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Russian Personalities

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

Nadezhda Lokhvitskaya – Teffi

Nadezhda Lokhvitskaya - Teffi

Nadezhda Lokhvitskaya – Teffi


Nadezhda Lokhvitskaya was a Russian humorist writer and she wrote under the pseudonym Teffi.
Nadezhda Alexandrovna Lokhvitskaya was born in April 1872. Her father, A.V. Lokhvitsky, was a very famous man – a professor of criminalistics, a wealthy man. The numerous family had various talents. All children wrote something, especially had a great interest in poetry.
Teffi said about this: “This occupation was considered for us somehow very shameful, and hardly anyone who caught a brother or sister with a pencil, notebook and inspirational face – immediately started shouting: Writes! He writes! Writer!”
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Valeri Kharlamov – legendary hockey player

Valeri Kharlamov – legendary hockey player

Valeri Kharlamov – legendary hockey player


The car became something of a sign of fate for the Soviet hockey player Valeri Kharlamov. He was born in the cabin of the car on a cold January day in 1948 (his mother did not have time to take him to the hospital). And he died in his own Volga in August 1981.
In 1932, the magazine Physical Culture and Sport evaluated hockey as a game that “has a purely individual and primitive character, is very poor in combinations”. But this did not prevent the development of Russian hockey.
In 1946 the first national hockey championship took place. In 1949, the USSR recognized its first star in this sport: Anatoly Tarasov was the first hockey player awarded the title of Honored Master of Sports. In 1954, the USSR team won the World Championship.
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Zinovy Peshkov – French general from Russia

Zinovy Peshkov - French general from Russia

Zinovy Peshkov – French general from Russia


Zinovy Peshkov was a General of the French Army, owner of fifty government awards. He was an elder brother of Ya. M. Sverdlov and godson of Maxim Gorky. Zinovy spoke seven foreign languages, including Arabic, Chinese and Japanese.
Zinovy Alekseevich Peshkov was born on October 16, 1884 in Nizhny Novgorod.
Maxim Gorky (Alexei Peshkov), who lived in those years in Nizhny Novgorod, often came to the Sverdlovs. In 1901, Zinovy along with Maxim Gorky was arrested on charges of using a mimeograph for the purposes of revolutionary propaganda. In 1902, Zinovy left for Arzamas, where Maxim Gorky lived in exile at that time, and participated in the reading of his new play At the Bottom. In 1902, Zinovy tried to enter the Imperial Philharmonic School in Moscow, but he was not enlisted as a Jew.
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Valery Chkalov – legendary Soviet pilot

Valery Chkalov – legendary Soviet pilot

Valery Chkalov – legendary Soviet pilot


Valery Chkalov was a Soviet test pilot, brigade commander (1938), Hero of the Soviet Union (1936). He was the commander of the crew, who in 1937 made the first non-stop flight across the North Pole from Moscow to Vancouver, Washington.
Valery Pavlovich Chkalov was born on January 20 (February 2), 1904 in Vasilyovo, Balakhninsky district, Nizhny Novgorod Province, Russian Empire (now Chkalovsk, Russia). His mother died in 1910, when Valery was six years old. At the age of seven the boy entered elementary school. He had excellent memory and good mathematical abilities, was a good swimmer. In 1916, after school his father sent him to study at the Cherepovets Technical School. However, because of the financial difficulties and shortage of teachers, the school was closed in 1918. Valery returned home and began working with his father.
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Barbara Brylska – famous actress

Barbara Brylska – famous actress

Barbara Brylska – famous actress


Barbara Brylska is a Soviet and Polish film and theater actress, a singer. She became a laureate of the State Prize of the USSR in 1977. In the republics of the former USSR, she is best known for the role of Nadia Shevelyova, the main character in the film The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath by film director Eldar Ryazanov. In 2008, she was a member of the jury of the entertainment TV program Two Stars-2 on Channel 1. Since 2009, she has been a member of the jury of the TV show Narodnaya Zvezda on TRK Ukraina.
Barbara Brylska was born on June 5, 1941 in Skotniki, Poland. At the age of 15, she first played an episodic role in the film Galoshes of Fortune. Later she joined theater club, studied at the Lodz Higher School of Theater. In 1967 she graduated from the Warsaw Higher School of Theater, Film and Television.
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Aram Khachaturyan – Soviet composer

