Described by The Wall Street Journal as the man Vladimir Putin fears most, Alexei Navalny is widely regarded as Russia's opposition leader. He is famous for his accusations of corruption in Russia and Putin's government. In 2011, he created the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which was dissolved in 2020. In August 2020, there was an attempt to assassinate him, when he was poisoned during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow.
Russian business-tycoon, engineer, mathematician and government official Boris Berezovsky is counted among the famed Russian oligarchs who made their fortunes during the 1990s, when Russia was going through privatization of state property. He remained a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin since the latter’s election as president in 2000 and was granted political asylum by the UK in 2003.
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.
Pitirim Sorokin was a Russian-American political activist and sociologist best remembered for his immense contribution to the social cycle theory. His life and work have played an influential role in the life of popular American historian and scholar, Allan Carlson. Among other prominent personalities who have been influenced by Sorokin's work is American politician and 48th Vice President Michael Pence.
Initially inspired by Marxist ideals, Alexander Israel Helphand later got involved in revolutionary activities and was arrested. He escaped to Germany, where he later negotiated Lenin’s re-entry into Russia in a sealed train through Germany from Switzerland, where Lenin was exiled. Nevertheless, Helphand wasn’t allowed by Lenin to re-enter Russia.
Petr Pavlensky is a Russian artist best known for his political art performances. He is generally considered a controversial artist as his work involves self-mutilation and nudity. In 2016, he was honored with the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, which was later withdrawn when Petr Pavlensky announced that he would dedicate the prize to an insurgent group.
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.
Yelena Bonner was a human rights activist and physician. She is credited with co-founding the Moscow Helsinki Group, which is currently one of the leading human rights organizations in Russia. Yelena Bonner is also credited with setting up the Andrei Sakharov Foundation in the memory of her husband. Bonner received many human rights awards, such as the Giuseppe Motta Medal.
Marxist revolutionary leader Pavel Axelrod was closely associated with the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party and the Mensheviks. He was married to the daughter of satirist Isaac Kaminer. He went against the Bolshevik Revolution during World War I. He was exiled to Berlin in his final years and died there eventually.
Russian kickboxer Batu Khasikov had begun training in Kyokushin, a form of martial art, at age 11. He has been a world champion and a European champion. He has also been a senator from Kalmykia and later a governor of the same region. He also co-founded the Eurasia Fight Nights promotion.
Soviet politician and The New Times editor Valeriya Novodvorskaya, who founded the Democratic Union party, had been a prominent dissident who often clashed with the Soviet authorities. She was once jailed for criticizing the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. The self-proclaimed asexual activist lived with her mother and her cat.
Best known for his popular play The Dybbuk, which later became a cult classic and was also made into Yiddish and Hebrew movies, Russian Jewish author and folklorist S. Ansky was a specialist in oral literature. He was initially also associated with the socialist revolutionary movement of the Narodniki.
Maxim Martsinkevich was a Russian media personality, nationalist activist, and vlogger. He is credited with co-founding the Restruct movement, which among many objectives, aimed at propagating neo-nazi views among youth. Martsinkevich was indicted on multiple occasions for inciting ethnic or racial hatred. In 2020, Maxim Martsinkevich was found dead under mysterious circumstances.
Russian author Alexander Fadeyev, known for his proletarian literature, was also associated with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. His is best known for his novels such as The Young Guard, based on World War II, and The Nineteen, which narrated the tale of Red guerrilla fighters.