Funny myths about Russia

As one US blogger cheerfully repeats (Jul'2009) common vision of Russia:

Name: The name “Russia” is a Russian word meaning “cold, unhappy place that is called Russia when it’s not being called the Soviet Union, though occasionally it is called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or for short, Russia.”

Location: Russia is a European…no, wait, Russia is an Asian…Damn, this is complicated. OK, basically, once you hit the Eurasian landmass it’s unavoidable.

Size: Much too big for its own or anyone else’s good, Russia spreads from the Urals to the Caucasus and back around through Siberia, then takes a left to the Black Sea, as the Volga boatmen sing a mournful tune and the Cossacks wreak havoc on their speedy little Mongol ponies.

Symbol: Russia has long been depicted as a bear  by cartoonists

and the cast of 
The View due to the fact that it is large and 

shaggy, has bad breath and will eat anything or anyone(*) 

placed before it.

Government: Russia is technically a putinocracy, that is a nation governed by one man who rules through a legislative body called the Dmitri Medvedev.

Chief exports: Vodka and dolls within dolls within dolls. Russia is also the main supplier of mob guys to Brooklyn.

Weight: Russia weighs over 460 trillion tons, due to its massive consumption of potatoes and sour cream.

National pastimes: Chess, drinking, shoveling snow, invading neighboring countries, getting so depressed you need a drink, having a myocardial infarction when shoveling snow while drunk.

History: Russia was first settled in 1126 by Scandinavian sea raiders who were delighted to find a land even colder than their own. Changing their name to The Slavs, they evolved into two oppressed groups of peasants, one ruled by the Czars, the other by the Tsars. In 1918, both were overthrown by the Bolsheviks, a group of Marxist dissident dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet. Under such forward-looking serial killers as Lenin and Stalin and the more progressive Baryshnikov, Russia became the world’s foremost manufacturer of tractors and nuclear weapons, until it went bankrupt and reached its present state of optimistic doubt tempered by confusion, surliness and despair.

Chief issues: In its meetings with Obama, the Russian leadership is pushing for the 1. Right to sell its nuclear missiles at American gun shows, 2. Closing of the CIA office in the Kremlin, 3. Disclosure of the location of the “reset button” that Obama keeps talking about pressing in order to change the nature of Russian-U.S. relations.

reading this we would say:
Good that chess is mentioned at least...  and thanks for an extra year of freedom as we were under communists since 1917 and you said 1918let's drink "Na zdorovye!" then.   :-)

You may have heard about mass bribing, corruption and mafia in Russia. This talk is exaggerated, times have  changed. If you're still anxious, we will support you with useful advice.
We know the difference between the Russian and Western mentality and we will help your business succeed in Russia.
What is common and available in your country does not always exist here or does not exist in same form. 
Sometimes you are surprised why your Russian partner doesn't understand obvious things. Don’t feel discouraged. The East and West are as different as sunset and sunrise, but we can help you bridge the gap.

(*) Moscow Kremlin only looks so peaceful, 
just read the above information again and beware of bears!   :-)