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.
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.
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.
Legendary Russian author Leo Tolstoy was one of the greatest novelists of the world. Best known for his realistic fiction and cult novels such as War and Peace and Anna Karenina, he had also penned plays such as The Power of Darkness and was nominated for the Nobel Prize multiple times.
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.
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.
Best known as the coauthor of a collection of works, entitled Mitrokhin Archives, Vasily Nikitich Mitrokhin was the First Chief Directorate of the KGB before his defection to the United Kingdom. The 25,000 pages of files he had handed over became the basis of these books, the most significant of them being The KGB in Europe and the West.
Lyubov Dostoevskaya was a Russian memoirist and writer. The daughter of popular Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky and his wife Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina, Lyubov Dostoevskaya is best remembered for her work, Dostoyevsky as Portrayed by His Daughter. Many of her memoirs, which were written in French, were translated into other European languages.
Anna Vyrubova was a Russian writer and lady-in-waiting of the Imperial Russian Court at the time when Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna served as the empress consort of Emperor Nicholas II. A confidante and best friend of Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna, Vyrubova enjoyed her position at the court. She also played a key role in popularizing Grigori Rasputin in the Imperial Russian Court.
Anna Larina was a Russian memoirist best remembered for her efforts to rehabilitate her husband Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin after he was executed in 1938. Fifty years after his death, Bukharin was cleared of all charges, thanks to Larina's persistent effort. Anna Larina is credited with writing the popular memoir This I Cannot Forget.
Rufina Pukhova was a Russian memoirist who wrote two memoirs about her husband Kim Philby, a British double agent for the Soviet Union. Pukhova is credited with helping Philby fight depression and alcoholism after his defection. After his controversial death in 1988, she vehemently denied rumors of suicide and maintained that he died of a heart condition.
Russian chess grandmaster Yuri Averbakh remains the oldest living grandmaster in the world. He was active in the world chess arena till the 1980s and played till the age of 85. He has also been an expert in endgame theory and has penned several articles on chess.
Russian grandmaster Alexander Kotov had held major posts in the Soviet Chess Federation. He is also remembered as the author of the bestselling book Think Like A Grandmaster, which remains one of the most influential manuals on the subject of chess and explains peculiar chess-related terms such as the Kotov syndrome.
Formerly the head of Logic Department of Moscow University, Soviet philosopher Alexander Zinoviev first came to limelight with his 1960 publication, Philosophical Problems of Many-Valued Logic, and later for his satirical novel, The Yawning Heights. Exiled from his country in 1978, he lived in Munich until his return to Russia in 1999, meanwhile producing numerous seminal fictional and nonfictional works.
Lev Kopelev was a Soviet dissident and author. Apart from contributing to publications like Komsomolskaya Pravda, Kopelev also participated in the dissident and human rights movement. He also served at the University of Wuppertal as a professor. Although he was rebuked for his political activism, Lev Kopelev received several international awards throughout his life.
Kronid Lyubarsky was a Russian human rights activist, journalist, dissident, and political prisoner. Also an astrophysicist, Lyubarsky wrote many books on astrobiology. He is also credited with translating many scientific works into Russian. Lyubarsky became an important figure of the civil rights movement in the mid-1960s. Kronid Lyubarsky went on to co-author the present Constitution of the Russian Federation.