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Russian Personalities

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

Category Archive: History

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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Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky – Grand Prince

Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky – Grand Prince

Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky – Grand Prince


Alexander Yaroslavich was prince of Novgorod, grand prince of Vladimir, grand prince of Kiev, and progenitor of the princes of Moscow. He was named Nevsky, after his victory over the Swedes on the Neva in 1240. He made his mark in history as one of Russia’s best-known Christian military commanders.
Alexander Yaroslavich was born on May 30, 1220. He was the grandson of Vsevolod Yurevich Big Nest and son of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise. Between the years 1228 and 1233 he and his elder brother, Fyodor, ruled Novgorod. In 1233 Fyodor died and Alexander’s younger brother Andrei helped him to expand Novgorod’s lands.
In 1236 he became prince of Novgorod and in 1239 he married Polotsk Princess Alexandra Bryachislavna.
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Nikolai Shchelokov – interior minister

Nikolai Shchelokov - interior minister

Nikolai Shchelokov – interior minister


On November 10, 1984 there was a sensational message on the pages of Soviet newspapers: the former Minister of Internal Affairs of the USSR, Nikolai Shchelokov, was deprived of the rank of army general. On the Day of the Soviet Militia (Police Day)! It was under Minister Shchelokov, who held his post for 16 years, from 1966 to 1982, the holiday became one of the main in the country. It was a painful blow for him. Then the others came: expulsion from the party and deprivation of government awards. On December 13, Nikolai Anisimovich put on the military uniform and shot himself.
In 1966, when Brezhnev instructed Shchelokov to revive the Interior Ministry, liquidated under Khrushchev, many were unhappy, especially professionals. But Brezhnev needed proven people in key positions.
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Raisa Gorbacheva – Soviet and Russian public figure

Raisa Gorbacheva - Soviet and Russian public figure

Raisa Gorbacheva – Soviet and Russian public figure

Raisa Gorbacheva was a Soviet and Russian public figure, the wife of Mikhail Gorbachev and the first lady of the Soviet Union.
Raisa Maximovna Titarenko was born on January 5, 1932 in Rubtsovsk, West Siberian region, USSR. Her father was a railroad engineer who, when she was only three, was imprisoned for four years for criticizing collectivized agriculture. A grandfather had been executed under Stalin. Her younger brother Evgeny Titarenko (born in 1935) is a writer. Her sister Lyudmila Ayukasova (born in 1938) graduated from the Bashkir Medical Institute and worked as an ophthalmologist in Ufa. During the illness of Raisa she was ready to become a bone marrow donor for her sister.
The family often moved and Raisa spent her childhood in Siberia and the Urals. In 1950 she came to Moscow and entered the Philosophy Faculty of Moscow State University. There she met the future husband, Mikhail, who studied at the law faculty.
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Russian Emperor Peter III

Russian Emperor Peter III

Russian Emperor Peter III

The Russian Emperor Peter III lived only 34 years and had two names – German and Russian. But even in such a short period the Emperor was able to earn the diametrically opposite assessments from “Stupid martinet” and “chronic drunkards”, to “a prominent figure in Russian culture”, “statesman”. Why did one and the same person receive such different characteristics how did he manage to earn them just of six months of his reign?
Karl Peter Ulrich (future Peter III) was born in 1728 in the German city of Kiel. His father was Duke Charles Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp – the ruler of the north German state of Holstein, and his mother was a daughter of Peter I, Anna Petrovna. On his father’s side little Karl was a grandnephew of Swedish King Karl XII and first was raised as heir to the Swedish throne. His mother died shortly after his birth, having caught a cold during the fireworks in honor of the birth of the son. At the age of 11 the boy lost his father.
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Alexander Kolchak – White Admiral

Alexander Kolchak - White Admiral

Alexander Kolchak – White Admiral

Alexander Kolchak was a Russian military and political figure, admiral, scientist, oceanographer, polar explorer. He was a participant of the Russian-Japanese War and the First World War. In 1915-1916 he was a commander of the Imperial Baltic Fleet and in 1916-1917 he was a Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Black Sea Fleet. During the Civil War he was a Supreme Commander of the Russian army. He was one of the greatest polar explorers of the late XIX – early XX centuries, a member of a number of famous Russian polar expeditions. The Russian admiral proclaimed himself supreme ruler of Russia.
Alexander Vasilievich Kolchak was born on November 4, 1874 in St. Petersburg. In 1894 he graduated from the Russian Naval Academy.
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