The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Russian Military Personnels of all time. This list of famous Russian Military Personnels is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Russian Military Personnels.
With an HPI of 79.95, Vasily Zaitsev is the most famous Russian Military Personnel. His biography has been translated into 47 different languages on wikipedia.
Vasily Grigoryevich Zaitsev (Russian: Васи́лий Григо́рьевич За́йцев, IPA: [vɐˈsʲilʲɪj ɡrʲɪˈɡorʲjɪvʲɪdʑ ˈzajtsɨf]; 23 March 1915 – 15 December 1991) was a Soviet sniper during World War II. Between 22 September 1942 and 19 October 1942, he killed 40 enemy soldiers. Between 10 October 1942 and 17 December 1942, during the Battle of Stalingrad, he killed 225 enemy soldiers.Zaitsev became a celebrated figure during the war and later a Hero of the Soviet Union, and he remains lauded for his skills as a sniper. His life and military career have been the subject of several books and films: his exploits, as detailed in William Craig's 1973 book Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad, served as the story for the 2001 film Enemy at the Gates, with Jude Law portraying Zaitsev. He is also featured in David L. Robbins's 1991 historical novel War of the Rats.
With an HPI of 78.59, Mikhail Kutuzov is the 2nd most famous Russian Military Personnel. His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.
Prince Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov (Russian: Князь Михаи́л Илларио́нович Голени́щев-Куту́зов, tr. Knyaz' Mikhaíl Illariónovich Goleníshchev-Kutúzov; German: Mikhail Illarion Golenishchev-Kutuzov Graf von Smolensk; 16 September [O.S. 5 September] 1745 – 28 April [O.S. 16 April] 1813) was a Field Marshal of the Russian Empire. He served as a military officer and a diplomat under the reign of three Romanov monarchs: Empress Catherine II, and Emperors Paul I and Alexander I. Kutuzov was shot in the head twice while fighting the Turks (1774 and 1788) and survived the serious injuries seemingly against all odds. He defeated Napoleon as commander-in-chief using attrition warfare in the Patriotic war of 1812. Alexander I, the incumbent Tsar during Napoleon's invasion, would write that he would be remembered amongst Europe's most famous commanders and that Russia would never forget his worthiness.
With an HPI of 78.41, Ivan Konev is the 3rd most famous Russian Military Personnel. His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.
Ivan Stepanovich Konev (Russian: Ива́н Степа́нович Ко́нев, IPA: [ɪˈvan sʲtʲɪˈpanəvʲɪtɕ ˈkonʲɪf]; 28 December [O.S. 16 December] 1897 – 21 May 1973) was a Soviet general and Marshal of the Soviet Union who led Red Army forces on the Eastern Front during World War II, responsible for taking much of Axis-occupied Eastern Europe. Born to a peasant family, Konev was conscripted into the Imperial Russian Army in 1916 and fought in World War I. In 1919, he joined the Bolsheviks and served in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. After graduating from Frunze Military Academy in 1926, Konev gradually rose through the ranks of the Soviet military. By 1939, he had become a candidate to the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Konev took part in a series of major campaigns, including the battles of Moscow and Rzhev. Konev further commanded forces in major Soviet offensives at Kursk, in the Dnieper–Carpathian and Vistula–Oder offensives. In February 1944, he was made a Marshal of the Soviet Union. On the eve of German defeat, Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front was pitted against the armies of Georgy Zhukov in the Race to Berlin. Konev was the first Allied commander to enter Prague, the capital of Czechoslovakia, after the Prague uprising. He replaced Zhukov as commander of Soviet ground forces in 1946. In 1956, he was appointed commander of the Warsaw Pact armed forces, and led the violent suppression of the Hungarian Revolution and Prague Spring. In 1961, as commander of Soviet forces in East Germany, he ordered the closing of West Berlin to East Berlin during the building of the Berlin Wall. Konev remained a popular military figure in the Soviet Union until his death in 1973.
With an HPI of 78.39, Stanislav Petrov is the 4th most famous Russian Military Personnel. His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.
Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov (Russian: Станисла́в Евгра́фович Петро́в; 7 September 1939 – 19 May 2017) was a lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Defence Forces who played a key role in the 1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident. On 26 September 1983, three weeks after the Soviet military had shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Petrov was the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear early-warning system when the system reported that a missile had been launched from the United States, followed by up to five more. Petrov judged the reports to be a false alarm.His subsequent decision to disobey orders, against Soviet military protocol, is credited with having prevented an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its NATO allies that could have resulted in a large-scale nuclear war which could have wiped out half of the population of the countries involved. An investigation later confirmed that the Soviet satellite warning system had indeed malfunctioned. Because of his decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike amid this incident, Petrov is often credited as having "saved the world".
With an HPI of 78.06, Mikhail Tukhachevsky is the 5th most famous Russian Military Personnel. His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.
Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky (Russian: Михаил Николаевич Тухачевский, tr. Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevskiy, IPA: [tʊxɐˈtɕefskʲɪj]; 16 February [O.S. 4 February] 1893 – 12 June 1937) nicknamed the Red Napoleon by foreign newspapers, was a Soviet general who was prominent between 1918 and 1937 as a military officer and theoretician. After service in World War I of 1914-1917 and in the Russian Civil War of 1917-1923, from 1920 to 1921 he commanded the Soviet Western Front in the Polish–Soviet War. Soviet forces under his command successfully repelled the Polish forces from Western Ukraine, driving them back into Poland, but the Red Army suffered defeat outside of Warsaw, and the war ended in a Soviet defeat. He later served as chief of staff of the Red Army from 1925 through 1928, as assistant in the People's Commissariat of Defense after 1934 and as commander of the Volga Military District in 1937. He achieved the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1935. As a major proponent of modernization of Soviet armament and army force structure in the 1920s and 1930s, he became instrumental in the development of Soviet aviation, and of mechanized and airborne forces. As a theoretician, he was a driving force behind the Soviet development of the theory of deep operations in the 1920s and 1930s. Soviet authorities accused Tukhachevsky of treason, and after confessing he was executed in 1937 during Stalin's military purges of 1936–1938.
With an HPI of 77.76, Alexander Suvorov is the 6th most famous Russian Military Personnel. His biography has been translated into 64 different languages.
Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Васи́льевич Суво́ров, romanized: Aleksándr Vasíl'yevich Suvórov; 24 November [O.S. 13 November] 1729 or 1730 – 18 May [O.S. 6 May] 1800) was a Russian general in service of the Russian Empire. He was Count of Rymnik, Count of the Holy Roman Empire, Prince of the Kingdom of Sardinia, Prince of the Russian Empire and the last Generalissimo of the Russian Empire. Suvorov is considered one of the greatest military commanders in Russian history and one of the great generals of the early modern period. He was awarded numerous medals, titles, and honors by Russia, as well as by other countries. Suvorov secured Russia's expanded borders and renewed military prestige and left a legacy of theories on warfare. He was the author of several military manuals, the most famous being The Science of Victory, and was noted for several of his sayings. He never lost a single battle he commanded. Several military academies, monuments, villages, museums, and orders in Russia are dedicated to him. Born in Moscow, he studied military history as a young boy and joined the Imperial Russian Army at the age of 17. During the Seven Years' War he was promoted to colonel in 1762 for his success on the battlefield. When war broke out with the Bar Confederation in 1768, Suvorov captured Kraków and defeated the Poles at Lanckorona and Stołowicze, bringing about the start of the Partitions of Poland. He was promoted to general and next fought in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, winning a decisive victory at the Battle of Kozludzha. Becoming the General of the Infantry in 1786, he commanded in the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792 and won crushing victories at the Battle of Rymnik and Siege of Izmail. For his accomplishments, he was made a Count of both the Russian Empire and Holy Roman Empire. Suvorov put down a Polish uprising in 1794, defeating them at the Battle of Maciejowice and storming Warsaw. While a close associate of Empress Catherine the Great, Suvorov often quarreled with her son and heir apparent, Paul. After Catherine died of a stroke in 1796, Paul I was crowned Emperor and dismissed Suvorov for disregarding his orders. However, he was forced to reinstate Suvorov and make him a field marshal at the insistence of the coalition allies for the French Revolutionary Wars. Suvorov was given command of the Austro-Russian army, captured Milan, and drove the French out of Italy through his triumphs at Cassano d'Adda, Trebbia, and Novi. Suvorov was made a Prince of Italy for his deeds. Afterwards, he was ordered to head to Switzerland to assist allied operations. He was cut off by André Masséna and later became surrounded in the Swiss Alps by the French after an allied Russo-Austrian army he was supposed to reinforce suffered defeat at Zurich. Suvorov led the strategic withdrawal of Russian troops dealing with French forces four times the size of his own and returned to Russia with minimal casualties. For this exploit, he became the fourth Generalissimo of Russia. He died in 1800 of illness in Saint Petersburg.
