Famous Russian Activists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Russian Activists

 1 Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny
6
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: June 4, 1976
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Butyn', Russia

Described by The Wall Street Journal as the man Vladimir Putin fears most, Alexei Navalny is widely regarded as Russia's opposition leader. He is famous for his accusations of corruption in Russia and Putin's government. In 2011, he created the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which was dissolved in 2020. In August 2020, there was an attempt to assassinate him, when he was poisoned during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow.

 2 Maxim Gorky

Maxim Gorky
3
Famous As: Writer, Political Activist
Birthdate: March 28, 1868
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Died: June 18, 1936

Maxim Gorky was a writer and political activist. He is best remembered for founding the socialist realism literary method. Gorky, who was nominated for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature on five occasions, published several novels that were later adapted into plays, films, and operas. In 1938, Valery Zhelobinsky adapted Gorky's novel Mother into an opera.

 3 Peter Kropotkin

Peter Kropotkin
3
Famous As: Anarchist, Socialist & Historian
Birthdate: December 9, 1842
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: February 8, 1921

Russian philosopher Peter Kropotkin was a passionate advocate of anarcho-communism. He was also an activist, revolutionary, economist, and sociologist. He was arrested and imprisoned for his activism in 1874. However, he managed to escape and lived in exile for over 40 years in different countries across Europe. He returned to Russia after the Russian Revolution in 1917. 

Recommended Lists:

 4 Andrei Sakharov

Andrei Sakharov
3
Famous As: Nuclear physicist
Birthdate: May 21, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: December 14, 1989

Andrei Sakharov was a Russian dissident and nuclear physicist best remembered for designing RDS-37, Soviet Union's first two-stage hydrogen bomb. Also an activist for peace and human rights, Andrei Sakharov was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, which is awarded by the European Parliament, is named in his honor.

Recommended Lists:

 5 Boris Berezovsky

Boris Berezovsky
3
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: January 23, 1946
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: March 23, 2013

Russian business-tycoon, engineer, mathematician and government official Boris Berezovsky is counted among the famed Russian oligarchs who made their fortunes during the 1990s, when Russia was going through privatization of state property. He remained a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin since the latter’s election as president in 2000 and was granted political asylum by the UK in 2003.

 6 Anna Politkovskaya

Anna Politkovskaya
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: August 30, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: October 7, 2006

Anna Politkovskaya was a Russian writer, journalist, and human rights activist. She is best remembered for reporting the Second Chechen War. In spite of various acts of intimidation and violence, Politkovskaya never gave up reporting on the war. Her efforts and work earned her several international awards, such as the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award. Politkovskaya was murdered in 2006.

 7 Aleksandr Ulyanov

Aleksandr Ulyanov
3
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: April 12, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Died: May 20, 1887

Russian revolutionary Aleksandr Ulyanov was the elder brother of Vladimir Lenin, who founded the Soviet Union. Though initially not interested in politics, he later became involved in St. Petersburg student politics and was part of a plot to kill Alexander III. He was hanged along with four of his comrades.

You May Like

 8 Alexander Berkman

Alexander Berkman
3
Famous As: Editor
Birthdate: November 21, 1870
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vilnius
Died: June 28, 1936

Alexander Berkman was a Russian-American anarchist and author. He was famous for both his political activism and his writing and was a leading member of the anarchist movement in the early 20th century. He served as the editor of fellow anarchist Emma Goldman's anarchist journal, Mother Earth. He suffered from ill-health in his later years and died by suicide. 

 9 Vladimir Bukovsky

Vladimir Bukovsky
3
Famous As: Writer, Human rights activist
Birthdate: December 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Belebey

Vladimir Bukovsky was a Russian-born British writer and human rights activist. An important member of the Soviet dissident movement, Bukovsky spent 12 years in prisons, psychiatric prison-hospitals, and labor camps of the Soviet Union. A neurophysiologist, Bukovsky is celebrated for his efforts to expose Soviet Union's political abuse of psychiatry. In 2001, he was awarded the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom.

