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Russian Personalities

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

Category Archive: Men

Timur Bekmambetov – film director

Timur Bekmambetov – film director

Timur Bekmambetov – film director


Almost any actor, director or producer dreams of a career in Hollywood. Alas, it is very difficult to reach such heights. And therefore the achievements of the Kazakhstan director and producer Timur Bekmambetov are really grandiose. Starting his career as a director of commercials that turned out to be very innovative for the USSR, he went a long way from low-budget movies to multi-million blockbusters that conquered the world.
Timur was born on June 25, 1961 in Guryev. His father is a descendant of the ancient and revered dynasty of Kazakh khans, whose roots can be traced back to the 10th century. The father was the head of a large energy company, and the mother worked as a deputy editor of a regional newspaper.
At his father’s insistence, the future director entered the Moscow Power Engineering Institute. However, Bekmambetov was not too interested in energy and other technical subjects, the young man was fond of the world of art. The future film star left the institute and was immediately drafted into the army, he served near Ashgabat for two years.
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Mikhail Shchepkin – Russian actor

Mikhail Shchepkin – Russian actor

Mikhail Shchepkin – Russian actor


Mikhail Shchepkin was a Russian actor, one of the founders of the Russian actor’s school.
The boy was born on November 6 (17), 1788 in Kursk province into a family of the serfs.
From 1799 to 1801 he studied at the Sudzhansky public school. During his studies, in 1800, he played his first role in Sumarokov’s comedy – Vzdorschitsa.
In 1801-1802 he played in a serf theater of Count G. S. Volkenshtein.
By the way, in 1805, he performed on the professional scene for the first time. Since that time, with the permission of Count G. S. Volkenshtein, Shchepkin played in the Barsov Brothers Theater.
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Grigori Rasputin – mystic man

Grigori Rasputin – mystic man

Grigori Rasputin – mystic man

Grigori Rasputin is a well-known and ambiguous personality in the Russian history. His life is filled with a lot of inexplicable events and facts linked with the proximity to the family of Emperor Nicholas II and influence on the fate of the Russian Empire. Some historians consider him an immoral charlatan and swindler, while others believe that Rasputin was a real visionary and healer, which allowed him to gain influence over the royal family.
Grigori Efimovich was born on January 21, 1869 into the family of simple peasant Yefim Yakovlevich and Anna Vasilievna, who lived in the village in Tobolsk province. Grisha became the fourth and only surviving child of his parents – his elder brothers and sisters died in infancy due to poor health. At the same time, he was also weak from birth, so he could not play enough with his peers, which was the reason for his isolation and his desire for seclusion. It was in his early childhood that Rasputin felt his attachment to God and religion.
The boy tried to help his father graze livestock, harvest and participate in any agricultural work. There was no school in the village, so Grigori grew illiterate, like all fellow villagers.
At the age of 14 Rasputin fell seriously ill and almost died, but suddenly his health began to improve, which, he said, was due to the Mother of God who healed him. Since that moment Grigori began to learn the Gospel and was able to memorize the texts of prayers by heart. At that time, the peasant’s son woke up with the gift of foresight, which later gave him a dramatic fate.
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Stepan Pimenov – Russian sculptor

Stepan Pimenov – Russian sculptor

Stepan Pimenov – Russian sculptor


Stepan Pimenov was a sculptor of Russian classicism, who together with V. Demut-Malinovsky designed the buildings and structures by K. 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. When the boy was 11 years old the parents sent him to the Academy of Arts. He studied there from 1795 to 1803 and repeatedly received medals for his successful works.
In the fall of 1803, the sculptor was awarded the Grand Gold Medal for the work The Killing of Two Varangian Christians Who Refused to Bow Down Before Perun.
The difficult international situation did not allow Pimenov to go abroad as a pensioner, although, having received the Grand Gold Medal he had the right. To tell the truth, Pimenov never went abroad afterwards. All his life he lived in Russia.
By 1807 Pimenov had made a bronze statue of Prince Vladimir. The prince of Kiev, who stood at the beginning of the Russian state, is shown as strong-willed, full of militant courage leader of his people. In one hand he holds a wooden cross, and in the other – a sword. His face is severe. In the same year the young sculptor who successfully coped with the work was ordered to make statue of Alexander Nevsky.
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Alik Sakharov – film director

Alik Sakharov – film director

Alik Sakharov – film director


Alik Sakharov is an American film director, cinematographer.
The boy 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 Houses of Culture. And even to this day he has passion for photography. 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.
You know, in 1985, Sakharov made his first documentary film – The Russian Touch, about the life of Soviet immigrants in New York.
In 1986, he began to work as a cameraman and illuminator on one of the TV stations in the same New York City. There he gained experience on the set of short stories for television, advertising, and music videos.
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Nikolai Pirogov – Wonderful Doctor

Nikolai Pirogov - Wonderful Doctor

Nikolai Pirogov – Wonderful Doctor


The biography of Nikolai Pirogov, whom his contemporaries named wonderful doctor, is a vivid example of selfless service to medical science. The myriad of discoveries that have saved lives for thousands of people are still used in medicine.
The future genius of world medicine was born on November 25, 1810 into a large family of a military official. Nikolai had thirteen brothers and sisters, many of whom had died while still young. Father Ivan Ivanovich was educated and achieved great success in his career. Parents paid special attention to the upbringing of children: the boys were sent to prestigious institutions, and the girls received education at home.
The Pirogov family loved to read and had an impressive home library. Every Sunday the family visited the church. Many doctors visited their hospitable house and willingly played with the curious Nikolai and told entertaining stories from practice. Therefore, from an early age, he decided to become either a military man like his father or a doctor, like their home doctor Mukhin, with whom the boy became very friendly.
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Alexander Solzhenitsyn – far-reaching thinker

Alexander Solzhenitsyn - far-reaching thinker

Alexander Solzhenitsyn – far-reaching thinker


Alexander Solzhenitsyn is an outstanding Russian writer and public figure. To tell the truth, in the Soviet Union he was recognized as a dissident, dangerous for the communist system, and the writer was imprisoned for many years. His books The Gulag Archipelago, Matryona’s Place, One Day of Ivan Denisovich, Cancer Ward and many others are widely known. By the way, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was awarded only eight years after the first publication, which is considered a record.
The future writer was born on December 11, 1918, in Kislovodsk. His father Isaak Semenovich served in the First World War, but died on the hunt six months before the birth of his son. The mother Taisiya Zakharovna brought up her son alone. Because of the consequences of the October Revolution, the family lived in extreme poverty. Later they moved to Rostov-on-Don. Problems with the new government began in Solzhenitsyn’s early years, as he was brought up in the traditions of religious culture, wore a cross and refused to join the pioneers.
But later, under the influence of school ideology, Alexander changed his point of view and even became a member of the Komsomol. The boy was fond of reading. He read the works of Russian classics and even had plans to write his own revolutionary novel. But when it was time to choose a specialty, Solzhenitsyn for some reason entered the physics and mathematics department of the Rostov State University. According to his confession, he was sure that mathematicians were taught only by the most intelligent people, and wanted to be among them. The name of Alexander was among the best graduates of the year.
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