With an HPI of 76.57, Vasily Chuikov is the 7th most famous Russian Military Personnel. His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.
Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov (Russian: Васи́лий Ива́нович Чуйко́в; listen ; 12 February [O.S. 31 January] 1900 – 18 March 1982) was a Soviet military commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union. He is best known for commanding the 62nd Army which saw heavy combat during the Battle of Stalingrad in the Second World War. Born to a peasant family near Tula, Chuikov earned his living as a factory worker from the age of 12. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, he joined the Red Army and distinguished himself during the Russian Civil War. After graduating from the Frunze Military Academy, Chuikov worked as a military attaché and intelligence officer in China and the Russian Far East. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Chuikov commanded the 4th Army during the Soviet invasion of Poland, and the 9th Army during the Winter War against Finland. In December 1940, he was again appointed military attaché to China in support of Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists in the war against Japan. In March 1942, Chuikov was recalled from China to defend against the German invasion of the Soviet Union. By September, he was assigned command of the 62nd Army in defense of Stalingrad. Tasked with holding the city at all costs, Chuikov adopted keeping the Soviet front-line positions as close to the Germans as physically possible. This served as an effective countermeasure against the Wehrmacht's combined-arms tactics, but by mid-November 1942 the Germans had captured most of the city after months of slow advance. In late November Chuikov's 62nd Army joined the rest of the Soviet forces in a counter-offensive, which led to the surrender of the German 6th Army in early 1943. After Stalingrad, Chuikov led his forces into Poland during Operation Bagration and the Vistula–Oder Offensive before advancing on Berlin. He personally accepted the unconditional surrender of German forces in Berlin on 2 May 1945. After the war, Chuikov served as Chief of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (1949–53), commander of the Kiev Military District (1953–60), Chief of the Soviet Armed Forces and Deputy Minister of Defense (1960–64), and head of the Soviet Civil Defense Forces (1961–72). Chuikov was twice awarded the titles Hero of the Soviet Union (1944 and 1945) and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by the United States for his actions during the Battle of Stalingrad. In 1955, he was named a Marshal of the Soviet Union. Following his death in 1982, Chuikov was interred at the Stalingrad memorial at Mamayev Kurgan, which had been the site of heavy fighting.
With an HPI of 75.35, Aleksandr Vasilevsky is the 8th most famous Russian Military Personnel. His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.
Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Vasilevsky (Russian: Александр Михайлович Василевский) (30 September 1895 – 5 December 1977) was a Soviet career-officer in the Red Army who attained the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1943. He served as the Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces (1942-1945) and Deputy Minister of Defense during World War II, and as Minister of Defense from 1949 to 1953. As the Chief of the General Staff from 1942 to 1945, Vasilevsky became involved in planning and coordinating almost all the decisive Soviet offensives in World War II, from the Stalingrad counteroffensive of November 1942 to the assaults on East Prussia (January–April 1945), Königsberg (January–April 1945) and Manchuria (August 1945). Vasilevsky began his military career during World War I, earning the rank of captain by 1917. After the October Revolution of 1917 and the start of the Civil War of 1917–1922 he was conscripted into the Red Army, taking part in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1921. In peacetime he quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a regimental commander by 1930. In this position he showed great skill in organizing and training his troops. Vasilevsky's talent was noticed, and in 1931 he was appointed a member of the Directorate of Military Training. In 1937, following Stalin's Great Purge, he was promoted to become a General Staff officer. At the start of the 1943 Soviet counteroffensive of World War II, Vasilevsky coordinated and executed the Red Army's offensives on the upper Don, in the Donbass, Crimea, Belarus and the Baltic states, ending his war in Europe with the capture of Königsberg in April 1945. In July 1945 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Soviet forces in the Far East. He executed the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation (August 1945) and subsequently accepted Japan's surrender. After the war he became the Soviet Defense Minister from 1949 to 1953, a position he held until after Stalin's death in 1953. With Nikita Khrushchev's rise to pre-eminence in the mid-1950s, Vasilevsky began losing 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 country.
