"Big Russian guy with big guns, all those American and their stereotypes!"
— Molotov, Facebreakers
Ah, Mighty Glacier
. Stronk, brutish, beeg, stronk
, not so bright (unless zat is point)
... Because Mozzer Russia Makes You Stronk
And in video games, he is beink almost invariably Russian. Ozzer countries are, in some rare cases, substituted, but video game's large fellow
often khas good chance of being from former Soviet Union
. May also be replacink ze g in -ing works with k, for yexample; drinkink
, skiink, dancink
, and so on.
May have one of six possible names: Ivan, Vladimir, Yuri*
, Viktor, Dmitri, or Boris.
This actually is not beink limited to just games. Apparently it has been common stereotype in Western film for Russian men to be depicted as large
"bears" who are speakink in broken English
. Khowever, is most visible in video games. Yespecially fightink games
Often tend to be eizzer The Brute
or Boisterous Bruiser
, often dependink on what side zey are beink on. Owink to greater yemotional freedom yin Russian culture, may also be Emotional Bruiser
Zis seems to be becomink eizzer Evolvink
or Discredited Trope
; khowever, more recent games such as Team Fortress 2
breazzink new life into trope for sheerest Camp
If you went back to Seventies
and asked someone what Husky Russkie was beink, would assume you were referrink to woman
, but now Russian women beink Sensual Slavs
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Anime & Manga
- Argo Gulskii from Mobile Fighter G Gundam. He is The Big Guy of the Five-Man Band and relays heavily on brute force when fighting, but outside the ring he's a very calm and honorable Big Brother Mentor towards the group. In fact, Argo is so calm and strong in mind and heart that he didn't show mental/emotional damage after being Brainwashed and Crazy via DG Cells.
- Commander Yuri Kerane from Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team is another Gundam example, though not he's not explicitly described as Russian and is a pretty competent commander who cares about his men despite having all the social charm of Gaston. It's still obvious what the writers were getting at, though. Interestingly, Ginias Sakharin could be considered a complete inversion of this trope, because despite also having implied Russian heritage (his surname), his design and mannerisms are anything but husky and brutish. And for even more irony, Ginias actually causes Yuri's death towards the end of the series.
- Russia (human name: Ivan Braginsky) from Axis Powers Hetalia is the tallest of the characters, and has a matching impressive thick and muscular build. He's Made of Iron, able to stop a tank with his body, and his mass has been Played for Laughs, such as when he accidentally sits on Canada. But rather than being a straight example of a Rated M for Manly brute, he looks cute and seems friendly...then he turns out to be a Psychopathic Manchild with bad mood swings.
- Rodchenko from Eyeshield 21, world record holder in the bench press at age 18. Didn't do him much good on the field, as he falls squarely into Unskilled, but Strong territory
- Subverted in Hajime No Ippo. Russian boxer Alexander Volg Zangief is a force to be reckoned with inside the ring... but in normal life he is soft-spoken, friendly, humble to the point of borderline shyness, a sort of Momma's Boy and very gentle (and has quite the Ho Yay with Ippo, Yaoi Fangirls say). He's not even that tall, either, compared with other boxers of the same cathegory.
- Nastasha Radinov from the Gunsmith Cats anime is a female example.
- Simon Brezhnev from Durarara!! is a giant, black, Russian sushi chef. But he's a sweet guy, really.
- And too modest to admit that he's the only one who can go toe to toe with an enraged Shizuo. The actual chef and owner of the shop is a smaller example, but burly compared to the rest of the cast. It's implied that both of them have seen enough violence in their lives, and don't welcome any more of it.
- Boris from Black Lagoon. He also subverts it by being under the orders of a somewhat shorter woman named Balalaika... who, on the other hand, is a Magnificent Bitch as well as a very powerful Dark Action Girl.
- Ivan Drago from Rocky IV. Drago's pretty lean compared to Rocky, but he's much taller and has a much longer reach.
- Ivan Checkov from The Boondock Saints
- Ivan Danko from Red Heat
- Boris the Blade from Snatch
- Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2, who can take a car crushing him against a wall repeatedly. The exoskeleton he's wearing barely gives him any protection either. He also nearly managed to beat Tony Stark in his Iron Man suit twice, and the second time nearly beats War Machine too.
- "The Russian" from The Punisher (2004). He has no name other than "The Russian" in the comics, and he is a recurring villain with some decent evolution. Knowing that he suffered several brain damages (punches, bullets, airplane crash), it's arguable whether even he knows his own name (but "Ivan" is still a pretty good guess).
