Famous Russian Inventors & Discoverers

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 Inventors & Discoverers

 1 
Dmitri Mendeleev
(Inventor of Periodic Table)

Dmitri Mendeleev
4
Birthdate: February 8, 1834
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tobolsk
Died: February 2, 1907
Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev created the Periodic Law and his version of the Periodic Table of Elements that revolutionized the field of chemistry. His table was independent of German chemist Julius Lothar Meyer’s version of the table. Mendeleev also assisted in the development of the first oil refinery in Russia.

 2 
Mikhail Kalashnikov
(Inventor of 'AK-47' Assault Rifle, PK Machine Gun and 'RPK Light Machine Gun')

Mikhail Kalashnikov
6
Birthdate: November 10, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kur'ya, Russia
Died: December 23, 2013
Russian military leader Mikhail Kalashnikov is remembered for inventing the AK-47 assault rifle, along with other weapons such as the AKM, the AK-74, the PK machine gun, and the RPK light machine gun. He was named the Hero of the Russian Federation and received the Order of Military Merit.

 3 
Igor Sikorsky
(Aviator)

Igor Sikorsky
4
Birthdate: May 25, 1889
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: October 26, 1972

Igor Sikorsky was a Russian-American aviator known for his pioneering contributions to the development of both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Born in Russia, he immigrated to US as a young man and founded the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in 1923. He is also credited for developing the first of Pan American Airways' ocean-crossing flying boats. 

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 4 
Sergei Korolev
(Scientist)

Sergei Korolev
6
Birthdate: January 1, 1907
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Zhytomyr, Ukraine
Died: January 14, 1966

Sergei Korolev was a Soviet spacecraft designer and rocket engineer who played an important role during the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States of America in the 1950s and 1960s. He was largely responsible for developing the R-7 Rocket and launching Yuri Gagarin into space. Sergei Korolev also launched Belka, Strelka, and Laika into space.

 5 
Peter Carl Fabergé
(Jeweller best known for the famous Fabergé eggs made in the style of genuine Easter eggs)

Peter Carl Fabergé
3
Birthdate: May 30, 1846
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: September 24, 1920

Apart from being the official jeweler of the Russian imperial court, Peter Carl Fabergé also created some of the most innovative jewelry designs, such as the iconic Fabergé eggs. He had also launched workshops in London, Moscow, and Kiev. Later, hounded by the revolutionary government, he fled to Switzerland.

 6 
Mikhail Lomonosov
(Scientist, Polymath, Writer)

Mikhail Lomonosov
3
Birthdate: November 19, 1711
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lomonossowo, Russia
Died: April 15, 1765

Russian polymath Mikhail Lomonosov was born to a fisherman father and left his village later to satiate his hunger for knowledge. Apart from reforming Russian language and literature, he also made the first colored glass mosaic in his country and discovered the atmosphere of Venus. He loved simple life.

 7 
Vladimir K. Zworykin
(Inventor of 'Television Transmitting and Receiving System Employing Cathode Ray Tubes')

Vladimir K. Zworykin
3
Birthdate: July 29, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Murom, Russia
Died: July 29, 1982

Often referred to as the Father of the Television, Russian-American engineer Vladimir K. Zworykin is remembered for inventing the kinescope picture tube, also known as the cathode-ray tube, used in the television. He was associated with the Radio Corporation of America, and his other creations included the iconoscope camera.

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 8 
Andre Geim
(Physicist)

Andre Geim
3
Birthdate: October 21, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sochi, Russia

Andre Geim is a Russian-born Dutch-British physicist. He has been associated with the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester for several years. In 2010, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Konstantin Novoselov in recognition of his work on graphene. He is also a recipient of the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics. 

Alexander Stepanovich Popov
5
Birthdate: March 16, 1859
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Krasnoturinsk, Russia
Died: January 13, 1906

Alexander Stepanovich Popov was a Russian physicist best remembered for his pioneering work in transmitting radio signals. One of the first inventors to come up with a radio receiving device, Popov's work was contemporaneous with the groundbreaking work of Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi. Popov's life and career inspired the 1949 biographical film Alexander Popov which was directed by Herbert Rappaport.

 10 
Leon Theremin
(Inventor of the First Electronic Musical Instrument 'Theremin')

Leon Theremin
2
Birthdate: August 27, 1896
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: November 3, 1993

One of the pioneers of electronic music, Léon Theremin invented the aetherphone, also known as the theremin, which was the first electronic musical instrument to be mass-produced. He also doubled up as a Soviet spy, eavesdropping on the British, French, and US embassies, using the Buran device and The Thing.

