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Russian Personalities

People well-known in art, sport, film, fashion

Russian Noble Prize winners

Russian Noble Prize winners

Russian Noble Prize winners


Russia can boast a lot of the Noble Prize laureates in many fields of science. Among them are:
1904 – Physiology and Medicine, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov for his work on the physiology of digestion.
1908 – Physiology and Medicine, Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov for his work on immunity.
1933 – Literature, Ivan Alexeevich Bunin for artistic excellence and the continuation of the tradition of Russian classics in lyrical prose.
1956 – Chemistry, Nikolay Semenov for research in the mechanism of chemical reactions.
1958 – Literature, Boris Leonidovich Pasternak for significant achievement in contemporary lyrical poetry, as well as the continuation of the traditions of the great Russian epic novel. Pasternak refused the Prize.
1958 – Physics, Pavel Alexeevich Cherenkov, Igor Evgenievich Tamm and Ilya Mikhailovich Frank for the discovery and interpretation of the Cherenkov Effect.
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Alexander Scriabin – Russian composer

Alexander Scriabin – Russian composer

Alexander Scriabin – Russian composer


Alexander Scriabin was a Russian composer and pianist. He was a striking representative of the early modern school of Russian music.
Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin was born on December 25, 1871 (according to other sources on January 6, 1872) in Moscow. He was born into the family of the Moscow University student, Nikolai Scriabin, who later became a prominent diplomat and state councilor. His mother, Lyubov Petrovna, was a talented pianist graduated with honors from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. After an early death of the spouse Nikolai married Olga Fernandez. They had five children: Nicholai, Vladimir, Xenia, Andrei, Cyril.
Since childhood Alexander studied piano and, at the age of 14, took theory and composition instruction from Alexander Taneev.
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Ilya Repin – Russian painter

Ilya Repin. Self-portrait

Ilya Repin. Self-portrait

Ilya Repin was a Russian painter.
Ilya was born on July 24 (August 5) 1844 in Chuguyev into a family of a military villager. In his youth he worked as an icon painter. He studied in the Drawing School under the direction of I.N. Kramskoy, continued his studies at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. In 1878 Repin became a member of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions, academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts. From the very beginning of his career, from 1870s, Repin became one of the key figures of Russian realism.
The award of a gold medal brought with it the right to travel to France. In May 1873 he set off on a journey round Austria and Italy. In Paris Repin painted etudes, the pictures A Paris Cafe (1875) and A Negress (1875) and also Sadko (1876), based on the Russian epic subject.
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Alexander Blok – Russian poet

Alexander Blok – Russian poet

Alexander Blok – Russian poet

Alexander Blok was one of the greatest Russian poets, leading figure in the Russian symbolist movement.
Alexander Alexandrovich Blok was born on November 28, 1880 in St. Petersburg. His father was a professor of law and a talented musician, and his mother was a writer and translator. In 1889 he entered the Vvedensky Gymnasium. In 1897, he and his mother traveled abroad. In the German spa town Alexander fell in love with Ksenia Sadovskaya. She became his first love and that love left a deep trace in his work.
Alexander spent summers at Shakhmatovo, country home near Moscow. Famous Russian chemist D. I. Mendeleev was his neighbor.
In 1903 Blok married Mendeleev’s daughter. In the same year some of his poems were published in D. S. Merezhkovski’s magazine. Blok wrote verse from his early childhood.
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Boris Skosyrev – king of Andorra

Boris Skosyrev - king of Andorra

Boris Skosyrev – king of Andorra


Boris Skosyrev was an adventurer, a Russian emigre. In 1934 he became the king of Andorra. His life was more like an adventure novel than a reality.
Boris Mikhailovich Skosyrev was born on June 12, 1896 in Vilnius, the Russian Empire. He was born into the family of Mikhail Skosyrev and his wife Elizaveta Dmitrievna.
In 1917 his father was a chief of the 7th district of Vilna province. It is known that during the World War I Skosyrev was attached to the British Armored Division. Then he was in the UK and, according to him, performed a series of secret orders of the British Government.
By 1923 Skosyrev had Dutch citizenship.
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Yana Dobrovolskaya – Miss Russia-2016

