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Russian Personalities

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

Category Archive: Politics

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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Nina Kukharchuk – wife of Nikita Khrushchev

Nina Kukharchuk – wife of Nikita Khrushchev

Nina Kukharchuk – wife of Nikita Khrushchev


Nina Kukharchuk was a wife of Nikita Khrushchev, who became the head of state largely thanks to this woman. And she was the first wife of the head of state to travel abroad.
Nina Kukharchuk was born on April 14, 1900 in the Russian Empire. Her parents were poor farmers with many children. At the age of 12 Nina finished village school and the teacher persuaded her parents to send the girl to study in the city. The war began when she entered Mariinsky School. The school was moved to Odessa, where Nina lived until 1920.
In 1919, in occupied Odessa Nina joined the Bolshevik Party and began clandestine activity. In particular, she was one of the leaders of the Odessa underground komsomol organization. In June 1920, Nina was sent to the Polish front as she spoke Polish. The girl repeatedly had to risk her life. Later Nina came to Galichina where she became an activist of the Western Ukraine Communist Party.
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Boris Godunov – Russian Tsar

Boris Godunov – Russian Tsar

Boris Godunov – Russian Tsar

Boris Godunov was the Tsar of Russia from 1598 to 1605. He was one of the most famous (or infamous) rulers of early modern Russia.
Boris Feodorovich Godunov was born in 1551 in Moscow. He was a member of the ancient Russian family of Saburov-Godunov of Tatar origin, which migrated from the Golden Horde in the 14th century.
Godunov was married to the daughter of Maliuta Skuratov (the notorious boss of the Oprichnina). Boris and Maria had two children: a daughter named Ksenya and a son named Fyodor.
In 1580 Godunov was promoted to the rank of boyar on the marriage of his sister to Feodor, the son of Ivan IV. After the death of Ivan IV in 1584, Feodor became czar of Russia. However, he had the mentality of a child. So rule passed to a dual regency of Nikita Romanovich Yuriev, the Czar’s uncle, and Boris Godunov. In 1586, after the death of Yuriev, Godunov became Russia’s new master in all but name.
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Alexander Herzen – political agitator

Alexander Herzen - political agitator

Alexander Herzen – political agitator

Alexander Herzen was Russian writer, novelist, philosopher, teacher and political agitator. He developed a socialist philosophy that was the ideological basis for much of the revolutionary activity in Russia. He was a founder of Russian populism.
Alexander Ivanovich Yakovlev (his real surname) was born on March 25, 1812, in Moscow. He was the illegitimate son of a wealthy Moscow aristocrat, Ivan Alexeevich Yakovlev and his German-born mistress.
When Herzen was 13, Decembrist rising took place, and he was present at the thanksgiving service in the Kremlin after the hangings. It made a lasting impression on him.
In 1829 Alexander entered the University of Moscow to study natural sciences and became the leader of a small group fighting for freedom.
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Mikhail Gorbachev – Soviet president

Mikhail Gorbachev – Soviet president

Mikhail Gorbachev – Soviet president

Mikhail Gorbachev was general secretary of the Communist Party, then president of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. He was a reformer who attempted to fix the economic problems of the system and wanted democracy to grow within the country. Gorbachev’s efforts to change his country helped to lead to the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was born on March 2, 1931 in a small village in the Stavropol region in south Russia. His father joined the Communist Party and was a veteran of the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). When he was still a teenager, Gorbachev was awarded the Order of Red Banner of Labor for heroic feats of work. He had assisted his father, a combine operator (who was given the Order of Lenin) in bringing in a record harvest in 1948.
In 1952 Gorbachev joined the Communist Party. He received his law degree from Moscow State University in 1955. During his time in Moscow he met his future wife, Raisa Maksimovna Titorenko, who would play a crucial supporting role in his reforms throughout their lives. They were married in 1953 and remained utterly devoted to each other.
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Boris Yeltsin – first Russian president

Boris Yeltsin – first Russian president

Boris Yeltsin – first Russian president

Boris Yeltsin was the first president of Russia following the collapse of the communist Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was born on February 1, 1931 in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg), Russia. He became an engineer as a young man.
He studied construction at the Ural Polytechnic Institute, graduating in 1955.
In the 1960s Yeltsin joined the Communist Party—the political group that controlled the Soviet Union. In 1976 the party put him in charge of the Sverdlovsk region.
In 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev made Yeltsin the leader of Moscow.
In 1987 Gorbachev removed Yeltsin from his high-ranking party positions. Yeltsin became a harsh critic of Gorbachev and advocated a slow pace of reform, which became a hallmark of his later policies.
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