For most, Russia is "a riddle inside a mystery wrapped in an enigma." Very little is known about Russia in the west other than what is shown in the movies and in video games. Here are the cold facts about Russia.
Russian women are genetically superior to most other women. They are taller, skinnier, and tend to drink more alcohol than their Western counterparts.
If you look at this picture for 10 minutes, you will probably still fail to realize that this soldier is wearing a hat and collar made of dog fur.
That is, until old age sets in:
Pictured above: The entire 13-time-zone Glorious Russia
The best estimate on the origin of the Russian people is that they descended from Northern European tribes, such as the vikings. Tribes began to be established throughout modern day Western Russia and Eastern Europe. In 988 AD, Russia adopted Orthodoxy as the official state religion to form an alliance with Byzantium, and forced everyone to be baptized.
They lived in relative harmony until the Mongols came from the East and conquered all of Russia and moved into Ukraine.
Russia, which was then an unorganized network of tribes, united under Ivan the Terrible, who later became the first Czar (Czar having the same root as Ceasar) and cast out the Mongol raiders, but not before Mongolians changed the national hair color from blonde (the word Russia, actually traces back to the word Rus', which means blonde hair) to black and brought much needed cuss words to the Russian language. Moscow became the capitol of Russia and St. Basil's Cathedral was built on Red Square. Ivan the Terrible then asked the architect if he could maybe create a more beautiful cathedral. The scared architect answered that he could. Ivan the Terrible then cut his eyes out to ensure that St. Basil's would be the most beautiful cathedral in the land.
Red and beatuiful have the same root word in Russian, hence the city's beautiful square became known as Red Square.
Peter the Great, several hundred years later, decided that Russia was behind in the times and needed to integrate more into Europe. He built St. Petersburg from scratch over a swamp land. He moved the capitol to St. Petersburg and began to civilze Russia. He built several palaces such as the Hermitage (now the world's largest museum) and Peterhof, shown below, the royal summer palace.
In 1917, Russia underwent a revolution and overthrew Czar Nicolas and murdered his family. Rumors spread that Nicolas's daughter, Anastasia, ran away and was in hiding and every couple of years, Anastasias pop up to make claim to the royal fortune. The Soviet Union was formed and moved the capitol back to Moscow.
Then came World War II and Stalin. Russia and the Soviet Union lost between 12 and 20 million people in World War II between starvation and war. The Nazis attacked from the south and invaded St. Petersburg in the north. Eventually, much like Napoleon, Hitler was defeated by the Russian winter.
After World War II, Russia emerged as one of the world's superpowers. The Soviet Union then began to have a race with the U.S. to create bigger, better, and more nuclear weapons and eventually ended up outspending themselves.
Russia's national beverage is Vodka, which accounts for its national past time, sleeping in the park during the middle of the day while wearing Addidas pants and a suit jacket.
The banya (or sauna) were public bathhouses that were usually used by people who lived in communal housing and didn't have showers. They consist of the sauna and the pool and shower. Nowadays, the banya is one of the last places where it is acceptable to strip naked and eat chicken and drink vodka with a group of men.
In the banya, it is customary to be beaten with a bundle of eucalyptus branches. This draws blood closer to the surface of the skin, which helps the blood release toxins through the skin, and also gets eucalyptus oil on the skin, which has a soothing effect.
Russian food is not at all like western food.
Kholodets - Usually made by adding geletin and pieces of meat to rendered fat to create a fat jell-o. Served cold with bread.
Or if you prefer unrendered pork fat, you can go with salo. Salo is cured pork fat that is sliced and eaten on buttered bread. It's like bacon, only bacon is delicious and has meat on it and is cooked.
Luckily, there are plenty of these around:
The Russian language is not based on the Latin Alphabet, like most Western and European countries. It is based on the Cyrillic alphabet, which looks like this:
Here's what it looks like in action:
In Russia, Donald's nephews are known as Willy, Dilly, and Nilly because Huey is really close to a derogatory name for penis.
Notably absent in the Russian language are articles ("a" and "the"), present tense of the verb "to be" and the "th" sound. It not zat big of deal. Until you say outloud, "I'd like to have sex with a mother," which then becomes "I'd like to have sex with mother." Here's another example of lost in translation. In case you don't recognize it, it' the movie poster for Star Wars Episode IV:
Red Alert pretty much sums up Western opinions of Russia - super hot chicks with guns and hot pants with Russian bears fighting by their side. It's actually quite accurate:
Also, as history has taught us, although several Russians are not spies, the majority are (see Cracked article: 5 Spies with Bigger Balls than James Bond).
1980s Cold War Propoganda Movies, a.k.a. The Golden Age of Filmmaking:
The 1980s brought with it anti-Soviet propoganda films, such as Red Dawn and Rocky IV, where good old Americans destroy the much more powerful Russian foe.
In Red Dawn, a group of high school students wipe out the Russian army, who has invaded the U.S.
In Rocky IV, Rocky Balboa faced off against Ivan Drago, the Russian Boxer. You can tell he's Russian because of the pictures of Lenin hanging up in the background and because he is being punched in the face by the guy wearing American flag boxing shorts:
Tatu: Everybody's favorite Russian teenage lesbians. Forced at age 14 to take on the lesbian persona by their producer, the Tatu girls proceeded to make out on stage and dance around splashing water on each other on stage in their white t-shirts until they eventually became popular in the United States. This video, called Simple Movements, has masturbatory undertones.
Detsl: Russia's teenage rap artist from the streets of Moscow. He's tough, but he didn't have to tell you that. His dreads did that for him.
Blestyashie: Blestyashie (or Bright Ones) are popular for their extreme mediocrity in music talent and lack of shyness about filming half naked.
Demo: Typical Euro house beats. Complete with the wacked out Euro dancer thrashing around.
Virus: Following one of the common themes in these videos - wearing flag stuff and flashing in the subway.
Alsu: Daughter of a rich Tartar oil tycoon, Alsu (or Alsou in some transliterations) made a few albums and then moved to London. She has recorded several albums in English, including a single with Enrique Inglesias back when the whole Latin thing was popular. She stands out from other Russian singers because she is talented.
Diskoteka Avariya: Everybody's favorite hip hop boy band. Unlike American boy bands who have "the lead singer" "the guys who don't really do anything but dance" and "the hot one", Diskoteka Avaria has "the fat one." Their song, Pey Pivo (Drink Beer) was a big hit in Russia. Verse two, "Eat Meat", was cut out of the the opera remix. Again, with the other song, we see an attempt to copy Fight Club and girls wearing American flags.
Zapreshyonnie Barabanshiki: Last but not least, we have the Forbidden Drummers and their song "They Killed a Negro." As if you didn't recognize that he was in fact a Negro, you can tell because they have him playing basketball and acting like a gorilla. But, the first few seconds of the song, the group explains that they are in fact not racists and are against racism. Again, we see how direct meaning of words is somehow lost in translation because in English, the word "racism" means making a song about killing negroes ["for no reason"] and throwing in the word basketball every other word.