Federation

One should not affirm that Russia is a poor country It is important to be polite and to follow cultural codes

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