What was meant by "Remember - No Russian" in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2?

Did it mean "Don't Speak in Russian"? Or "Don't leave any Russians alive"?

A Wikipedia article mentioned that a Japanese translation of the game translated it as something like kill them all, they are Russian, and that the game's producer said it was a mistranslation but they wouldn't fix it.

Did any translations of the game into other languages translate it to have the other possible meaning (no Russian language)?

Also, "No Russian" in the sense of "Don't leave any Russians alive" would be mildly ungrammatical. Was the ultranationalist who said this speaking in English, and if so, was he bad at English?

  • 5
    I think it's a pun, hence the slightly awkward phrasing - not only are they not supposed to speak Russian to keep up the false flag, Joseph Allen is "no Russian".
    – jonrsharpe
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 14:54
  • 4
    I don't know the context, but could it be punning on "no rushing" too?
    – user87612
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 15:48
  • I always thought it was supposed to be a reminder, "No Russian will forget this day." It fits in with his speech/motivations. Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 17:24

4 Answers 4


@SilverStreak answered your main question adequately already, but to answer your question about whether the ultra-nationalist (It's been a while, but I believe he was named Makarov) is bad at English, the answer is no. Makarov was portrayed as a highly skilled individual, possibly even a genius in a way, if it wasn't for his twisted morality. It is very unlikely that during such an extremely important false-flag operation that he would skimp on learning English -- that would be half-assing it. He also speaks flawless English for the rest of the game.


As they were trying to frame the US as being behind (or involved in) the incident, I think that the phrase 'No Russian' can be interpreted as meaning 'Do not speak Russian'. It might be translated differently in other languages but as English is the original language, I think that we can safely disregard the translations that would go against this.

This is at least how I took it when playing the game for the first time and never considered that it could be taken any other way.

  • 25
    In german version, he says "Kein Russisch!". kein = pronoun "No", Russisch = Russian language.
    – jawo
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 12:55
  • One easy way to think about it, especially when interpreting language in the first place, is to add to the end, instead of shifting words around. "No Russian words!" is a prefect example of this. Add the meaning to the statement and it is easy to understand. Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 20:45
  • 2
    I definitely think this is the correct answer to what "No Russian" means, and I assumed that it couldn't mean anything else in the game's context. They definitely did not want any suspicion to arise from potential survivors that this was a Russian terror act
    – phatskat
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 20:05
  • Plus, you have to consider that they speak English throughout the mission, since your character can understand them. Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 2:03

This is answered canonically in the Museum epilog of Modern Warfare 2.

In the No Russian museum display there is a plaque that describes the events of the level. The plaque reads that Makarov had "instructed his men to 'not speak Russian'..." Given that there was nearly no other spoken dialog in the mission it points to "speak only English" is the meaning of "no Russian."

enter image description here


I've always interpreted the phrase - and used that phrase as - a joke on "No Rushing", usually in a "We're in no hurry, take your time" sort of deal.

  • 9
    Given the game we are talking about, and the context of this phrase in the game, I highly doubt it was meant as any sort of joke.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 19:18
  • I thought this as well. IIRC this is the airport terrorism mission. This was not a run-and-gun, but rather a methodical sweep and terrorize assault.
    – blaughw
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 20:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .