Heard a version of this with heaven and hell.
As for the Russians humor:
Primary school, history lesson. The teacher is talking about Russian Civil War.
One boy says "My granddad once met Chapayev, the great hero of the Revolution!".
The teacher is impressed and tells the boy to invite his grandfather to tell them about it.
So, the boy's grandfather comes to the school and tells them the story:
"We were sitting with the boys at the bank of the Ural river. Suddenly, we spotted someone trying to swim across. One of my comrades rises up and shouts 'Hey, it's Chapayev, shoot him, quick!' ".
For those who don't know, Chapayev was a popular hero of Soviet propaganda, a movie and of numerous jokes as well. He was most likely shot by the White Army, trying to escape across the Ural river...