Soviet general and Marshal of the Soviet Union, Georgy Zhukov, is remembered for overseeing some of the Red Army's most decisive victories during the Second World War. As a young man, he served in the First World War and the Russian Civil War. The recipient of four Hero of the Soviet Union awards, he was made the defence minister.
Vasili Arkhipov was a Soviet Navy officer who played a crucial role in the Cuban Missile Crisis. He prevented a Soviet nuclear strike, which could’ve easily caused an all-out nuclear war. He refused to authorize the use of nuclear torpedoes, for which he was posthumously honored with the Future of Life Award by the Future of Life Institute in 2017.
Konstantin Rokossovsky was a Soviet and Polish officer. One of the most important Red Army commanders during the Second World War, Rokossovsky also served as Poland's Defence Minister from 1949 to 1956. He also served as the Marshal of Poland and as the Marshal of the Soviet Union.
Grigory Potemkin was a Russian statesman, military leader, and nobleman. A favorite of Catherine the Great, Grigory Potemkin was appointed governor-general of Russia's southern provinces in 1775. An influential personality, Potemkin supervised the construction of several important edifices, such as the Tauride Palace. He is also credited with founding the towns of Ekaterinoslav, Sevastopol, Kherson, and Nikolayev.
Son of Alexander III, the emperor of Russia, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich refused to accept the throne unless Russians were allowed to decide if they wanted the monarchy or a republic. Both Michael and his British secretary, Nicholas Johnson, were arrested and shot to death during the Russian Revolution.
Aleksandr Vasilyevich Suvorov was a distinguished Russian General, remembered for winning every battle that he had commanded. Known for his thumping victories at the Battle of Rymnik and Siege of Izmail during the Russo-Turkish War and for his contributions during the French Revolutionary Wars, he won many awards and tittles and wrote several military manuals, including The Science of Victory.
Mikhail Tukhachevsky was a Soviet theoretician and military leader. He is best remembered for commanding the Western Front during the Polish-Soviet War. From 1925 to 1928, he served as the Red Army's chief of staff and commanded the Volga Military District in 1937. In 1935, he was appointed Marshal of the Soviet Union.
Soviet military general Vasily Chuikov is best known for his heroics in the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II. He led the Soviet march into Berlin that led to the surrender of the Germans. Following the war, he became a member of the Communist Party’s Central Committee.
Ivan Konev was a Marshal of the Soviet Union and general. He is remembered for leading the Red Army on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. He also played important roles in World War I and the Russian Civil War before working his way to the top. He remained a respected military figure until his death in 1973.
Aleksandr Kolchak was a military leader who served as the Supreme Ruler of Russia from 18 November 1918 to 7 February 1920. He was also an important member of the Imperial Russian Navy and played a key role in the Russo-Japanese War and the First World War. Aleksandr Kolchak's life and career inspired a 2008 biopic titled Admiral.
Russian naval officer and explorer Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich was the brother-in-law of the last emperor of Russia, Emperor Nicholas II. He played a significant role in the development of Russian military aviation during WWI. He spent his later life in exile in Paris and conducted many archaeological expeditions.
Kliment Voroshilov was an important Soviet politician and military officer during the Stalin era. He also played an important role in postwar Hungary as he oversaw the establishment of the Hungarian People's Republic between 1945 and 1947. From 1953 to 1960, Voroshilov served as the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.
Russian military intelligence officer Lavr Kornilov served as an Imperial Russian Army general during World War I. He is remembered for his involvement in the Kornilov Affair, a failed coup against the Russian provincial government that was set up after the 1917 February Revolution. He was later killed in a battle for Ekaterinodar.
Russian military general Andrey Vlasov was part of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. During World War II, he was captured by the Germans and later sided with the Germans against Stalin’s regime in Russia. He was later captured by Russians and hanged for treason.
Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel was a Russian military officer who served in the Imperial Russian Army. He played an important role during the Russian Civil War, serving as the commanding general of the White Army during the later stages of the war. He lost the war and left Russia, becoming one of the most important exiled White émigrés of South Russia.
Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen was a Russian cartographer, naval officer, and explorer. He is best remembered for his role in Russia's first circumnavigation of the world. Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen also led another circumnavigation that led to the discovery of Antarctica.