Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, a key figure of modernism, had explored a wide range of media as an artist, from paintings and drawings to stained glass and ceramics. His major projects included the ceiling of the Paris Opéra, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Jerusalem Windows of Israel.
Retired Belarusian artistic gymnast Vitaly Scherbo became the only male gymnast to win a world title in all 8 events. He has also won 6 gold medals in the Olympics and was the first person to win 4 gold medals in one day. The Scherbo vault has been named after him.
Legendary Soviet chess player Boris Gelfand is known for being part of the world’s top 20 players for most of his life. His accomplishments include two Belarusian national titles and a Chess World Cup. An author, too, he has co-written books such as Positional Decision Making in Chess.
Andrei Arlovski, also known as “The Pitbull,” is a Belarusian MMA fighter who is known for his UFC Heavyweight Championship win. He has also appeared in films such as Universal Soldier: Regeneration and been part of shows such as MTV's Bully Beatdown. He has competed for Strikeforce and Affliction, too.
Belarusian tennis player Ilya Ivashka has had a career-high singles ranking of 40 and is currently the number 1 singles player in his country. He was part of the group of Belarusian and Russian players who were banned by Wimbledon in 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Léon Bakst was a Russian painter, costume designer, and scene designer of Belarusian origin. He worked closely with the Ballets Russes, where he designed richly colored, exotic costumes and sets. His best-known works include productions like Daphnis and Chloe, Spectre de la rose, and The Sleeping Princess. In 1914, he was made a member of the Russian Academy of Arts.
Son of a Belarusian farmer, Andrei Gromyko grew up studying agriculture. He had already started delivering anti-religious speeches by 13 and later joined the Communist Party. He later served as the Soviet foreign minister and then the head of state, becoming popular as Mr. Nyet for vetoing UN proposals often.
American-Belarusian former basketball player Maalik Wayns played for Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia during his high-school days. He selected Villanova University to play under coach Jay Wright during college-years. As a professional, Wayns played with several teams, including Philadelphia 76ers and presently serves as coach at St. Joseph's Preparatory School.
Nicknamed The Red Scorpion, Belarusian heavyweight kickboxer and retired mixed martial artist Alexey Ignashov has won the Muay Thai World Championship 4 times. He trained at the Chinuk Gym for over a decade and is now based in Auckland, New Zealand. He is known for his signature knee strikes.
Belarusian professional basketball-player Artsiom Parakhouski became Big South Player of the Year twice and NCAA rebounding leader once during his college-career. He commenced his professional career in 2010 and achieved several feats playing for different teams. These include winning King Mindaugas Cup Finals (2019) with Rytas Vilnius and becoming King Mindaugas Cup MVP; and winning ABA League Supercup (2019) with Partizan.
Belarusian weightlifter Andrei Aramnau is not just an Olympic champion but also has a World Championship gold in his kitty. Born with 6 fingers on one hand, which he believed was due to the Chernobyl disaster, he had to cut his 6th finger at age 14 to compete professionally.
Ivan Baranchyk is a Belarusian boxer best known for his IBF light-welterweight title reign from 2018 to 2019. He won the vacant title by defeating Sweden's Anthony Yigit via corner retirement. Nicknamed The Beast, Ivan Baranchyk was ranked the fourth-best active light-welterweight in the world by BoxRec and The Ring in 2020.
Chaim Soutine was a Belarussian painter who lived and worked in Paris. Best remembered for his contribution to the expressionist movement, Soutine served as a bridge between the growing form of Abstract expressionism and more traditional approaches. Today, many of his paintings are preserved at places like The Jewish Museum in New York.
Evgeny Morozov is an American writer, intellectual, and researcher from Belarus. He is best known for conducting studies and research into the social and political implications of technology. His writings have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times and The Guardian. In 2018, Evgeny Morozov was included in the most influential Europeans list published by Politico.
Siarhei Liakhovich is a Belarusian boxer best known for his WBO heavyweight title reign in 2006. He is also known for representing his country at the 1997 World Championships where he won the bronze medal in the super heavyweight category.
Belarusian kick-boxer Chingiz Allazov has so-far achieved a kickboxing record of 59 wins out of 65, of which 36 wins were secured through knockout. He became the 2017 K-1 World GP -70kg World Tournament Champion and successfully defended the title in 2018. Presently signed with ONE Championship, Allazov is ranked as the #3 lightweight in the world by Combat Press.
Leonid Taranenko is a former weightlifter and coach. He is best known for winning the gold medal in the 110 kg category at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow where he represented the Soviet Union. He also won gold medals at the World Weightlifting Championships, European Weightlifting Championships, and USSR Weightlifting Championships.
Sergey Rabchenko is a Belarusian boxer who competes in the light middleweight division. After making his professional debut in 2006, Rabchenko went on to secure victories over well-known fighters like Bradley Pryce, Cédric Vitu, and Ryan Rhodes. Over the years, Sergey Rabchenko has won important titles like WBC Silver Light Middleweight title and EBU Light Middleweight title.
Aleksandr Kurlovich was a Soviet weightlifter best remembered for winning a gold medal at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games. He also won gold medals at World Weightlifting Championships, European Weightlifting Championships, and USSR Weightlifting Championships. Aleksandr Kurlovich, who set 12 world records during his career, was inducted into the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame in 2006.