 10 Lyubov Sobol

Lyubov Sobol
2
Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: September 13, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Moscow Oblast, Russia

Lyubov Sobol is a Russian public and political figure. An influential personality, Sobol serves as a lawyer of a nonprofit organization called the Anti-Corruption Foundation. In 2019, BBC included her in the leadership category of its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world.

 11 Alexander Herzen

Alexander Herzen
2
Famous As: Father of Russian socialism
Birthdate: April 6, 1812
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: January 21, 1870

Alexander Herzen was a Russian thinker and writer. Regarded as the father of Russian socialism, Herzen played an influential role in the political set up of the 19th and 20th century. He also influenced personalities like Isaiah Berlin, who regarded Herzen as his hero. Herzen's book My Past and Thoughts is considered one of the best autobiographies in Russian literature.

 12 Maxim Martsinkevich

Maxim Martsinkevich
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moscow

Maxim Martsinkevich was a Russian media personality, nationalist activist, and vlogger. He is credited with co-founding the Restruct movement, which among many objectives, aimed at propagating neo-nazi views among youth. Martsinkevich was indicted on multiple occasions for inciting ethnic or racial hatred. In 2020, Maxim Martsinkevich was found dead under mysterious circumstances.

 13 Petr Pavlensky

Petr Pavlensky
2
Famous As: Artivist, Political activist, Performance artist, Painter, Artist, Anarchist
Birthdate: March 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leningrad

Petr Pavlensky is a Russian artist best known for his political art performances. He is generally considered a controversial artist as his work involves self-mutilation and nudity. In 2016, he was honored with the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, which was later withdrawn when Petr Pavlensky announced that he would dedicate the prize to an insurgent group.

 14 Stenka Razin

Stenka Razin
2
Birthdate: 1630 AD
Died: June 16, 1671

Stenka Razin was a Cossack leader best remembered for leading a major revolt against the tsarist bureaucracy that ruled southern Russia in the 1670s. His objective was to preserve the independence of the Cossacks. Razin's movement turned political and he became a popular symbol of peasant unrest in Russia. Although his movement failed, Razin became a cultural icon in Russia.

 15 Lyudmila Alexeyeva

Lyudmila Alexeyeva
2
Famous As: Historian, Human rights activist
Birthdate: July 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yevpatoriya
Died: December 8, 2018

Lyudmila Alexeyeva was a Russian human-rights activist and historian. She is credited with co-founding the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group, which is currently one of the most prominent human rights organizations in Russia. She was also one of the most important members of the Soviet dissident movement in post-Soviet Russia. Alexeyeva received many prizes and awards for her human rights activities.

 16 Zara

Zara
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 26, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Zara is a Russian singer, social activist, and actress. Apart from her singing and acting career, Zara is also known for her charity work. She is associated with the Step Forward Charity Foundation, which helps adults and children suffering from cerebral palsy and cancer. She also participates in the projects undertaken by the Answering the Call of the Heart Foundation.

 17 Irina Khakamada

Irina Khakamada
2
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: April 13, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Irina Khakamada is a Russian political activist, economist, publicist, journalist, and politician. In 1995, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 well-known women in the world. A multi-talented personality, Irina Khakamada has also acted in many television series and films. In a television series titled Brief Guide To A Happy Life, Khakamada portrayed a psychologist named Vera Rodinka.

 18 Vladimir Voinovich

Vladimir Voinovich
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 26, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dushanbe, Soviet Union
Died: July 27, 2018

Russian author Vladimir Voinovich was a strong dissident, known for his sharp satire in books such as The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin and Moscow 2042. His dissident activities got him removed from the Writers’ Union of the U.S.S.R. He was also stripped of his citizenship briefly.

 19 Pavel Axelrod

Pavel Axelrod
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 25, 1850
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chernigov Governorate, Russian Empire
Died: April 16, 1928

Marxist revolutionary leader Pavel Axelrod was closely associated with the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party and the Mensheviks. He was married to the daughter of satirist Isaac Kaminer. He went against the Bolshevik Revolution during World War I. He was exiled to Berlin in his final years and died there eventually.

 20 Natalya Estemirova

Natalya Estemirova
2
Famous As: Human rights activist
Birthdate: February 28, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saratov, Russia
Died: July 15, 2009

Russian human rights activist and journalist Natalya Estemirova, also known as Natasha, made headlines when she was kidnapped and brutally shot dead, in what many suspected was a state-sponsored killing. In fact, her friend and collaborator Anna Politkovskaya was also shot dead in a similar fashion earlier.

