Russian Language Blog

More Interesting “Facts” About Russia Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Culture, History, Russian life, Soviet Union, when in Russia

As I was researching facts about Russia that I could write a blog about, I came across some more interesting and funny ones. These strange Russian “facts” were more entertaining and write about; hope they are entertaining to read as well.

It’s bad luck to return to your house after you’ve already left

Should you be on your way to the airport or grocery store and you forget your wallet, passport, or whatever, don’t go back for them. Instead, have a neighbor, friend, or relative go into your house to grab the items for you. I wonder who came up with this superstition?

Rugs/Carpets: Why walk on them when you can hang them on the walls?

Russian’s will often hang their rugs on the walls. In some music studios, this tactic is employed to help soundproof the room. This is partly why it was done in Russia. People thought that it would make it more difficult for others to eavesdrop on their conversations – thus decreasing the chance you’d get a knock on your door in the middle of the night to go down for questioning. During the Soviet era, people had to be extremely careful with their opinions.

Russia chose Christianity over Islam so it could drink alcohol

This may be more legend than fact – I don’t know. According to legend, Prince Vladimir the Great ruled Kievan Rus or medieval Russia from 980 to 1015. Prior to this, Russia was more pagan than anything so he decided to adopt a national religion. Since he also believed that part of “the joy of Rus is in drinking,” Islam was out and Christianity was in. Islamic tenets forbid drinking whereas Christianity, according to Prince Vladimir’s understanding, doesn’t.

During the 2012 election when Putin again became president, more than 100 percent of the people turned out to vote in one region

In one region in Russia, according to and interesting story on Gawker, 146 percent of the electorate turned out to vote. And you thought that only one hundred percent of people could vote?  Not so in Russia! I wonder why other world leaders felt the elections were fraudulent?

There are nearly 9 million more women than men in Russia

Perhaps this is why you hear of Russian women leaving the country for other parts of the world in the form of Russian mail-order brides – there just aren’t enough men to choose from. A Russian man cannot complain that he doesn’t have enough women to choose from – though he faces competition from both foreign man and the internet.

There are over a half million alcohol-related deaths in Russia each year

Perhaps Prince Vladimir chose Christianity for Russia because he knew so many of his countrymen would perish due to excessive drinking and he was concerned about their souls. Alcoholism, as you may know, is a big problem in Russia and the country ranks among the top five countries with the highest average consumption rate per person.

The Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg is guarded by nearly 70 cats

It is supposed that Peter the Great’s daughter, Empress Elizabeth, is responsible for employing cats to guard the prestigious museum against rodents. Cats don’t require background checks, pay raises, and benefits – at least not yet.

Russians love to pickle everything – even former leaders

Russians pickle things to preserve them, among other reasons. Not only do beets, cucumbers, and herring get pickled in Russia, so did Vladimir Lenin. That’s right, you can still see the former Soviet leader’s body on on display right next the Kremlin and in Red Square. Considering he’s been deceased for so long, he looks quite good.

There are numerous “crazy facts” about Russia that can be found all over the internet and many of them are quite interesting and funny. While some of these “facts” may be more factual than others, the point is to entertain and arouse curiosity. Should you have any you’d like to add, please do:)))

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About the Author: Jenya

Born in Russia, I spent the first twenty years of my life in Orenburg, Russia and Mogilev, Belarus. For the last eleven years, I've lived in New Hampshire and Michigan, US. While I continue to absorb and adapt to American culture, I am always thrilled to share my Russian heritage with those who find it interesting. Travel, photography and art play a special part in my life. Twitter: @iamnx2u


  1. Sima:

    About the leaving stuff at home and needing to go back. Some people get around this by hanging a mirror near the door. If you look at your reflection in the mirror before you leave the house (after coming back) you should be ok 🙂 Neat post! Keep it up!

  2. Delia Valente:

    About rugs/carpets on the wall – it has nothing to do with eavesdropping. This tradition started in Russia long before apartments ‘were invented”. Do not forget about more than 200 years of Mongol presence in Russia who also introduced their traditions. They had (and still have) rugs in their yurts to keep them warm. Russians adopted this tradition long ago to keep their houses warm. Now that apartments in many cases do need extra heating” it is just a tradition. And why not having a beautiful piece on the wall? French did the same with their gobelins.

  3. Delia Valente:

    Please excuse typos in the previous message 🙂

  4. Nina Grigorivna:

    Usually I enjoy what you write, and look forward to reading new posts; however this one, in my view, was kind of insulting of the Russian people … but then, perhaps you were trying to make a joke on your Russian self?

  5. Кэсси:

    Have you ever live in “hrushovka”? The wall between two different flats were very-very thin!. Fashion hang rugs on wall come in the time of Khrushchev’s thaw. There was no need to listen and to communicate was not. If you do not want to know when your neighbors quarrel, reconciled and make children, you would have hung on the wall carpet. Given the fact that the carpets were woolen maded they gives good sound insulation.

  6. Jules:

    Great post, apart from one thing. Medieval Russia is not Kievan Rus. It would be the same to say that Romania is ancient Roman Empire. Russia became Russia only in 18th century, to be more precise in 1721 by the order of Peter the Great. Their emperor was so fascinated by European culture that he wanted his tsardom (Muscovie or Moscovia) to have something to do with Kievan Rus (which was one of the most prosperous kingdoms in 10th-12th centuries). Before that Moscovie was known by that name of Muscovie, as I already mentioned, and was founded in 1277 as a subservient vassal region to the Golden Horde. By that time, Kievan Rus had existed for more than 300 years.

  7. Stacy Deason:

    Really interesting Jenya, enjoyed the article, I also read some surprising facts about Eastern European women that were really interesting and informative:, here one can read the complete explanation about Eastern European women.

  8. Paul:

    Passing salt at the table: never pass it directly to the person requesting it. It must be placed on the table, and the person requesting it then picks it up from the table, never receiving it directly from a hand.