Standard 7-inch vinyl artwork (UK single pictured)
|Single by Sting|
|from the album The Dream of the Blue Turtles|
|Producer(s)||Sting and Peter Smith|
|Sting singles chronology|
"Russians" is a song by Sting, from his debut solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, released in June 1985, and released as a single in November. The song is a commentary and plea that criticises the then-dominant Cold War foreign policy and doctrine of mutual assured destruction (MAD) by the United States and the Soviet Union.
- "I had a friend at university who invented a way to steal the satellite signal from Russian TV. We'd have a few beers and climb this tiny staircase to watch Russian television... At that time of night we'd only get children's Russian television, like their 'Sesame Street'. I was impressed with the care and attention they gave to their children's programmes. I regret our current enemies haven't got the same ethics."
The song uses the Romance theme from the Lieutenant Kijé Suite by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, and its lead-in includes a snippet from the Soviet news program Vremya in which the famed Soviet news broadcaster Igor Kirillov says in Russian: "...The British Prime Minister described the talks with the head of the delegation, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, as a constructive, realistic, practical and friendly exchange of opinions...", referring to the meeting of Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher in 1984. The Soviet leader at the time was Konstantin Chernenko.
Also in the background, communications from the Apollo–Soyuz mission can be heard.
- 7" single
- "Russians" – 3:57
- "Gabriel's Message" – 2:15
- 12" maxi
- "Russians" – 3:57
- "Gabriel's Message" – 2:10
- "I Burn for You" (live) – 4:40
|Country||Certification||Date||Sales certified||Physical sales|
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||11|
|Dutch Mega Top 100||8|
|French SNEP Singles Chart||2|
|Irish Singles Chart||11|
|Swedish Singles Chart||16|
|Swiss Singles Chart||13|
|UK Singles Chart||12|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||16|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks||34|
- "Sting's Russians was inspired by illegal satellite viewings". The Daily Express. July 15, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- "Russians". Youtube.
What struck me when I was watching these programs was how much care and attention and clearly love had gone into these programs. And these were our enemies, but they clearly love their children just like we love ours.
- "Grammy's Greatest Moments, Volume 1: Various Artists". Amazon.com. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
- Gable, Christopher (2008). The words and music of Sting. ABC-CLIO. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-275-99360-3.
- French certifications See: "Les Ventes" => "Toutes les Certifications depuis 1973" => "STING" InfoDisc.fr (Retrieved March 24, 2009)
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 295. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. the Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid 1983 and 19 June 1988.
- "Russians", in various singles charts, Lescharts.com (Retrieved March 24, 2009)
- Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved March 24, 2009)
- "UK Charts > Sting". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
- Billboard allmusic.com (Retrieved March 24, 2009)
-  - analysis of the song on Pop History Dig (Jack Doyle, "Sting: 'Russians', 1985," PopHistoryDig.com, April 30, 2009)