- One of those rare non-Ivans is Nikolai from Predators, a beefy Spetznaz commando who's also one of the nicer dudes in the cast. He may be partially based on the Heavy Weapons Guy (see video games folder), since he befriends a bespectacled doctor, wields a minigun, and has a son named Sasha (which is what the Heavy calls his gun). Also one of the (formerly) rare cases where such a character is played by an actually Russian actor/bodybuilder.
- Yuri in 2012, stated to be a boxer in his earlier days. He apparently can still run as if he were in his prime, however.
- Rock N Rolla: Uri's two psychos for hire who guard his money. One of them is stocky, while the other is tall and ripped. They compare scars they've received in Chechnya and prove to be quite implacable.
- Petrov, The Dragon from the Bruce Lee movie The Chinese Connection.
- Pacific Rim: The Russian Cherno Alpha is the biggest, bulkiest, and most heavily armored Jaeger, with a vague resemblance to a nuclear reactor cooling tower. This also applies to it's pilots, the Kaidanovsky couple. Sasha is portrayed by rather tall 5'10 Heather Doerksen, and Aleksis by humongous 6'11 professional wrestler Robert Maillet.
- Sanya, from The Dresden Files, is a holy knight whose muscles cause instant feelings of masculine inadequacy in Harry Dresden. He's also a Twofer Token Minority, being a rare Russian Scary Black Man. In his first appearance he speaks decent if not perfect English, but in later appearances he speaks quite fluently. He actually invokes this trope in Changes, when he interrogates a captured hitman by picking up the board he's been taped to with no particular effort, and in a thick Russian accent, threatens to break the man in half and chuck him in the incinerator. Taken Up to Eleven in the audiobook of the scene, where James Marsters puts a hilariously-thick accent to Sanya's voice.
- Var Varovitch (Raven) from John C. Wright's War of the Dreaming.
- Ivan, better known as the Fabinator, in the young adult novel Bad Kitty. (And he's definitely Fetish Fuel for Roxy.)
- Mikael, from Ulises Silva's novel Solstice is described by Io as "a Russian native, 6'5'', 280lbs of pure muscle" with thickly-accented English.
- Prince Svyatoslav in the Northland Series is a huge warrior prince, unlike his peer Vladislav.
- Dimitri Belikov from Vampire Academy, is tall, incredibly strong, and from Siberia.
- Many of pro wrestling's Foreign Wrestling Heel Russians are big bruisers to boot; WWE's Vladimir Kozlov is simply the latest iteration of the model.
- In a subversion, only a handful of them were actually Russian. Kozlov is at least close in being Ukrainian. (That is, close in that "Viewers Are Morons that can't tell the difference" sense.)
- More classic examples are Nikolai Volkoff and AWA's Russian Brute, who both played up the "I must break you" kind of thing.
- Russia traditionally does well in weightlifting, judo and gymnastics. Oddly enough, they're also good at fencing and tennis, although these people are more often female.
- Russian boxer Nikolai Valuev, former holder of the WBA heavyweight title, is seven feet tall and weighs 325 pounds.
- He suffers from acromegaly, which is rather evident from his face structure. And one of the symptoms of this endocrine disorder is gigantism — famous French wrestler Andre The Giant (who also had acromegaly) even got his nickname from this condition!
- Also, Ukrainians Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, who stand at about 6'6" and 6'8" respectively, and go into the ring at 240 and 250 pounds. They hold all four heavyweight titles between them. A Klitschko fist may be bigger than your head◊.
- This trope is so prevalent in international sporting events that several past victories over Russian juggernauts are considered a Crowning Moment of Awesome for the victors.
- The 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team is the most famous example... but it doesn't really match: the Soviet team was precise, not big and nasty (in hockey, the big and mean stereotype goes to the Canadians).
- Rulon Gardener over Alexander Karelin in Greco-Roman Wrestling.
- Alexander Ovechkin.
- Subverted: Alexander Semin.
- Vitaly Petrov, Russia's first Formula One driver, is currently the tallest driver on the grid at 1.85 meters (about 6') and one of the heaviest.
- Alexander "The Experiment" Karelin, a Greco-Roman wrestler who has won three Olympic, nine World Championship and twelve European Championship gold medals. This at-the-time 286-pound man routinely won matches with his "Karelin Lift," which involved him picking up similarly-sized men and slamming them down onto the mat like a rag doll often as they lay flat to avoid being thrown. Can best be summarized by this image◊.
