- Anton, aka "Don Rumata of Estor", is Russian.
- Pashka, aka "Don Hug, first groom of the chamber of his lordship the Duke of Irukan", is Russian.
- Alexander Vassilevitch, aka "Don Kondor, Supreme Judge and Keeper of the Great Seal of the Mercantile Republic of Soan" (and other titles), is Russian.
- Even the other Earth observers mentioned only in passing, such as those we hear about near the beginning who
violated the Prime Directivefailed in their missions by interfering too much, seem to have Russian names.
How culturally mixed are the Earth observers on the planet, really? Is it just a coincidence, or due to the fact that he knew them of old on Earth, that Anton and his closest friends are all Russian?
For that matter, what is the political situation back on Earth - is there some kind of United Earth organising these missions to other planets, or is the entire expedition a Russian-specific thing?
(Sorry if this is made clear later on in the book; I'm only on Chapter 7 at the moment.)