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Russian Personalities

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

Category Archive: Men

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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Stepan Pimenov – Russian sculptor

Stepan Pimenov – Russian sculptor

Stepan Pimenov – Russian sculptor

Stepan Pimenov was one of the great Russian sculptors of the early nineteenth century, who together with V.I. Demuth-Malinovsky designed the buildings by C. Rossi and A. Voronikhin. The Chariot of Glory on the arch of the General Staff is among his best works.
Stepan was born in St. Petersburg in 1784. His father – Stepan Afanasievich held the rank of provincial secretary. At the age of eleven his parents sent the boy to the Academy of Arts.
The talented young sculptor’s works frequently won awards. In 1801 he was awarded the first silver medal for ‘modelling from nature’, and in 1802 the artist received his first gold medal for the bas-relief composition “Jupiter and Mercury in the Guise of Wayfarers Visiting Philemon and Baucis”. In 1802 Pimenov took part in a competition to carve a memorial tombstone to his favorite teacher and professor at the Academy, Mikhail Kozlovsky. The competition was won by Vasily Demut-Malinovsky, whose bas-relief composition fulfilled the conditions laid down for the competition. Pimenov received the Second Gold Medal.
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Alik Sakharov – film director

Alik Sakharov – film director

Alik Sakharov – film director


Alik Sakharov is an American film director, cinematographer.
Alik was born on May 17, 1959 in Tashkent, USSR. When he was eight years old, his family moved to Moscow. As a school boy Alik joined the photo club in one of Moscow’s House of Culture. Passion for photography has survived to this day. When Alik was fifteen years old his parents gave him a camera. So, the boy started to film short amateur videos. Andrei Tarkovsky’s film The Mirror had the most significant influence on his artistic taste and is still his favorite movie.
In 1981 his family emigrated to the United States.
In 1985, Alik Sakharov made his first documentary film – The Russian Touch, about the life of Soviet immigrants in New York.
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Nikolai Pirogov – Wonderful Doctor

Nikolai Pirogov - Wonderful Doctor

Nikolai Pirogov – Wonderful Doctor

Nikolai Ivanovich Pirogov, the great Russian surgeon and one of the most outstanding personalities in Russian medicine, was born on November 25, 1810.
At the age of fourteen Pirogov enrolled as a student in the Medical Faculty of Moscow University, and three years later he got his doctor’s diploma. As one of the best graduates he was sent to Derpt (now Tartu) to take a special course.
Pirogov brilliantly completed the course and in 1833 very successfully defended his thesis for the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Then he became professor and head of the major surgical clinic at the University of Derpt. A few years later he was elected professor of the Medico-Surgical Academy of St. Petersburg. There his talent developed in full.
At that time anaesthesia was unknown to surgery, and as a result even minor operations caused patients immeasurable suffering. At times they even caused their death.
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Alexander Solzhenitsyn – far-reaching thinker

Alexander Solzhenitsyn - far-reaching thinker

Alexander Solzhenitsyn – far-reaching thinker

Alexander Solzhenitsyn was one of the most far-reaching thinkers, writers and humanitarians of the 20th century; he continued the realistic tradition of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Until the end of his days, he fought for Russia not only to move away from its totalitarian past but also to have a worthy future, to become a truly free and democratic country.
Alexander Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was born on December 11, 1918, in Kislovodsk. He was raised by his mother, a typist, because his father had died in an accident six months before he was born.
Alexander studied mathematics and physics at Rostov-on-Don State University while at the same time taking correspondence courses from the Moscow Institute of Philosophy, Literature, and History. He graduated from the University in 1941, just days before Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
When war broke out, he enlisted in the Red Army and rose to the rank of artillery captain. Decorated twice, he witnessed some of the fiercest battles of World War II, leading an artillery company on the front lines from November 1942 to February 1945. It was then that Solzhenitsyn was arrested for “anti-Soviet agitation” – he made critical references to Stalin in correspondence with a friend – and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
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Yuri Andropov – the godfather of perestroika

Yuri Andropov - the godfather of perestroika

Yuri Andropov – the godfather of perestroika


Yuri Andropov was a general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1982-1984).
Andropov was born on June 15, 1914, in the southern Russian region of Stavropol.
During World War II he worked with the partisan movement in Karelia, and after the war he became second secretary of the regional Party organization. In 1956 he was the ambassador to Hungary at the time of the Soviet invasion. In 1957 Andropov become head of the Central Committee’s Bloc Relations Department.
In 1962 he was promoted to Central Committee secretary and continued to oversee relations with other communist countries.
In 1967 he was appointed the head of the Committee on State Security (KGB) and a candidate member of the ruling Politburo.
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Andrei Rublev – Russian icon painter

Andrei Rublev – Russian icon painter

Andrei Rublev – Russian icon painter

Andrei Rublev was the most famous and revered master of the Moscow school of icon painting, book and monumental painting of the XV century. He was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. His art is the pride of the Russian people.
According to some sources Andrei was born in 1360. As a youth he became a monk and spent many years in the Trinity-Saint Sergii Monastery.
His creativity was formed on the basis of the artistic traditions of the Moscow principality. The first mention in the annals appeared only in 1405 – Theophanes the Greek, Prokhor elder-monk and Andrei Rublev painted the Annunciation Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. For the second time Andrei was mentioned in 1408, when he together with Daniil Cherny painted the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir.
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