- The Karelin Lift was so feared by other wrestlers that they'd actually not resist and let themselves be thrown when caught in it out of fear of getting hurt. Let that sink in: other wrestlers preferred to lose the match to losing their CAREER when Karelin did the Lift on them.
- Russian female tennis players tend to be on the tall side, most notably Maria Sharapova who's 6'2''.
- In the Champions sourcebook Red Doom, the leader of the Soviet superteam is a hulking brick who embodies almost every Russian stereotype. His coename is 'Ivan'.
- Boris Kolenkhov is described in the script of You Can't Take It with You as "enormous, hairy, loud, and very, very Russian." Though he's a dance tutor, he recommends wrestling as a hobby to Mr. Kirby, on whom he performs some wrestling moves to demonstrate.
- Pictured above: Probably the Trope Codifier would be Street Fighter's Zangief. He's not the tallest World Warrior (the Mexican T. Hawk, the German Hugo, and the Thai Sagat edge him out there), but he's certainly the most muscular and probably the most physically powerful.
- Oleg Kirrlov, the Genius Bruiser, from Saints Row: The Third.
- Jinborov "Karnov" Karnovski, originally from the Data East game Karnov.
- Punch-Out!! has Vodka Drunkenski, who became the non-alcoholic Soda Popinski. The Wii game turns this Up to Eleven by making him, 6'6", the tallest character in the game even taller than Final Boss Mr. Sandman although he might be shorter than Donkey Kong and he does the cossack dance when he wins. Also, in a possible Shout-Out to Rocky IV, after losing to Mac, scientists create a chemical formula to make him faster and stronger. The funny thing being that the contender mode montage (instead of the tougher Title Defense mode) features him performing rustic workouts like Rocky did in that movie.
- Likewise, Bayman from the Dead or Alive series, although his character seems to be a touch more intelligent than the usual. But just a touch.
- Molotov from Facebreaker, a stereotype he's quite sick of.
- Mikhail in Psychonauts is a kid version of this. He wants to fight bears, thinks that American girls aren't any good for wrestling, and eventually becomes Maloof's body guard. It doesn't hurt that he's telekinetic. Also physically huskiest amongst the kids.
- Colonel Volgin is a bit of one of these. And a Depraved Bisexual. And a Psycho Electro.
- But then, Snake Eater was set in Russia; they didn't have much choice on his nationality.
- Subverted with the rest of the cast, who range from scrawny (Sokolov) to average (numerous NPCs)
- Minsc from the Baldur's Gate games. More cheerful than most examples. Named for Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
- Inverted in the Saturday Night Slam Masters games, where Russian Biff Slamkovich, a former sparring partner of Zangief's, is the Jack of All Stats; the British-born Giant Titanic Tim stands over two feet taller than him.
- Although the bulky Duo from Mega Man 8 is actually some type of Alien/Robot/Police Officer, according to an interview with Keiji Inafune, he was originally supposed to be the Russian Dr. Cossack's newest robot. Some of the Russian influences are left in his design◊, like his huge buttons and his hat, so he sort of qualifies as a Husky Russkie.
- Then again, Duo had a different look◊ before encountering Mega Man and crew, and was rebuilt into that design by Dr. Light.
- If one really wants to be technical, Dive Man qualifies among Dr. Cossack's Robot Masters.
- The Heavy of Team Fortress 2. He's very tall, very hefty, and very strong. He's also extremely proud of his size and strength, often calling enemies little and comparing them to babies. Though he acts the part of the Exceptionally Loud Mighty Glacier on the battlefield, he displays traces of intelligence in his Meet the Heavy video. Also, don't get between him and Sasha.
- Subverted in that the blurb for "Meet the Heavy" outright states that the Heavy is not Dumb Muscle even though he speaks simple English. In the Russian version of the video, he's more eloquent.
- In the comics we meet his family. His mother and two of his sister are pretty regular sized, but his oldest sister is nearly as big as Heavy himself. And she's still pretty hot. They also casually mention brutalizing a couple KGB soldiers when they came looking for them, so it's not just size that runs in the family.
- Given their dialogue and terrifyingly deep voices, the Apocalypse Tank drivers of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 would seem to be of this type. Ditto the Grinder Tank.
