Famous Russian Historical Personalities

History wouldn’t be half as interesting as it is had it not been for the famous and iconic personalities. These iconic personalities shaped the events of the past and consequently affected our present and future. Russia has been home to numerous such personalities that have gained worldwide fame for their acts and deeds. However, there were some like Ivan Vasilyevich ‘The Terrible’ who were famous for their notoriety. Though Ivan was the first Tsar of Russia and is remembered for expanding Russian empire through military conquests, he was infamous for his madness and violence. It was Peter the Great that Russia owes much of its modern existence including founding of many till-date running government institutions. Catherine the Great presided of what was Russia’s Golden Age. She helped cement Russia’s status as a dominant country of the world. In the field of art and literature, there were several renowned personalities in Russia, like Leo Tolstoy, Alexandr Borodin, Pyotor Tchaikovsky, Anna Pavlova and so on. Joseph Stalin was famous as the ‘bad man’ of the 20th century Russia. A leader and dictator, he suppressed any form of oppression against his governance and ruthlessly denounced any dissent. To know more about famous Russian historical personalities, check out this section.

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

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 1 Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great
13
Famous As: Empress of Russia
Birthdate: May 2, 1729
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: November 17, 1796

The Empress of Russia for almost 35 years, Catherine the Great was the country's longest-ruling female leader. An ambitious ruler, she rapidly expanded the Russian Empire and is credited with modernizing the country along Western European lines. She supported the ideals of the Enlightenment and the period of her rule—the Catherinian Era—is considered the Golden Age of Russia.

 2 Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Lenin
6
Famous As: Former Premier of the Soviet Union
Birthdate: April 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: January 21, 1924

Vladimir Lenin played a key role in the history of Russian politics by developing a political ideology called Leninism. During and after his lifetime, Lenin had a massive influence over international communist movement. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and significant personalities of the 20th century.

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 3 Ivan the Terrible

Ivan the Terrible
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Famous As: First Russian Tsar
Birthdate: August 25, 1530
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 28, 1584
Ivan the Terrible, son of Vasili III, served as the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547. The “Chosen Council” declared him the tsar at 16 and established the Tsardom of Russia. Ivan’s reign was known for wars such as the Livonian War, which damaged Russia’s economy. 

 4 Alexander III of Russia

Alexander III of Russia
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Famous As: Former Emperor of All Russia
Birthdate: March 10, 1845
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Russian
Died: November 1, 1894
Alexander III ruled as the emperor of Russia, the king Poland, and the grand duke of Finland, from 1881 to 1894. He reversed many liberal policies that had been implemented by his father, Alexander II, earlier. He passed the “May Laws” and did not participate in any major war.

 5 Nicholas I of Russia

Nicholas I of Russia
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Famous As: Emperor of Russia
Birthdate: July 6, 1796
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 2, 1855

Nicholas I of Russia reigned as Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and King of Poland from 1825 to 1855. Nicholas I is remembered for his controversial reign, under which the Russian Empire achieved great geographical expansion. He also played a key role in creating an independent Greek state and was successful in ending the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829.

 6 Alexander II of Russia

Alexander II of Russia
2
Famous As: Emperor of Russia
Birthdate: April 29, 1818
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 13, 1881

Alexander II of Russia was the Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and King of Poland from 1855 to 1881. He became known as Alexander the Liberator for his most significant reform, which was the Emancipation Reform of 1861. He is also credited with reorganizing the judicial system, abolishing corporal punishment, and imposing universal military service in Russia.

 7 Paul I of Russia

Paul I of Russia
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Famous As: Russian Emperor (1796-1801)
Birthdate: October 1, 1754
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 23, 1801
Paul I ruled as the Russian emperor from 1796 till his assassination in 1801. He was officially the son of Peter III and Catherine the Great, but it is believed he was sired by Catherine’s lover, Sergei Saltykov. Paul established the law of succession to the throne of Russia.
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 8 Olga of Kiev

Olga of Kiev
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Famous As: Regent of Kievan Rus
Birthdate: 0915 AD
Nationality: Russian
Died: July 11, 0969
Although revered as a saint, Olga, the first Kiev royal member to adopt Christianity, is remembered for the brutal revenge on her husband Igor I’s murderers. She got her men to capture the Drevlians who suggested she marry Prince Mal, who had killed Igor, and watched them being buried alive. 

