At the time (1985 - it's on 'The Dream of the Blue Turtles'), many critics thought that this song was quite over-the-top. Sting was greatly ridiculed in the media for his support of native tribes in the Amazonian rain forests, and for being very earnest and serious (his music had jazz influences, for heaven's sake). Nowadays it's hard to see what the fuss was about; 'Russians' remains a curious, unique pop song, dated and unsubtle but still powerful. As with Billy Joel's 'We Didn't Start the Fire', 'Russians' is the kind of thing that was taught in school history lessons.

The song is famous for 'sampling' Sergei Prokofiev; specifically, the middle eight uses part of the 'Lieutenant Kije suite', originally written as the soundtrack to Aleksandr Fajntsimmer's 1934 film 'Lieutenant Kije'.

The line about Mr Reagan protecting us was particularly relevant in the UK at the time, as the USAF ran several nuclear-equipped airbases, from some of which the contemporary attacks against Libya were launched. There were doubts that Reagan's Star Wars missile defence system would work, and that, if it did, it might not actually protect the UK. But that's all over now, thankfully.

Whilst giving a speech to some Western diplomats in 1956, Nikita Khrushchev - who had Ronald Reagan's flair for the dramatic - said " doesn't matter whether the Soviet Union exists. If you don't like us, don't accept our invitations, and don't invite us to come to see you. Whether you like it our not, history is on our side. We will bury you". 'We will bury you' was a common Russian phrase meaning 'we will outlast you and attend your funeral'; Khrushchev did not intend for it to sound so proactive, although the damage was done.

Later, in 1964, he recanted: "I once said, "We will bury you," and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you." In some of the more depraved inner cities in the West this has indeed happened, although not the results have not been as utopian as perhaps Marx intended.

On the subject of the Russians loving their children, it's a curious thing to note that Russia's largest toyshop - 'Detsky Mir' (literally 'Children's World') - is situated on Lubyanka Square, directly opposite the headquarters of the Russian Secret Service (and also that of the KGB and NKVD).

Also, 'Russians' are people who are 'Russian'.

Well, there certainly doesn’t seem to be a lot of Russians on this site for you people to know us. So I would like to tell you something about us. At least I will tell you what I know from the Russian middle-upper class, myself being part of it.

First off, what I mean by middle-upper class is: being able to live without stealing money from the government, living in a nice 2-bedroom apartment and living on the money you get from your job. Trust me, in Russia, in Moscow or Saint Petersburg that is pretty good. I’m not even talking about smaller cities. It also means being intelligent, having a college degree and not being very rude to people around you.

Second off we come from Russia. That doesn’t mean that we come from USSR. It doesn’t mean that we liked or even lived there during communism. It doesn’t mean that we knew and/or saw Lenin, Stalin and Yeltsin. It merely means that we lived in the largest country in the world.

Never assume those kinds of things. If you do, just please, keep them to yourself, because unlike American people we don’t like to be helpful by explaining these things to you.

We are hostile. Remember that every time you talk to us. We don’t like you. Just because you have a smile on, doesn’t imply that we need to have one too. You can identify a Russian, especially if they are over 30 and came to America before they were 20, by the hunched shoulders, defensive movements and hatred in the eyes.

That is the result of living with people who are exactly like that for a long time. We are rude, or if we’re not, we’re thinking of being rude, and getting angry.

The problem between Americans and Russians is the difference between the cultures. See, Americans are pretending to be nice, gentle and accepting creatures. Maybe some of them are. Russians don’t pretend. They show you the exact mood their in – if they’re angry you can see it. If they’re sad, you can see it. If they’re happy you can’t really see it, because Russians rarely smile, (only in a circle of good friends), and because Americans can’t really recognize the happiness of a person on the inside. Americans are great actors. They pretend they are happy every day. I feel really sad for them, sometimes, because I can see that behind their plastic smiles they are really sad, but their friends can’t see it.

Another problem is that when a Russian sees someone smiling they automatically take them for a friend, because they are used to friends being the only people who are open to them. And they automatically start being “friendly” to that person. I say “friendly” in quotes because a Russian understanding of friendly is very different from an American one. What I mean is that Russians automatically start telling things, to that (poor) person, things that they don’t want to hear. They just behave really strange (or so it seems to the confused American), so the American quickly and politely ends the conversation. And the Russian doesn’t understand what is going on, I mean imagine you’re all nice to a person and then the person walks away. That is the great misunderstanding of Russians and Americans. Thank you for reading this far in my ramble.

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