- Flak troopers in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and 3 are described as "brutish." They have a deeper accent than most of their countrymen. So Husky Russkie to Russkies, then?
- Yuri's Brutes in Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge are Russian soldiers genetically modified to fight tanks with their bare hands. They're essentially the purple-pink Russian version of the Incredible Hulk.
- The Draenei of World of Warcraft could arguably be classified as an entire race of Husky Russkies, due to their vaguely Eastern European accents.
- In Super Dodgeball Brawlers, while the team with the highest average Power stat is Saudi Arabia, Russian team captain Moldof is tied for most powerful single player (with series headliner Kunio).
- General Tatarin from Freedom Fighters is technically a citizen of one of the satellite republics, but otherwise fits the bill. Especially with his mighty, bear-like "supersonic bitch-slap" (when he smacks Troy in the first cutscene, you don't hear the sound of it until his hand is way past Troy's face).
- While not the absolute strongest, Ivan in Jagged Alliance and its sequel is a powerhouse. The absolute strongest character? A Polish ex-firefighter.
- Alpha Protocol has Championchik, an Olympic Champion boxer who serves as the bodyguard for Surkov. Mike has to eventually deal with him, but seeing as Championchik relies totally on his boxing skills, he could always just pull out a gun on him.
- Potemkin of Guilty Gear is from Zepp, which has many parallels with Ruritania.
- Ivan the Bear from Brutal: Paws of Fury isn't the tallest fighter, but he is the heaviest and hits the hardest (three fierce punches will knock out any opponent).
- Sergei from Call of Duty: Black Ops. Though in a less standard use of this trope, he's surrounded by a bunch of other Russians as well who are smaller than him, making his ethnicity more incidental to his size.
- Mr. Hammer and Mr. Sickle, a.k.a. the Abramovici brothers, from Batman: Arkham City.
- The beefy, muscle-obsessed tour guides Big Massif and Lil' Massif from Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, though only in the English version, where it came about as a result of Woolseyism. The translator saw that their mustaches and outfits made them resemble stereotypical circus strongmen, so he decided to make them speak in the appropriate fashion.
- Sergei Vladimir, the more-or-less Big Bad of Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is this. It turns out all the Tyrants were clones of him after surgery and being doped up on the T-Virus, which didn't become zombies thanks to a one-in-a-million partial immunity he has against the virus.
- Strobaya, the first boss in Strider, is a hulk of muscles that can only grunt and shout, and his official bio describes him as "single-minded". In the expanded PC-engine port apparently turns him into a Blood Knight.
- Downplayed with Ivan Istochnikov aka Wonder Yellow from The Wonderful 101. He's a Mighty Glacier with his preferred weapon being the hammer and he has the strong accent, but he doesn't quite have the personality. His profile lists his hobby as "bodybuilding", appropriately enough.
- In Lackadaisy Cats the bartender/rum runner/former muscle Viktor embodies this trope. He's not actually Russian, he's Slovakian (Strapping Slav?) but the accent is similar enough when rendered in text.
- Dead Winter brings us Yuri, one of the members of the Blood Sport assassin hunting 'game' that provides part of the subplot, though he is mostly seen during the intermission strips.
- Pasha Moskowitz, of Academia, although he's more portly than muscular.
- From Open Blue v4, Admiral Flota Vladimir Ilyavich Tokarev, HERO OF THE TRIBES, is like this only when fighting hand to hand or pissed off. Otherwise, he's a cunning strategist who would rather blow you up with his ultra-long-ranged rocket launcher than charge straight at you without thought if he thinks it more efficient. Of course, he's just as likely to be firing off said rocket launcher while charging straight at you without thought...
- From Darwins Soldiers, Piotr Kozlov is a hulking Siberian grizzly bear with muscles to match his brains.
- This prank Amazon.com review for the book "English Grammar For Dummies" is written (in broken English) from the point of view of Russian man Nikolai Krestinsky, who comes to America to seek his fortune, "take many woman as lover, kill many bear." Although it seems more like the man is from the 1800s, every other stereotype is in effect, up to and including buying the book in the first place after smashing a table with the man giving him a job interview after he was told that his English is "poor like child." Also, "your wife is killed by bear."
- Exile on Road Rovers, a Siberian husky in a group of superpowered dog men. He's not as big as the massive sheepdog Shag, but he's definitely the strongest of the group.
