His international debut came in the 1-0 victory over Denmark on April 27, 1988. Under Josef Hickersberger's management of the Austrian national side, Russ was an almost permanent fixture appearing in the starting line ups of 27, out of a possible 31, internationals. The culmination of which was the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Hickersberger's departure issued in the era of Alfred Riedl as national coach, which saw a decline in Russ's use. His final international was a June 1991 European qualification match, like his debut game also against Denmark.