 21 Batu Khasikov

Batu Khasikov
2
Famous As: Kickboxer
Birthdate: June 28, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Russian kickboxer Batu Khasikov had begun training in Kyokushin, a form of martial art, at age 11. He has been a world champion and a European champion. He has also been a senator from Kalmykia and later a governor of the same region. He also co-founded the Eurasia Fight Nights promotion.

 22 Alexandra Mitroshina

Alexandra Mitroshina
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 27, 1994
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Petrozavodsk, Russia

Blogger, author, and journalist Alexandra Mitroshina is also a well-known women’s rights activist. The founder of movements and projects such as I Did Not Want to Die and You Are Not Alone, she is also popular on social media and has penned the book Private Instagram Blogs Promotion.

 23 Vera Figner

Vera Figner
2
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: July 1, 1852
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kazan, Russia
Died: June 15, 1942

Russian revolutionary Vera Figner was a major figure of the Populist (Narodnik) movement. Initially a medical student, she later left her studies midway to devote herself to politics. She also left her husband for her revolutionary cause and became associated with the Zemlya i Volya party.

 24 Valeriya Novodvorskaya

Valeriya Novodvorskaya
2
Famous As: Russian Politician
Birthdate: May 17, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baranovichi
Died: July 12, 2014

Soviet politician and The New Times editor Valeriya Novodvorskaya, who founded the Democratic Union party, had been a prominent dissident who often clashed with the Soviet authorities. She was once jailed for criticizing the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. The self-proclaimed asexual activist lived with her mother and her cat.

 25 Vladimir Korolenko

Vladimir Korolenko
1
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 27, 1853
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Zhytomyr, Ukraine
Died: December 25, 1921

Most renowned for his short novel The Blind Musician, Russian author and journalist Vladimir Korolenko was known for his depiction of the plight of the disadvantaged sections of society. In his early days, his revolutionary activities got him expelled from two colleges. Makar’s Dream remains one of his best-known stories.

 26 Natalya Gorbanevskaya

Natalya Gorbanevskaya
1
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 26, 1936
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: November 29, 2013

Russian dissident and poet Natalya Gorbanevskaya is best remembered for opposing the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. She co-founded the underground journal A Chronicle of Current Events, which reported atrocities by the Soviet government. She was sent to a psychiatric hospital but moved to France and then Poland upon her release.

 27 Alexander Fadeyev

Alexander Fadeyev
1
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 24, 1901
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kimry, Russia
Died: May 13, 1956

Russian author Alexander Fadeyev, known for his proletarian literature, was also associated with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. His is best known for his novels such as The Young Guard, based on World War II, and The Nineteen, which narrated the tale of Red guerrilla fighters.

 28 Alexander Ginzburg

Alexander Ginzburg
1
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: November 21, 1936
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: July 19, 2002

Russian journalist and dissident Alexander Ginzburg was also a prominent human rights activist. His political activities led him to be expelled from Moscow University and sent to labor camps multiple times. Known for works such as The Trial of the Four, he later became a French citizen.

 29 Yekaterina Kuskova

Yekaterina Kuskova
0
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: December 5, 1869
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Russia
Died: December 22, 1958

Economist, journalist and politician Yekaterina Dmitriyevna Kuskova of the Russian Empire advocated for social reformism and opposed the Bolsheviks and Vladimir Lenin’s authoritarian policies following the October Revolution. She was a member of the nascent Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party (RSDRP) and later became a founding member of the liberal Union of Liberation, which was renamed as the Constitutional-Democratic Party (KDP).

 30 Alexander Lvovich Kazembek

Alexander Lvovich Kazembek
0
Famous As: Political activist, and founder of the Mladorossi political group
Birthdate: February 15, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kazan, Russia
Died: February 21, 1977

 31 Manizha

Manizha
0
Famous As: Pop music performer who was nominated for Sobaka.ru Magazine's Top 50 award in 2017
Birthdate: July 8, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dushanbe, Tajikistan