Just about every nationality has its share of stereotypes. People seem to take some simple traits that people from a specific area may have, exaggerate them and then call them stereotypes. Russian stereotypes are no different. Even though there are traits that are common examples of how some Russians act, not all Russian stereotypes are true. Here are some of the most common Russian stereotypes.

Top 10 Russian Stereotypes


Russians Love Their Vodka

People in Russia do love their vodka and can drink it like it’s water. That being said, it does not mean that Russians are alcoholics. They are able to consume large quantities without becoming inebriated. Just about every Russian household has a bottle or two of vodka on the premises. Many people have said that the Russian people are insulted if you do not drink a shot of vodka with them - they are not; just surprised that you wouldn’t take them up on such a simple drink.


Russian Women Are Very Beautiful

As one of the Russian stereotypes, this one is evident as you walk down the street in Russia. Young women in Russia are very particular about their appearance. They are meticulous about their hair and makeup and their outfits must match perfectly. These women never leave the house looking disheveled or even overly casual. They accessorize their outfits and always look their best no matter what.


Russians Like to Smoke Cigarettes

Not only is it true that Russian people actually chain smoke their cigarettes, the government there is trying to enforce severe anti-smoking rules to try and cut down on this dangerous habit. It is true that Russia is one of the places that have the most smokers in the world. When you visit Russia, you will not be able to escape second-hand smoke; it is virtually everywhere.


The Russian People Are Serious and Right to the Point

One of the Russian stereotypes is that while most Russian people seem to already have a stern look on their face, it is true that they are blunt and will get right to the point when speaking to you. They have little time for small talk and would rather get on with it rather than waste time on simple chit chat. Some of the younger people who have become more Americanized are breaking this stereotype.


Russia Has a Lot of Corruption

If you are ever in Russia, make sure that you have your passport on you. If you do not, or if you are pulled over for a traffic violation, don’t be surprised if the police ask you if you would like a ticket or would you rather hand them a bunch of cash instead. Taking bribes is the way things often work in Russia.


Russian People Like to Dress Up

When it comes to Russian stereotypes, this one could not be missed. When Russian men and women go out on the town, they like to dress up. The women wear trendy clothes, fur coats, and have applied their makeup perfectly. The men also love to wear the latest ensembles and stay in style. The men tend to downplay it if they are not going any place special, but the women always dress as though they are appearing in a fashion magazine.


Russian Night Clubs Are Hard to Get Into

Unless you are among the rich and famous, do not expect to be admitted to a Russian club. In order to gain entrance, you may be able to work your way in but it will cost you a bundle. Once inside, it will cost even more for drinks and a cover charge. If you are just looking for a place to meet with friends and have a drink, try a regular bar instead.


Men and Women Stick To Old Stereotypes

One thing you will notice about Russian stereotypes is that the old “women take care of the kids while the man goes off to work” adage is in full swing. Women have to always look their best, while the men sit around and smoke cigarettes ignoring these pretty women.


Three Mainstays in the Russian Diet – Beets, Herring, and Dill

It’s not that surprising that beets are popular in Russia, that is what they make borsch out of. But herring and dill are among the other favorites. Seledka pod shuboy is a traditional dinner that is consumed on New Year’s Day. It is pickled herring topped with sour cream and beets.



Among the most popular Russian stereotypes, many people have the wrong idea of what a babushka is. The translation of this word is “grandmas” and many are portrayed as mean and bitter old women who yell at children and do nothing but complain about everything. The reality is there are many sweet babushkas who are lovely and happy and should be treated with respect.


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