September 01, 2000

The Russian Invasion



It has been said that a successful invasion is the one that goes unnoticed until it is too late to resist.

The Russian Invasion of America is in full swing.

It started in the first third of the last century, when millions of Russians fled persecution and civil war and landed on US shores. These emigrants subsequently made many contributions to their adopted country, from television (invented by Vladimir Zvorykin), to the development of synthetic rubber (Ivan Ostromyshlensky), high octane gasoline (Vladimir Ipatiev) and helicopters (Igor Sikorsky), to say nothing of their myriad contributions to music, literature and art. And, of course, there was vodka, brought to the US by descendants of Pyotr Smirnoff. Today, eight decades later (talk about a slow, silent invasion) vodka is the top-selling distilled spirit in the US. (And the centerpiece of our Annual International Vodka Taste-Off, see this year’s results on page 37).


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