With an HPI of 75.23, Semyon Budyonny is the 9th most famous Russian Military Personnel. His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.
Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny (Russian: Семён Миха́йлович Будённый, tr. Semyon Mikháylovich Budyonnyy, IPA: [sʲɪˈmʲɵn mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪdʑ bʊˈdʲɵnːɨj] (listen); 25 April [O.S. 13 April] 1883 – 26 October 1973) was a Russian cavalryman, military commander during the Russian Civil War, Polish-Soviet War and World War II, and politician, who was a close political ally of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Born to a poor peasant family from the Don Cossack region in southern Russia, Budyonny was drafted into the Imperial Russian Army in 1903. He served with distinction in a dragoon regiment during the First World War, earning all four classes of the Cross of St. George. When the Russian Civil War broke out Budyonny founded the Red Cavalry, which played an important role in the Bolshevik victory. As a political ally of Joseph Stalin, he was one of the two most senior army commanders that survived the Great Purge and in post at the time of German invasion of the USSR in 1941. After the Soviet forces under Budyonny's command suffered unprecedented defeats in the battles of Kiev and Uman, he had to be removed from frontline command because of his unfitness to command a modern army. Budyonny was a staunch proponent of horse cavalry. During the Great Purge, he testified against Mikhail Tukhachevsky's efforts to create an independent tank corps, claiming that it was so inferior to cavalry and illogical that it amounted to "wrecking" (sabotage). After being told of the importance of the tank in the coming war in 1939, he remarked, "You won't convince me. As soon as war is declared, everyone will shout, "Send for the Cavalry!"
With an HPI of 75.14, Johannes Blaskowitz is the 10th most famous Russian Military Personnel. His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.
Johannes Albrecht Blaskowitz (10 July 1883 – 5 February 1948) was a German general during World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Blaskowitz led the 8th Army during the Invasion of Poland and was the Commander in Chief of Occupied Poland from 1939 to 1940; he had written several memoranda for the German High Command protesting the SS atrocities and handed out death sentences to members of the SS for crimes against the civilian population. He was dismissed, but then re-appointed. He commanded Army Group G during the Allied invasion of Southern France and Operation Nordwind, the last major German offensive of World War II on the Western Front. After the war, he was charged with war crimes in the High Command Trial at Nuremberg. While in custody facing trial he died on 5 February 1948, purportedly of suicide. He was posthumously acquitted on all counts.
Pantheon has 112 people classified as military personnels born between 1532 and 1983. Of these 112, 4 (3.57%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living military personnels include Sergei Skripal, Boris Gromov, and Valery Gerasimov. The most famous deceased military personnels include Vasily Zaitsev, Mikhail Kutuzov, and Ivan Konev. As of October 2020, 24 new military personnels have been added to Pantheon including Nikolai Kuznetsov, Mikhail Alekseyev, and Maria Bochkareva.
1915 - 1991
1745 - 1813
1897 - 1973
1939 - 2017
1893 - 1937
1730 - 1800
1900 - 1982
1895 - 1977
1883 - 1973
1883 - 1948
1901 - 1946
1896 - 1966
1904 - 1974
1857 - 1918
1889 - 1920
1892 - 1978
1880 - 1920
1851 - 1919
1902 - 1960
1752 - 1819
1914 - 1941
1897 - 1967
1763 - 1831
1919 - 1994
Which Military Personnels were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Military Personnels since 1700.