Actually, it’s only tangentially related to sexiness. But because it’s Irina Shayk she looked fantastic doing it, so take a look at the pictures anyway. You know you want to.

Irina Shayk is, we’ll have you know, the first ever Russian woman to be on the front cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. (Does that magazine ever have any other issues? We’ve certainly never heard of them doing anything other than photographing hot women in bikinis) This is, culturally, quite important.

Irina Shayk is awarded a Russian Heritage award
Cartoon bird was happy with his positioning 

Russia and the USA were at war, you see, until fairly recently – although it wasn’t a proper war, with killing and tanks and explosions and hoo-rah marines. Not unless you count the Bay of Pigs, and no-one counts the Bay of Pigs. Instead, it was a rubbish Cold War with no exciting bits other than the constant looming threat of nuclear annihilation.

But it’s all over now, and people from both countries are keen to show the US and Russia getting on and having fun together. Hence the award given to Ms Shayk – the Russian Heritage award - for bringing her innate Russian sexiness and marrying it with the carefree bikini-clad sun-drenched American institution of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

Irina Shayk is awarded a Russian Heritage award
"At this distance it looks like a cross between brown wool and turds" said one observer

The award is shaped like the hands of Russia and America reaching forward to shake and take pleasure in the fact we’re no longer looking to mash each other into atoms with unimaginably destructive weapons. Great stuff!

For extra bonus fun, watch this fairly awkward interview with her on Good Day New York: