While lashing out at Russia’s military campaign in Syria during the 90-minute sparring with his Democratic contender Tim Kaine, Mike Pence recalled what he called “an old Russian proverb.”
"There is an old Russian proverb that says the Russian bear never dies, but hibernates," Pence stated authoritatively.
Pence: A bear never dies, it just hibernates.— Wayne (@waynecheong) 5 октября 2016 г.
Quijano: Thank you Sena-
P: It wakes and bursts into flames.
P: And a phoenix emerges.
pence: "the russian bear never dies, it just hibernates."— Bim @ NYCC (@bimadew) 5 октября 2016 г.
is russia also the iron islands, and do they worship the drowned god? #VPDebate
"a bear never dies, it hibernates." — Dwight K. Schrute, also Mike Pence
— Taylor Trudon (@taylortrudon) 5 октября 2016 г.
Some Twitter users were quick to draw comparisons to popular TV shows.
Buzzfeed went even further suggesting that the politician get a patent on his “proverb” and do it fast.
Proverbs about the Russian bear, like the one Mike Pence mentioned, do not exist in the Russian language and hardly have any analogues in other languages, Vladimir Slavkin, a senior Russian language specialist at Moscow University, told Sputnik.
“The mere fact that Mr. Pence invented such a text doesn’t yet make it a Russian proverb. The notion about the Russian bear is pretty widespread but the way he put it makes it neither a saying nor a proverb” he said.
Slavkin added that each nation has its own symbols and notions.
“I don’t think that this “bear image” can possibly be found in any folklore anywhere,” he emphasized.
He added that if delayed action was what Mr. Pence really had in mind, then he should have mentioned the epic Russian warrior Ilya Muromets who performed his heroic deeds after spending 33 years lying on a Russian oven.