Russian Language Blog

Notable Russians Posted by on Aug 5, 2015 in Culture

There are many celebrities today that you may not immediately recognize are from Russia – especially if you yourself aren’t. Today’s post will be about some notable Russians that have made their mark on their industries; these range from modeling to athletics.

Vitaly Zdorovetskiy may not be immediately recognizable to you but he has over seven million subscribers to his YouTube channel. He specializes in posting amusing comedic pranks on others to his channel. He began posting videos as a skateboarder and realized that there is more to be gained by making people laugh. Here is one of his videos:

Irina Shayk might be a bit more recognizable for her beauty, though she has also been on the silver screen. She has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue and graced its pages more than once; she is the first Russian to grace its cover. Modeling for Victoria’s Secret, Armani, Guess, and much more, Irina has arguably become Russia’s most famous model. In 2014 she also played the character of Megara opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Hercules and has hosted Russia’s Next Top Model for many years.

Here is a link to her website:

Alexander Ovechkin will be recognizable to those of you that watch hockey – especially in America. As the captain of the Washington Capitals, Ovechkin has proven to be a very worthy choice. He is only the eighth player in the history of the National Hockey League to win the Hart Trophy for league MVP three times. During the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons he led the NHL in goals. He has been credited as scoring one of the greatest goals in the history of the NHL in which was he was lying on his back and still managed to get the puck by the opposing goaltender. He has also played hockey for Dynamo Moscow in the Russian Superleague.

Here is a nice documentary displaying his immense talent:

Alex Ikonn founded Luxy Hair along with his wife. He is Russian entrepreneur that has spent much of his life in Canada growing his brand. By utilizing YouTube for internet marketing, Luxy Hair has grown into a multimillion ecommerce business. Lucy Hair specializes in selling hair extensions, good hair extensions. They found it difficult to find good ones so they decided to create their own – they filled a void that they had found. They currently have over 1.5 million YouTube subscribers and their videos have been viewed over 180 million times – who thought hair extensions could be so popular?

More about Alex’s company can be seen here:

Though it would have been easy to write about the very famous people to have come out of Russia, I tried to choose those that you are very successful and perhaps below your radar. Once again, if any of the subjects mentioned above are of particular interest to you, try learning about them in Russian, it is a great way to practice!

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About the Author: Jenya

Born in Russia, I spent the first twenty years of my life in Orenburg, Russia and Mogilev, Belarus. For the last eleven years, I've lived in New Hampshire and Michigan, US. While I continue to absorb and adapt to American culture, I am always thrilled to share my Russian heritage with those who find it interesting. Travel, photography and art play a special part in my life. Twitter: @iamnx2u