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Russian Personalities

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

Category Archive: Men

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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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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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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