Aram Khachaturyan - Soviet composer

Aram Khachaturyan – Soviet composer


Aram Khachaturyan was a Soviet composer, conductor, public figure, teacher. Khachaturyan is one of the greatest composers of the XX century. He is the author of 3 ballets, 3 symphonies, 6 concerts, a huge number of vocal, choral, instrumental and program music, music for films and theater productions, as well as music of the Armenian National SSR Hymn (1944). He was Hero of Socialist Labor (1973), People’s Artist of the USSR (1954). He was awarded the Lenin Prize (1959), four Stalin Prizes (1941, 1943, 1946, 1950), the USSR State Prize (1971) and the State Prize of the Armenian SSR (1965). In 1963 Aram became Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR. From 1951 to 1978 he was a professor of the Moscow State Conservatory. In 1965, Khachaturyan was awarded a title of Doctor of Arts.
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Alexander Grin – famous writer

Alexander Grin – famous writer

Alexander Grin – famous writer


Alexander Grin was a Russian writer, poet, author of philosophical and psychological works.
Alexander Stephanovich Grinevsky was born on August 23, 1880, Vyatka province, Russian Empire. His father Stefan Grinevsky was an exiled Polish rebel. He was an employee and did not think of anything, except for a timely payment of salaries. But his eldest son Sasha was very different. At the age of eight the boy received three chests full of books about adventures, brave travelers and unknown distant countries.
After school Sasha went to Odessa dreaming of becoming a sailor. The boy was fascinated by southern bright city. Sasha managed to get a job as a cabin boy and even sailed to Alexandria. However, he left the ship very soon. Then he wandered around the country and tried many jobs, but did not find a job for himself.
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Nikolai Karamzin – writer and historian

Nikolai Karamzin – writer and historian

Nikolai Karamzin – writer and historian


Nikolai Karamzin was a Russian writer, historian, and journalist. He was a founder of 19th-century Russian imperial conservatism and a pioneer national historian.
Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin was born on December 1, 1766 in the Simbirsk province. The boy was educated at home and at the age of fourteen went to continue his studies in Moscow. He wrote poetry and several novels, including Poor Liza. He joined the active Masonic movement. Karamzin served only briefly in the military before retiring to devote himself to intellectual pursuits.
In 1789 he travelled to western Europe where he visited several luminaries, including Immanuel Kant. He described his trip in his Letters of a Russian Traveler, published in 1790.
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Alexander Ostrovsky – regarded playwright

Alexander Ostrovsky – regarded playwright

Alexander Ostrovsky – regarded playwright


Alexander Ostrovsky was one of nineteenth-century Russia’s most highly regarded playwrights. He was the founder of Russian national drama. He wrote and coauthored fifty plays, translated foreign plays into Russian.
Alexander Nikolayevich Ostrovsky was born on March 31, 1823. He was the son of a lawyer and his mother’s family had run a bakery. Alexander was the first of four children in the family. His mother died when the boy was eight and his father married Swedish baroness. At the age of 12, the boy entered the First Moscow Gymnasium and spent five years there. In 1840 he enrolled at Moscow University to study law.
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Alexander Herzen – remarkable writer

Alexander Herzen - remarkable writer

Alexander Herzen – remarkable writer


Alexander Herzen was an outstanding revolutionary and thinker, a remarkable writer and brilliant publisher. He was one of the most prominent critics of the official ideology and policy of the Russian Empire in the XIX century.
Alexander Ivanovich Herzen was born on March 25 (April 6), 1812 in Moscow. His father was a rich landowner Ivan Alekseevich Yakovlev (1767-1846) and his mother was 16-year-old German girl Henriette Wilhelmina Luisa Haag. They were not married and their son had a surname invented by the father – Herzen from German Herz (heart). Herzen received the usual aristocratic education at home, based on reading foreign literature, especially of the late 18th century. He was fluent in German and French. Herzen was deeply influenced by his friendship with a talented peer, the future poet N. Ogarev. The event that determined the fate of Herzen was the Decembrist revolt.
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