- A rare female version of this is Strika of Transformers Animated, a burly female bot who turns into a tank. She's not technically Russian, but she's got the accent.
- She's nigh-identical to the Beast Machines original, producer Derrick J Wyatt having been a fan of the character. Getting her back onscreen was on his TF bucket list.
- The Russian-accented Animated versions of Jetfire and Jetstorm are small and acrobatic, but their combined form Safeguard is a lot bigger and burlier.
- In Lilo & Stitch, Jumba fits this trope, despite being a purplish, four-eyed alien. Being a Mad Scientist, he's the Genius Bruiser variant.
- The Russian alleycat in The Aristocats.
- Agent Grizzlikof of Darkwing Duck.
- Teen Titans: Red Star is the same height as Cyborg.
- Boris from Lady and the Tramp, who is the largest of Lady's inmates while she is still in the dog pound.
- The Trunkovs and Ivan from Cars 2, despite the latter being sided with the Hugos.
- In the South Park episode "W.T.F.", where the boys start their own professional wrestling league, Fat Bastard Cartman's ring persona is "the Rad Russian."
- The Samurai Jack episode "Jack and the Bounty Hunters" centers around a group of, well, bounty hunters gunning for Jack's head. The largest of them by far is Boris, a massive Russian whose plan for killing Jack involves Jack breaking his sword against his body.
- Xiaolin Showdown featured Vlad, a Russian boy who dwarfs even Clay in size, as a mole in the Xiaolin working for Jack Spicer.
- Nicolas st. North from Rise of the Guardians, although it could be attributed more to him being Santa Claus than him being Russian.
- Moosk from Codename: Kids Next Door. (Called "the coolest adult I've ever known" by Numbuh One.)
- Fedor Emelianenko, a long-time sambo and MMA champion, is also the definitive example of Stout Strength for both sports. His brother Aleksander, also an MMA fighter, counts as well.
- Peter The Great is generally remembered as being a giant as well as a hard partier. While extremely tall, especially for his time period, he was actually very skinny.
- P.J. O'Rourke, in his book "Eat the Rich," records his visit to Russia, writing "Russians are a people of largeness: large bodies, large gestures, large voices. In fact, Russians are enormous. Being an average-size American in St. Petersburg is like being a girl gymnast at a Teamsters convention. And these are Russians who were raised on potatoes and suet with bread that you could use for a boat anchor. Envision them after twenty years of good nutrition. Twenty years from now, Americans may ask themselves if winning the Cold War was worth losing the Super Bowl."
- The only thing preventing losing the Super Bowl to Russians is that The New Russia's hypercapitalism isn't exactly providing good nutrition to the poor (that is, like 90% of the population).
- General Vasiliy Kostenecky, the hero of the Patriotic War of 1812 and a venerable giant, who could personally drag a stuck cannon out of a bog.
- The Siberian domestic cat breed. National cat of Russia, it's stockier, stronger and slightly larger than most other cat breeds.
- Likewise, the Siberian tiger. Tigers are big anyway, but the Siberian is generally larger and heavier than other subspecies, and has a thicker coat that makes it look larger still.
- Candid Camera pulled this stunt several times: a frail blonde damsel in distress would be deposited on some street corner with two large suitcases. The suitcases looked identical, but one was empty and the other would be filled with concrete, weighing at least 200 pounds. When some big strong man approached, she would ask him to help with her suitcases ... then she would pick up the empty suitcase and walk away, while the hidden camera recorded the reaction of the poor schmo as he tried to pick up the other suitcase. On one occasion, the "Candid Camera" gang tried this in Moscow. The blonde pulled the routine on a burly Russian pedestrian ... who picked up the 200-pound suitcase and followed her effortlessly.
- Vasili Alexeyev, the famous champion Olympic weightlifter, is an almost embarrassingly stereotypical example of this trope.
- Alexander "The Experiment" Karelin, a Greco-Roman wrestler who has won three Olympic, nine World Championship and twelve European Championship gold medals and could, for a remake of Frankenstein play the Monster with a minimum of makeup. This at-the-time 286-pound man routinely won matches with his "Karelin Lift", which involved him picking up similarly-sized men and slamming them down onto the mat like a rag doll often as they lay flat to avoid being thrown. Can best be summarized by this image◊.
- Most statistics show that there is no significant difference in height between Russians and Americans. Considering that Americans are stereotyped as being tall in Russia, this is an interesting case of two peoples having the same stereotypes about each other.