 11 

Dmitri Ivanovsky
7
Birthdate: October 28, 1864
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gdov, Russia
Died: June 20, 1920

Best remembered for his co-discovery of viruses during his research on the mosaic disease in tobacco, Russian botanist Dmitri Ivanovsky is regarded as one of the pioneers of virology. Interestingly, following his discovery, he didn’t focus on virology much and taught plant anatomy and physiology instead.

 12 
Pavel Florensky
(Theologian)

Pavel Florensky
2
Birthdate: January 22, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Yevlakh, Azerbaijan
Died: December 8, 1943

Russian theologian Pavel Florensky is best remembered for his essay The Pillar and the Ground of Truth. During Stalin’s regime and amid a phase of national atheism, he was sent to jail and also banished to Siberia for his religious beliefs, which he refused to renounce.

 13 

Mikhail Mikhaylovich Gerasimov
2
Birthdate: September 2, 1907
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: July 21, 1970

Mikhail Mikhaylovich Gerasimov was a Soviet anthropologist and archaeologist. He is credited with developing the first technique of forensic sculpture and discovering the Mal'ta–Buret' culture. Gerasimov is also credited with reconstructing the faces of over 200 people, ranging from neanderthals to homo sapiens.

 14 
Nikolay Pirogov
(Physician, Scientist)

Nikolay Pirogov
0
Birthdate: November 25, 1810
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: December 5, 1881
Known for his pioneering use of field surgery, physician Nikolay Pirogov was the first to use anaesthesia in a field operation. A pioneer in the use of ether, too, he started his medical education at 14 and later taught surgery as a professor. He also reduced limp amputations significantly with his techniques.

 15 
Oleg Losev
(Physicist, Inventor)

Oleg Losev
0
Birthdate: May 10, 1903
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tver, Russia
Died: January 22, 1942

 16 
Georgy Shpagin
(Former Weapon designer best known as the creator of the famous PPSh-41 submachine gun)

Georgy Shpagin
2
Birthdate: April 17, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kliushnikovo, Russia
Died: February 6, 1952

 17 
Rashid Sunyaev
(Astrophysicist)

Rashid Sunyaev
2
Birthdate: March 1, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tashkent, Uzbekistan

 18 
Svyatoslav Fyodorov
(Ophthalmologist)

Svyatoslav Fyodorov
2
Birthdate: August 8, 1927
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine
Died: June 2, 2000

Svyatoslav Fyodorov not just made a name for himself as an ophthalmologist but had also stepped into Russian politics, contesting as a presidential candidate. One of the pioneers of refractive surgery, he developed radial keratotomy, the first surgical cure of myopia, or nearsightedness, and a surgical treatment for glaucoma, too.

 19 

Alexandre Alexeieff
1
Birthdate: April 18, 1901
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kazan, Russia
Died: August 9, 1982

Alexandre Alexeieff was a Russian Empire-born French filmmaker, artist, and illustrator. Alexeieff and his wife Claire Parker are credited with inventing an animation technique called totalization as well as the pinscreen animation. His life and career have inspired a couple of documentary films, namely Alexeieff at the Pinboard, Portrait of Alexeieff, and Dreams about Alfeoni.

 20 
Pavel Yablochkov
(Electrical engineer)

Pavel Yablochkov
1
Birthdate: September 14, 1847
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ouïezd de Serdobsk, Russia
Died: March 31, 1894

 21 
Boris Rosing
(Scientist, Inventor in the field of Television)

Boris Rosing
0
Birthdate: April 23, 1869
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: April 20, 1933

 22 

Stephen of Perm
1
Birthdate: 1340 AD
Birthplace: Veliky Ustyug, Russia
Died: April 26, 1396

Fourteenth-century Russian Orthodox missionary Stephen of Perm was also a talented painter. He is also remembered for his translation of the Bible from Greek to the Komi language. He also gained the nickname The Enlightener of Perm for introducing the Old Permic script used to write Komi.

 23 
Andrei Sychra
(Musician)

Andrei Sychra
1
Birthdate: 1773 AD
Birthplace: Vilnius, Lithuania
Died: December 3, 1850

 24 

Sergey Lebedev
0
Birthdate: July 13, 1874
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lublin, Poland
Died: May 2, 1934

Best remembered for inventing Polybutadiene, a form of synthetic rubber, Sergey Lebedev was associated with many reputed institutes, such as the St. Petersburg University. He also established the Laboratory for Petroleum Refining and led the Laboratory of Synthetic Rubber as its director. His several awards include the Order of Lenin.

 25 

Boris Borisovich Golitsyn
0
Birthdate: February 18, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: May 4, 1916