Russian Bear

The Russian Bear (Russian: Русский медведь, romanized: Russky medved) is a widespread symbol (generally of a Eurasian brown bear) for Russia, used in cartoons, articles and dramatic plays since as early as the 16th century,[1] and relating alike to the Russian Empire, the short-lived Russian Provisional Government and Russian Republic, the Soviet Union, and the present-day Russian Federation. It often was and is used by Westerners, originated in British caricatures and later also used in the United States, and not always in a flattering context – on occasion it was used to imply that Russia is "big, brutal and clumsy" (see 19th-century cartoon below).

American political cartoon, 1904