 9 Ivan VI of Russia

Ivan VI of Russia
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Famous As: Emperor of Russia
Birthdate: August 23, 1740
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Russian
Died: July 16, 1764
The eldest child of Duke Anthony Ulrich and Duchess Anna Leopoldovna, Ivan VI of Russia, took over the throne as a 2-month-old baby, with his mother as the regent. His first cousin Elizabeth’s coup later resulted in his imprisonment for 20 years and his eventual assassination. 

 10 Peter II of Russia

Peter II of Russia
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Famous As: Emperor of Russia
Birthdate: October 23, 1715
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Russian
Died: January 30, 1730
Peter II Alexeyevich, the only son of Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich, ruled as the emperor of Russia from 1727 to 1730. He became a Tsar as a child but died an untimely death due to small pox at 14, on the day that he had planned to marry Ekaterina Dolgorukova.

 11 Anna of Russia

Anna of Russia
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Famous As: Empress of Russia
Birthdate: February 7, 1693
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Russian
Died: October 28, 1740

Daughter of Ivan V and niece of Peter I, Anna of Russia did not have much interest in the governance of her kingdom and left it in the hands of her beloved Ernst Johann Biron and her advisors. Her “dark reign” witnessed costly wars such as the Russo-Turkish War.

 12 Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia

Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia
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Famous As: Grand Duchess of Russia
Birthdate: March 25, 1875
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Russian
Died: April 20, 1960

Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia had been raised as a refined young woman, well-versed in drawing, piano, and gymnastics. Daughter of Tsar Alexander III, Xenia was also fond of writing. Her diary mirrors her thoughts about various topical events. She also devoted herself to charity during World War I.

 13 Olga Constantinovna of Russia

Olga Constantinovna of Russia
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: September 3, 1851
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian

 14 Alexis of Russia

Alexis of Russia
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Famous As: Tsar of Russia
Birthdate: March 29, 1629
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Russian
Died: January 29, 1676

 15 Ivan V of Russia

Ivan V of Russia
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Famous As: monarch
Birthdate: August 27, 1666
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: January 29, 1696

 16 Igor of Kiev

Igor of Kiev
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Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: 0877 AD
Nationality: Russian
Died: 0945 AD

 17 Feodor III of Russia

Feodor III of Russia
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Birthdate: June 9, 1661
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Russian
Died: May 7, 1682

 18 Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia

Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia
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Famous As: Grand Duchess of Russia
Birthdate: January 22, 1872
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 13, 1957

 19 Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich of Russia

Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich of Russia
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Famous As: Grand Duke of Russia
Birthdate: September 21, 1827
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: January 25, 1892

 20 Fyodor II of Russia

Fyodor II of Russia
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Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 1589 AD
Nationality: Russian
Died: June 20, 1605

 21 Catherine Dolgorukov

Catherine Dolgorukov
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Famous As: knyaz
Birthdate: November 2, 1847
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 15, 1922

 22 Ivan I of Moscow

Ivan I of Moscow
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Famous As: Grand Prince of Moscow
Birthdate: November 1, 1288
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 31, 1340

 23 Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia

Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia
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Famous As: Duchess
Birthdate: June 26, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Russian
Died: July 17, 1918

 24 Daniel of Moscow

Daniel of Moscow
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Famous As: Grand Prince of Moscow
Birthdate: 1261 AD
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 5, 1303

 25 Ivan II of Russia

Ivan II of Russia
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Famous As: Grand Prince of Moscow
Birthdate: March 30, 1326
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Russian
Died: November 13, 1359

 26 Vasily II of Moscow

Vasily II of Moscow
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Famous As: Prince of Moscow
Birthdate: March 10, 1415
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 27, 1462

 27 Dmitry of Uglich

Dmitry of Uglich
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Famous As: Tsarevich
Birthdate: October 19, 1582
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Russian
Died: May 15, 1591

 28 Vasily I of Moscow

Vasily I of Moscow
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Famous As: Prince of Moscow
Birthdate: December 30, 1371
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 27, 1425

