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.
Russian-American journalist and The New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen is known for his sharp criticism of political figures such as Donald Trump. The renowned author of the internationally popular books such as The Man Without a Face and The Future Is History, he identifies as nonbinary and trans.
Ksenia Sobchak is a Russian TV anchor, journalist, actress, socialite, and public figure. The daughter of popular Russian politicians, Sobchak achieved popularity when she started hosting the popular reality TV show, Dom-2. In 2018, at the age of 36, she was chosen as the Civic Initiative's presidential candidate, becoming the youngest presidential candidate in the history of Russia.
Russian-Israeli author Dmitry Glukhovsky gained fame with his first novel, Metro 2033, which he published on his own site at age 18, and which later inspired an interactive experiment and a video game franchise. He has also worked for Mayak Radio Station, EuroNews TV, and Deutsche Welle.
Russian author and journalist, Vasily Grossman, by training a chemical engineer, began writing fulltime at the age of twenty-five, eventually publishing several short stories and novels, including Life and Fate and Forever Flowing. Considered a threat, these works were later censured. A war correspondent during WWII, he was also one of the first journalists to write on Treblinka extermination camp.
Russian businessman Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, an ethnic Kalymk, has served as the President of Kalmykia, apart from presiding over the chess governing body FIDE. He also established the publishing house Novy Vzglyad. He once stated that he was briefly abducted by aliens in a spaceship and then returned back to Earth.
Former Russian prime minister Yevgeny Primakov had begun his career as a journalist for Pravda. He later went on multiple espionage missions as a KGB official, using the codename MAKSIM. He also denied reports that his father was a victim of the Stalinist purge and that he had changed his surname.
Richard Sorge was a German journalist and Soviet military intelligence officer. He was active before and during the Second World War. He worked undercover in both Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan under the codename, "Ramsay." He was arrested, tortured, and hanged in 1944. In 1964, he was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
Russian novelist and travel writer Ivan Goncharov is best remembered for his novel Oblomov. Born into an affluent merchant family, he later had a 30-year stint as an official, working for the ministries of finance and censorship. In his memoir, An Uncommon Story, he accused many authors of plagiarizing his works.
Mikhail Nikolayevich Zadornov was a Soviet and Russian comedian and writer who specialized in stand-up comedy. After graduating from the prestigious Moscow Aviation Institute, Zadornov chose to become a humorist and would later use the memory of his engineering days mockingly during stage shows.
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.
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.