Lyudmila Alexeyeva (1927-2018) was a human rights activist, and one of the last Soviet
dissidents active in Russia.
She was a typist for the underground bulletin
The Chronicle of Current Events, which detailed human rights violation
in Soviet Russia. Eventually, she was forced to flee to the United States,
where she worked for Radio Free Europe and continued to be involved in
dissident activities and publications. She was a founder of the Moscow Helsinki
Group, Russia’s leading human rights organisation.
Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962) was a Russian avantgarde artist, working in a number of
genres, including painting, costume design and illustration. She was one of the
founders of the Rayonist movement, a style of abstract art which developed in
the early 20th century.
was a prominent and influential artist, bridging the gap between Eastern and
Western traditions, and participating in numerous avantgarde groups. Her 1909
painting Picking Apples sold in 2007 for $9.8 million, a record for any
female artist at the time. Her work can be admired today at the Guggenheim and
MoMA, among others.
Shushunova (1969-2018) was a prolific Russian gymnast, active in the 1980s. Her medal
record included 17 gold medals in international events.
She began competing at the age of 12 and was already winning national competitions
the following year. She is one of five female gymnasts who have won all-around
titles in all major competitions, and one of ten who have won a medal in every
event at the World Championships.
Moskalenko (b. 1954)
is the leading human rights lawyer in Russia. She and her team have won 27
cases against the Russian government at the European Court of Human Rights,
including the very first one that the Court heard against the Russian
She is a member of the
human rights organisation Moscow Helsinki Group, as well as the Media Legal
Defence Initiative, which provides legal aid to journalists and media
organizations worldwide. In 2008 she was the victim of an attempted mercury
Rubinstein (1883-1960) was a Russian dancer, and an important figure of the Belle
Époque. She was highly influential in the art and eventually formed her own
She debuted in 1908, and was part of the Ballets Russes for a few years.
She formed her own company in 1911 and used her wealth to become a patron of
the arts. In 1934, she was awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French government,
followed by the Grand Cross of the Légion – its highest honour – in 1939.
Alexandra Kosteniuk (b. 1984) is a Russian chess grandmaster. She was won multiple championships, both individually and as part of a team.
She started learning at the age of five, and won her first title at the European Youth Chess Championship at age ten. At 12, she was the Russian women’s champion in rapid chess. Since then she has won nine gold medals in international competitions.
Zinaida Serebriakova (1884-1967) was a Russian
painter, working in an Impressionist and Orientalist style.
Her paintings have been compared to those of Renoir
or Botticelli, and her albums sold millions of copies. Most of her works can be
admired in galleries in France and Russia.
Above: At the Dressing Table: Self Portrait, 1909
Alla Kushnir (1941-2013) was a Russian-born Israeli chess Woman Grandmaster, and three times gold medallist of the Women’s Chess Olympiads, twice for Russia and once for Israel. She was also thrice challenger to Women’s World Chess Championship.
She was outspoken in describing the pressures she received from the USSR after she started playing for Israel. After she gave up chess in her late 70s, she became a world-renowned professor of Numismatics at Tel Aviv University.
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