Nicknamed Mad Bee, Belarusian boxer Kiryl Relikh has previously been a WBA super lightweight title holder. In 2017, he lost to Cuban boxer Rances Barthelemy after a controversial unanimous decision in an extremely close fight. In 2020, he became the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board’s global fifth-best active super lightweight boxer.
Belarusian professional tennis player Egor Alekseyevich Gerasimov made his ATP main draw debut in 2014 and won his first Grand Slam match at the 2019 US Open. On February 24, 2020, he attained his career high ATP singles ranking of World No. 65 and on March 2, 2015, he attained his career high ATP doubles ranking of World No. 263.
Belarusian Muay Thai kickboxer Andrey Gerasimchuk competes in heavyweight-division. His achievements this far include winning Kunlun Fight 95 kg Tournament (2014) and Kunlun Fight 100 kg Tournament (2014, 2016). Combat Press ranked him as a top-ten heavyweight from October 2015 to July 2018. Gerasimchuk made his comeback in the sport after almost three years at Glory 73: Shenzhen in 2019.
Soviet Greco-Roman wrestler Mark Slavin had chosen wrestling as a means to defend himself against anti-Semitic attacks. He moved to Israel 4 months before the Munich Olympics and represented Israel in the event. At 18, he was the youngest victim of the Munich massacre and died during a failed rescue attempt.
Retired Belarusian cyclist Vasil Kiryienka has represented many reputed teams such as Rietumu Banka–Riga, Team Sky, and Movistar Team. He now manages the Belarusian team BelAZ as its directeur sportif. His retirement from competitive cycling was due to a medical advice following a cardiac issue.
Yanka Kupala was a Belarusian writer and poet who went on to become a symbol of culture of Belarus. Apart from writing poems and plays, Kupala also translated the works of other writers and poets into the Belarusian language. A dramatized version of Yanka Kupala's turbulent and tragic life was depicted in a biopic titled Kupala.
Vladimir Veremeenko is a Belarusian basketball player. In 2005, he was part of the Dynamo Saint Petersburg team that won the FIBA Europe League championship title. In 2011, he helped BC UNICS win its first EuroCup title. Vladimir Veremeenko has also won three Russian Basketball Cups so far in his career.
Belarusian chess player Sergei Zhigalko received the FIDE title of Grandmaster in 2007. His achievements as a player so far include winning Under 14 division at World Youth Chess Championships and European Youth Chess Championships in 2003; Under 18 division at European Youth Championships in 2006; the Belarusian Chess Championship thrice (2009, 2012, 2013) and Baku Open twice (2011, 2012).
Siarhei Rutenka is a Belarusian retired handball player who also played for the Slovenia national handball team from 2004 to 2007, apart from playing for the Belarus national team. While representing Slovenia in 2006 at the European Men's Handball Championship, Rutenka was the top goalscorer of the tournament. Rutenka also played for popular clubs like FC Barcelona and Arkatron Minsk.
Vasil Bykaŭ was a Soviet and Belarusian author best remembered for writing many important novellas and novels about the Second World War. He is also credited with translating his own works from Belarusian to Russian. Vasil Bykaŭ's work earned him several prestigious awards such as the USSR State Prize, Lenin Prize, and San-Valentino International Golden Prize.
One of the leading figures of the Constructivist style of art, Antoine Pevsner was a renowned Russian sculptor and the brother of fellow sculptor Naum Gabo. Though his early works show a strong Cubist influence, he rejected the idea later and issued the Realistic Manifesto. He spent his later years in Paris.
Maksim Bahdanovič was a Belarusian poet, translator, journalist, historian of literature, and literary critic. Widely regarded as one of the progenitors of modern Belarusian literature, Bahdanovič was the first poet to bring several new lyrical forms into Belarusian literature. Maksim Bahdanovič is also remembered for translating the works of famous poets like Paul Verlaine, Alexander Pushkin, Heinrich Heine, and Horace.
Joseph B. Soloveitchik was an American Orthodox rabbi, Jewish philosopher, and Talmudist. Over the course of his illustrious career, Soloveitchik served as a mentor, guide, advisor, and role model to several Jews. He also wrote many essays on Jewish tradition, for which he was honored with the prestigious National Jewish Book Award in 1985 and 2010.
Belarusian swimmer Ilya Shymanovich currently holds world-record in short course 100 metre breaststroke and earlier held world-record in short course 50 metre breaststroke. His feats so far include winning a gold in 100 metre breaststroke at 2021 World Short Course Championships; and one gold medal each in 50 metre breaststroke and 200 metre breaststroke at 2021 European Short Course Championships.
Moisey Ostrogorsky was a Russian politician, historian, political scientist, sociologist, and jurist. Along with Robert Michels and Max Weber, Ostrogorsky is regarded as a co-founder of political sociology. Moisey Ostrogorsky is also remembered for his immense contribution as a writer; many of his works on history and political science continue to be cherished.
Yakub Kolas was a Belarusian writer and poet. Best remembered for his association with the Belarusian Academy of Sciences, Kolas served as its vice-president in the late 1920s. He often expressed sympathy towards the Belarusian peasantry in his works. In 1946 and 1949, Yakub Kolas was honored with the prestigious Stalin Prize.