 29 Eudoxia Lopukhina

Eudoxia Lopukhina
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Famous As: The first wife of Peter I of Russia
Birthdate: July 10, 1669
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Russian
Died: August 27, 1731

 30 Simeon of Russia

Simeon of Russia
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Famous As: Grand Prince of Moscow
Birthdate: November 7, 1316
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian
Died: April 27, 1353

 31 Maria Miloslavskaya

Maria Miloslavskaya
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Famous As: Queen consort
Birthdate: April 11, 1624
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 13, 1669

 32 Nicholas II

Nicholas II
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Birthdate: May 18, 1868
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: July 17, 1918

Nicholas II reigned as the last Emperor of All Russia from 1894 until his abdication in 1917. His reign oversaw a series of reforms in Russia. These reforms included the introduction of literacy programs, civil liberties, and methods to modernize the empire's infrastructure. However, these reforms were eventually undermined by Nicholas' love for autocratic rule.

 33 Peter III of Russia

Peter III of Russia
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Famous As: Emperor of Russia
Birthdate: February 21, 1728
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Russian
Died: July 17, 1762

Peter III of Russia reigned over Russia as the emperor for just six months in 1762 before being deposed by people loyal to his wife Catherine II, who then succeeded him. In his short reign, Peter made progressive reforms, including the abolishment of the secret police, which was renowned for its extreme violence. Peter is often portrayed in films.

 34 Dobrodeia of Kiev

Dobrodeia of Kiev
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Famous As: Princess
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: Russian
Died: November 16, 1131

 35 Wyszesława of Kiev

Wyszesława of Kiev
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Famous As: Princess
Birthdate: 1047 AD
Nationality: Russian
Died: 1089 AD

 36 Peter the Great

Peter the Great
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Famous As: First Emperor of Russia
Birthdate: June 9, 1672
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 8, 1725
Peter the Great ruled the Tsardom of Russia, and then the Russian Empire, from 1682 to 1725. He ushered in the Enlightenment and cultural revolution in Russia. He also strengthened the Russian navy and launched the Russo-Persian War. Saint Petersburg, the capital of Russia till 1917, was established by him.

 37 Elizabeth of Russia

Elizabeth of Russia
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Famous As: Empress of Russia
Birthdate: December 29, 1709
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Russian
Died: January 5, 1762
Elizabeth Petrovna, or Elizabeth of Russia, daughter of Tsar Peter the Great, was the Russian empress from 1741 to 1762. She became famous for not executing a single person during her rule and for modernizing Russia’s architecture. She was a key figure of the Russian Age of Enlightenment.

 38 Viacheslava of Novgorod

Viacheslava of Novgorod
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Famous As: Princess
Birthdate: 1125 AD
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 15, 1162

 39 Maria of Chernigov

Maria of Chernigov
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Famous As: Princess
Birthdate: 1212 AD
Nationality: Russian
Died: 1271 AD

 40 Julia, Princess of Battenberg

Julia, Princess of Battenberg
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Famous As: Princess
Birthdate: November 24, 1825
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Russian
Died: September 19, 1895

 41 Anne of Kiev

Anne of Kiev
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: 1030 AD
Nationality: Russian
Died: September 5, 1075

 42 Anastasia of Kiev

Anastasia of Kiev
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: 1023 AD
Nationality: Russian
Died: 1096 AD

 43 Anna Leopoldovna

Anna Leopoldovna
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Famous As: Regent of Russia
Birthdate: December 18, 1718
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 19, 1746

 44 Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg

Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: July 8, 1830
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Russian
Died: July 6, 1911

 45 Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: May 14, 1854
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: September 6, 1920

 46 Leonilla Bariatinskaya

Leonilla Bariatinskaya
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Famous As: Aristocrat
Birthdate: May 9, 1816
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 1, 1918

 47 Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia

Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: July 28, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 11, 1922

 48 Olga Nikolaevna of Russia

Olga Nikolaevna of Russia
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: September 11, 1822
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: October 30, 1892

 49 Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia

Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia
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Famous As: Duchess
Birthdate: August 18, 1819
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 21, 1876

 50 Catherine Pavlovna of Russia

Catherine Pavlovna of Russia
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: May 10, 1788
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: January 9, 1819