Portal:Russia/Selected biography

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The layout design for these subpages is at Portal:Russia/Selected biography/Layout.

  1. Add a new Selected article to the next available subpage.
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Selected biographies list[edit]

Portal:Russia/Selected biography/1

Aleksandr Vasilevsky

Aleksandr Vasilevsky was a Soviet military commander, promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1943. He was the Soviet Chief of the General Staff and Deputy defence minister during World War II, as well as defence minister from 1949 to 1953. As the Chief of the General Staff, Vasilevsky was responsible for the planning and coordination of almost all decisive Soviet offensives, from the Stalingrad counteroffensive to the assault on East Prussia and Königsberg. In July 1945, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Soviet forces in the Far East, executing Soviet invasion of Manchuria and subsequently accepting Japan's surrender. After the war, he became the Soviet Defence Minister, a position he held until Stalin's death in 1953. With Nikita Khrushchev's rise, Vasilevsky started to lose power and was eventually pensioned off. After his death, he was buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in recognition of his past service and contributions to his nation.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Russia/Selected biography/2

Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov was a Russian physician, short story writer, and playwright. His brief playwriting career produced four classics of the repertoire, while his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Chekhov practised as a doctor throughout his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife," he once said, "and literature is my mistress". Chekhov renounced the theatre after the disastrous reception of The Seagull in 1896; but the play was revived to acclaim by Constantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Uncle Vanya and premiered Chekhov’s last two plays, The Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a special challenge to an acting ensemble, and they also challenge audiences, because in place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text". Not everyone appreciated that challenge: Leo Tolstoy reportedly told Chekhov, "You know, I cannot abide Shakespeare, but your plays are even worse". Tolstoy did, however, admire Chekhov's short stories. Chekhov had at first written stories only for the money, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovations which have influenced the evolution of the modern short story. His originality consists in an early use of the stream of consciousness technique, later exploited by Virginia Woolf and other modernists, combined with a disavowal of the moral finality of traditional story structure.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Russia/Selected biography/3

El Lissitzky

El Lissitzky was a Russian artist, designer, photographer, teacher, typographer, and architect. He was one of the most important figures of the Russian avant-garde, helping develop suprematism with his friend and mentor, Kazimir Malevich, and designed numerous exhibition displays and propaganda works for the former Soviet Union. Lissitzky's work greatly influenced the Bauhaus, Constructivist, and De Stijl movements and experimented with production techniques and stylistic devices that would go on to dominate 20th century graphic design. His entire career was laced with the belief that the artist could be an agent for change, later summarized with his edict, "das zielbewußte Schaffen" (The task-oriented creation). In 1941 he produced one of his last known works — a Soviet propaganda poster rallying the people to construct more tanks for the fight against Nazi Germany.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Russia/Selected biography/4

NASA soil target on Mars named after Laika

Laika was one of the Russian space dogs and the first living being to enter orbit, as a passenger on Sputnik 2, a Soviet spacecraft. Some classify her as the first animal to enter space, although other animals had entered space during sub-orbital flights on previous missions. Laika was found as a stray wandering the streets of Moscow, a female part-Samoyed terrier weighing approximately 6 kg (13 lb). Laika died on November 4, 1957, a few hours after launch, due to stress and overheating. Her true cause of death was not made public until years after the flight, with officials always stating that she was either euthanized by poisoned food or died when the oxygen supply ran out. Russian officials have since expressed regret for allowing Laika to die; to this date, Laika is the only living passenger ever to have been launched into space without the intention of retrieval.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Russia/Selected biography/5

Portrait of Euler by Emanuel Handmann

Leonhard Euler was a Swiss mathematician and physicist. He developed important concepts and proved mathematical theorems in fields as diverse as calculus, number theory and topology. He introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularly for mathematical analysis, such as the notion of a mathematical function. He is also renowned for his work in mechanics, optics and astronomy. Euler is considered to be the preeminent mathematician of the 18th century and one of the greatest of all time. He is also the most prolific according to the Guinness Book of Records; his collected works fill 60–80 quarto volumes. Euler was featured on the sixth series of the Swiss 10-franc banknote and on numerous Swiss, German and Russian stamps. The asteroid 2002 Euler was named in his honor.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Russia/Selected biography/6

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna

Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia (Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova) was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna. Anastasia was a younger sister of Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana and Grand Duchess Maria, and was an elder sister of Alexei Nikolaievitch, Tsarevitch of Russia. She was murdered with her family on July 17, 1918, by forces of the Bolshevik secret police. Rumors persisted of her possible escape since 1918, fueled by reports that two sets of remains, identified as Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia, and either Anastasia or her elder sister Maria, were missing from a mass grave found near Ekaterinburg and later identified through DNA testing as the Romanovs. This has since been totally disproven. In January 2008 Russian scientists announced that the charred remains of a young boy and a young woman found near Ekaterinburg in August 2007 are most likely those of the thirteen-year-old Tsarevich and one of the four Romanov grand duchesses. Russian forensic scientists confirmed on April 30, 2008 that the remains were those of the Tsarevich Alexei and one of his four sisters. DNA information, made public in July 2008, that has been obtained from Ekaterinburg and repeatedly tested independently by laboratories such as the University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA, reveals that the final two missing Romanov remains are indeed authentic and that the entire Romanov family housed in the Ipatiev House, Ekaterinburg were executed in the early hours of 17 July 1918.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Russia/Selected biography/7

Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia

Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia was the eldest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last autocratic ruler of the Russian Empire, and of Empress Alexandra of Russia. During her lifetime, Olga's future marriage was a matter of great speculation within Russia. Matches were rumored with Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia, Crown Prince Carol of Romania, Prince Edward, eldest son of Britain's George V, and with Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia. Olga herself wanted to marry a Russian and remain in her home country. During World War I, Olga nursed wounded soldiers in a military hospital until her own nerves gave out and, thereafter, oversaw administrative duties at the hospital. Olga's murder following the Russian Revolution of 1917 resulted in her canonization as a passion bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church. She was an elder sister of the famous Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, who was widely rumored to have survived the assassination of the Imperial Family. In later years, when dozens of people made claims to be surviving members of the imperial family, a woman named Marga Boodts claimed to be Grand Duchess Olga. Few people took Boodts' claim seriously.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Russia/Selected biography/8

Mosaic of Manuel I

Manuel I Comnenus was a Byzantine Emperor of the 12th century who presided over a crucial turning point in the history of Byzantium and the Mediterranean. Eager to restore his empire to its past glories as the superpower of the Mediterranean world, Manuel pursued an energetic and ambitious foreign policy. In the process he made alliances with the Pope and the resurgent west, invaded Italy, successfully handled the passage of the dangerous Second Crusade through his empire, and established a Byzantine protectorate over the Crusader kingdoms of Outremer. Facing the Islamic jihad in the Holy Land, he made common cause with the Kingdom of Jerusalem and participated in a combined invasion of Fatimid Egypt. Manuel reshaped the political map of the Balkans and the east Mediterranean, placing the kingdoms of Hungary and Outremer under Byzantine hegemony and campaigning aggressively against his neighbours both in the west and in the east. However, towards the end of his reign Manuel's achievements in the east were compromised by an embarrassing defeat at Myriokephalon, which in large part resulted from his arrogance in attacking a well-defended Turkish position.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Russia/Selected biography/9

Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer of the Soviet period. He is best known for his satirical opera The Nose, (based on the story by Gogol) and his cycles of symphonies and string quartets, 15 of each. Since his death in 1975, reports about his true personal opinions about life in the USSR have been controversial. While he outwardly conformed with the state and was a public face for state-crafted propaganda, it is now widely known that he deeply disliked the Soviet regime —a view confirmed by his family, by private letters to Isaak Glikman, and the satirical cantata "Anti-formalist Rayok", which ridiculed the "anti-formalism" campaign in Soviet arts and was known only to his closest friends until after his death.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Russia/Selected biography/10

Sviatoslav's meeting with Emperor John by Klavdiy Lebedev

Sviatoslav I of Kiev was the warrior prince (or konung) of Kievan Rus'. The son of Igor of Kiev and Olga, Sviatoslav is famous for his incessant campaigns in the east and south, which precipitated the collapse of two great powers of Eastern Europe — Khazaria and the First Bulgarian Empire; he also subdued the Volga Bulgars, the Alans, and numerous East Slavic tribes, and at times was allied with the Pechenegs and Magyars. His decade-long reign over Rus was marked by rapid expansion into the Volga River valley, the Pontic steppe and the Balkans. By the end of his short life, Sviatoslav carved out for himself the largest state in Europe, eventually moving his capital from Kiev to Pereyaslavets on the Danube in 969. In contrast with his mother's conversion to Christianity, Sviatoslav remained a staunch pagan all of his life. Due to his abrupt death in combat, Sviatoslav's conquests, for the most part, were not consolidated into a functioning empire, while his failure to establish a stable succession led to civil war among his successors.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Russia/Selected biography/11

Bagramyan in 1938

Hovhannes Bagramyan was a Soviet Armenian military commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union. During World War II, Bagramyan became the first non-Slavic military officer to become a commander of a Front. Bagramyan's previous experience in military planning as a chief of staff officer allowed him to distinguish himself as a capable commander during the war in the early stages of the Soviet counter-offensives against Nazi Germany. He was given his first command of a unit in 1942 and in November 1943, received his most prestigious command as the head of the First Baltic Front. As head of the Baltic Front, he participated in the offensives which moved westwards to push German forces out of the occupied Soviet Union and the recapturing of the Baltic republics. After the war, he served as a deputy member of the Supreme Soviets of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic and Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and was a regular attendant of the Party Congresses. In 1952, he became a candidate for entry into the Central Committee and, in 1961, was inducted as a full member. For his contributions during the war, he was widely regarded as a national hero in the Soviet Union, and continues to hold such esteemed status among many Armenians today.

...Archive/Nominations

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