The greatest Russians
The Greatest Russians
Georgy Zhukov - the leader of Soviet military from autumn 1942 to summer 1945. Took over a military effort that was failing disastrously and lead the Soviet Army to victory over the Nazis. Winston Churchill stated about the Royal Air Force that "never in history has so much been owed by so many to so few." This can be said more truthfully about Zhukov.
Tsar Peter the Great - modernized and Westernized Russia. Built St. Petersburg, which has been known and remains known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. One of his projects, the Hermitage, remains the greatest art museum in the world.
Yuri Gagarin - the first man in space.
Alexander Pushkin - Russia's greatest poet. His most famous work, Eugene Onegin, is available in all major languages. His work was distinguished by its beauty.
Vladimir Vysotsky - the greatest bard in history, with a vast body of work that describes life in all areas of Soviet society. Although he died at age 40 in 1980, his work continues to be listened to all over Russia and is widely translated into English and French.
Pyotr Tchaikovsky - Russia's greatest composer and one of the world's greatest musical classics.
Alla Pugacheva - Soviet Union's greatest singer.
Fedor Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Boris Pasternak - household names in most of the world, these were Russia's greatest novelists. They defined the Russian novel as a work of monumentalism, sagacity and depth.
Andrei Sakharov, Lyudmila Alexeyeva - Soviet dissident leaders whose work showcased the abuses under the Soviet system. Both were subjected to imprisonment, harrassment and assault; but they outlasted their enemy.
Ayn Rand - original name Alyssa Rosenbaum, she came to America as a teenager and became one of America's most widely read and most influential writers and philosophers. Her work in support of capitalism and libertarianism has had a vast influence in American politics and society.
Gary Kasparov - the greatest chess player of all time. Currently leads a pro-democracy political party in Russia.
Ivan Pavlov - early 20th century psychologist, he pioneered the concept of Pavlovian reinforcement, which remains one of the most fundamental concepts in psychology.
Nikolai Vavilov - one of the greatest minds in the field of genetics.
Dmitri Mendeleyev - early 20th century chemist known for creating the Mendeleev table of chemical elements.
Nikita Khruschev - although infamous for his shoe-banging episode and his association with charlatan Lysenko, he was one of Russia's most stable and humane leaders. Before becoming the head of the USSR, he built the Moscow Metro, whose stations look like palaces and which remains one of Moscow's main attractions to this day.