Yana Dobrovolskaya - Miss Russia-2016

Yana Dobrovolskaya – Miss Russia-2016


18-year-old Yana Dobrovolskaya from Tyumen became a winner of Miss Russia-2016. She became the best of the 50 contenders. The final took place on Saturday, April 16, at the concert hall Barvikha Luxury Village in the Moscow region. The judges of the contest were restaurateur Arkady Novikov, gymnast Laysan Utiasheva, producer Joseph Prigogine and two of the most beautiful girls of the universe and the world Oxana Fedorova and Ksenia Sukhinova.
Yana was born on December 8, 1997. She graduated from the Tyumen State College of Arts.
In 2014, the girl performed at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, and also won in the nomination Miss Intellect of Miss Volga-2015 competition.
Yana speaks English, is engaged in ballroom dancing, loves books, and is interested in child psychology.
As a winner Dobrovolskaya received the exclusive crown made of white gold with diamonds and pearls worth a million dollars, three million rubles and a car. She is going to spend the money on her education and charity.
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Timur Bekmambetov – film director

Timur Bekmambetov – film director

Timur Bekmambetov – film director


Timur Bekmambetov is a Russian-Kazakh film director, producer and screenwriter, who works on films and commercials. He is best known for the film Night Watch (2004) and its sequel Day Watch (2006), and the American films Wanted (2008) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012). He is a founder and president of the International Action Film Festival Astana.
Timur Nurbakhitovich Bekmambetov was born on June 25, 1961 in Guryev. His father was a manager at Guryev Energy company, and his mother was a journalist. In 1978, Timur moved to Moscow where he attended the Moscow Energy Institute, but he was more interested in art and movies. At the age of 19, he moved to Tashkent, Uzbek SSR to study at the A. N. Ostrovsky Theatrical and Artistic Institute, from which he graduated in 1987 with a degree in theater and cinema set design.
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Mikhail Shchepkin – Russian actor

Mikhail Shchepkin – Russian actor

Mikhail Shchepkin – Russian actor


Mikhail Shchepkin was a Russian actor, one of the founders of the Russian actor’s school. He revolutionized acting styles with his realistic portrayals.
Mikhail Semenovich Shchepkin was born on November 6 (17), 1788 in Kursk province into a family of the serfs.
From 1799 to 1801 he studied at the Sudzhansky public school. During his studies, in 1800, he played his first role in Sumarokov’s comedy – Vzdorschitsa.
In 1801-1802 he played in a serf theater of Count G. S. Volkenshtein.
In 1805, he performed on the professional scene for the first time. Since that time, with the permission of Count G. S. Volkenshtein, Shchepkin played in Barsov Brothers Theater.
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Nadezhda Krupskaya – Soviet educator

Nadezhda Krupskaya – Soviet educator

Nadezhda Krupskaya – Soviet educator


Nadezhda Krupskaya was a revolutionary, educator, head of the Chief Committee for Political Education and deputy head of the Commissariat of Enlightenment, full member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (1927-1939), wife of Vladimir Ilich Lenin. She also was an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Krupskaya was awarded the Order of Lenin (1935) and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.
Nadezhda was born on February 14, 1869 in St. Petersburg into a poor aristocratic family.
In 1887, she finished women’s private school with a gold medal.
In the 1890s, she taught in workers’ evening and adult education schools. In Marxist circles she met Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov (Lenin). When she and Lenin were both arrested in 1895 and 1896, she followed him to Siberia as his fiancee and later as his wife. While in exile, Krupskaya wrote her most famous work, The Woman Worker (first published in 1901 and 1905).
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Grigori Rasputin – mystic man

Grigori Rasputin – mystic man

Grigori Rasputin – mystic man


Grigori Rasputin was a mystic and holy man, a peasant from the village Pokrovskoe, Tobolsk Province. He gained worldwide fame thanks to the fact that he was a family friend of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II. In the 1900s he was known as “the Tsar’s friend”, “an old man”, the seer and healer among certain circles of Petersburg society.
Rasputin was born on January 10, 1869. In 1902 he left Pokrovskoye. By then, his common-law wife Praskovya gave birth to three children.
He wandered over all Russia, made two pilgrimages to Jerusalem, and roamed both in the Balkans and in Mesopotamia.
On December 29, 1903, Rasputin appeared at the religious Academy of St. Petersburg. Grigori never held a formal position in the Church, but people recognized him as a starets (elder, wise counselor). His spiritual gifts apparently included healing.
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