10 tips how to recognize Russians abroad.

10 tips how to recognize Russians abroad.Russians abroad are easily identified. I am usually getting greetings in Russian everywhere in Europe, even without me speaking (I realize I have an accent), although I have been living abroad since 1998.

How do people figure me out? There are definitely some giveaways. I think by now it’s only traits #5, #6 and #10 that are left for me personally, but who knows, there might be some others.

How to recognize Russians abroad: Tips for foreigners

According to Maria Blavatskaya, tourists from the largest country on the planet (geographically) are easy to pick in a crowd. This is how foreigners can figure out Russians abroad.

1. Serious face

First, Russian tourists are easily recognized by the facial expression. Residents of Russia say they pick compatriots by sombre and detached expressions. This seriousness makes foreign visitors of Moscow and St. Petersburg wonder whether people dislike them, but in reality, it’s simply thought to be inappropriate in Russia to smile without a reason. The local proverb holds, “Laughter without a reason is the sign of foolishness.” People living in Russia are just as much taken aback by always smiling foreigners, finding it peculiar.

Russian girl.

Russians are known to put up a sombre and detached expression on the face when they are out of the house. Smiling without a reason is considered inappropriate there, as if you were laughing at the people around you.

2. Disregard to safety

They are not afraid of doing things that are expressly prohibited: Getting too close to the cliff, even though the guide tells not to. If you see someone behaving this way, they are definitely from the countries of the former USSR. The same is applicable to closed beaches and other territories with no public access. Russians are interested, so they go there.

Some psychologists believe it may be genetic, such disregard to safety and potential danger.

How to recognize Russians abroad.

One of the typical behaviours people from Russia exhibit is disregard to safety.

3. In a hurry

It seems like they are always in a hurry: They need to be first in line for anything, at the airport, exiting public transport, and so on. They are the people who get up 20 minutes before the stop to be first in line. It is also popular in Russia to leave mass events early to avoid queues when everyone is leaving.

Woman in a hurry.

Russians seems to be always in a hurry.

4. Disrespect to rules

Trying to get around the rules is the favourite national past time. People from Russia believe that going around is faster and easier than simply following the rules. In their country, it may be true sometimes, but when they are abroad, disregard to safety and rules may backfire.

People from Russia are known for disrespect to rules.

People from Russia are known for disrespect to rules.

5. Distinct style

Men wear a short haircut with a fringe but nearly no hair at the rest of the head.

Girls are known to wear all the best things they have at the same time. When tattoos became popular in Russia, many girls did the same with tats: Everywhere possible. Regarding hair, ladies love long hair and many wear it loose or in a pony tail. Hairdressers around the world know the best type of hair extensions come from Russia. It must be in the genes. Ladies also often prefer short skirts and tight dresses with high heels, just as if they were going to a night club, as their daily wear.

Russian style.

Women have a distinct style of dressing and wearing their hair.

6. Round Slavic faces

Not all residents of Russia come from Slavic background, but many do. Slavs have round faces without distinct cheekbones.

Slavic woman.

Ethnical Russians are Slavs, with round faces and small noses.

7. Mysterious Russian soul

It’s hard to give it a definition (this is why the term ‘mysterious’), but in short, it means that people seem to behave irrationally, although for them it seems perfectly reasonable and justified.

For instance, residents of Russia love to criticize their country, but no foreigner is allowed to do the same. If a foreigner says anything that could be even remotely seen as ‘disrespect to Mother Russia’, he is definitely an enemy for life.

At the same time, they love when foreigners take them for representatives of other nations: For instance, a Russian girl would love to be mistaken for a French or Italian.

Russian girl in the forest, winter.

People from Russia love talking about a ‘mysterious Russian soul’. It means they not always behave rationally but on the whim of emotions.

8. Generosity

Russians are known for leaving crazy tips and partying as I there were no tomorrow. They can buy drinks to all bar patrons or give the last thing to someone in need.

Generous tips in a restaurant

Generous tipping in restaurants is another way to recognize citizens of Russia.

9. Orthodox Christian crosses

People from Russia are known for the penchant to wear Christian Orthodox crosses visible to others, usually on gold or silver necklaces. The crosses have a special shape with two smaller cross arms on top and bottom; giving the shape 8 ends altogether.

Russian Christian cross.

People from Russia love wearing Orthodox Christian crosses on necklaces, similar to this 8-end cross of top of St. Basil’s Cathedral on the Red Square in Moscow.

10. Language

Obviously, Russians speak with a distinct accent, even in English and other languages. It’s also easy to pick when they talk to each other, if you know how it sounds.

These are the 10 things that help to pick a person from Russia in a crowd, according to the sources. If you see a person displaying several of these traits, they may be from Russia!

Do you have any other tips how to notice a Russian abroad? Comment below!


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The Russians abroad really are figured out in the crowd, and I think the most popular of identifications are slavic faces ( especially small noses)) and distinct accent!!!


I don’t really agree with the fact that Russians are always serious, they never smile, etc. This is a bit of a stereotype. I think it all depends on the individual


i agree with all facts! also i can add that ussian people dont like to talk about themselves. i mean politic theame, movies, weather anything but not about their mood or problems! they are openminded and closed people at the same time. also they can tell jokes very emotional and funny!


I agree with the points about distinct style and generosity. You can always spot Russians, especially women. In winter if you see a woman in a fur coat, in 99% of the cases she is Russian. If you see a woman around 50, and she is not dressed like from second hand, she is probably Russian.
Russians are generous
Regarding the accent, a lot of Europeans are not able to distinguish between particular Slavic accents. But I agree, Russians have special accent.


I studied all the tips and was deeply surprised. I have round face and tattoo, but people takes me for a German abroad. Moreover, often I cannot identify Russians myself. What is wrong with me? Well, it is interesting topic, but I cannot continue discussing. My mysterious Russian soul calls me to do something irrational: to help somebody, to climb a mounting or give generous tips…