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Russian brilliants

Over the centuries, Russia has produced some of the most famous leaders, historians, artists, composers and many more who have influenced the world as we know it. There are far too many brilliant Russians to list in just one article but here are just some of the more well-known names.

Russian Authors

No list of Russian brilliants would be complete without some of the famous authors whose works have survived the test of time to become literary classics. Tolstoy, Chekhov and Dostoyevsky are linked with a historical and prolific period for Russian literature and their many works are among the finest examples that the country has to offer.

Alongside these famous names, modern authors such as Bulgakov and Solzhenitsyn produced works that mirrored fascinating periods in Russian history in the 20th century.

Russian Composers

Russia has contributed greatly to the world of arts over the centuries and the country has also produced some of the best known composers.

The most famous of these are commonly known as ‘The Five’ or the ‘Mighty Handful’ – a group of five composers who met in St Petersburg in the mid 19th century. The ‘five’ included Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov and together they have produced some of the best works that the world has ever heard.

Russian Painters

Russian painters are less well known but the country has produced many world class artists throughout the centuries.

Ivan Nikitin and Ivan Argunov are among two of the greatest painters the world has seen and their works have provided a global audience with much pleasure both in their lifetimes and beyond.

The Modern Day

The Soviet era was such a controversial period in Russian history that any mention of Russian brilliants during this time can be met with occasional derision.

One aspect of Soviet life that produced undoubted geniuses came during the Space race when the USSR was constantly battling with the USA to score a number of firsts in the battle to be first to the moon.

While the US may have won the ultimate prize, Russia put the first satellite into space as well as the first man and the first woman. While scientists tended to take a back seat in the process, people such as Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova stepped forward to take the acclaim and they were very much brilliant people in their own right.


For political leaders, many people look to Mikhail Gorbachev and claim to identify some sheer brilliance in the man who oversaw the end of the Soviet Union.

The fall of the Soviet Empire had been brewing for some time but Gorbachev’s policies of Glasnost and Perestroika helped to ease the transformation. Opinions on the man may be mixed in Russia, but elsewhere he is known as a political genius.

Overall, there are so many Russian brilliants and we have only just touched on the full list here. The country has produced brilliant men and women throughout history and it will doubtless continue to do so for centuries to come.

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