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The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Russian Military Personnels. The pantheon dataset contains 1,468 Military Personnels, 124 of which were born in Russia. This makes Russia the birth place of the 4th most number of Military Personnels behind United States and France.

Top 10

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.

Photo of Stanislav Petrov

1. Stanislav Petrov (1939 - 2017)

With an HPI of 74.14, Stanislav Petrov is the most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages on wikipedia.

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".

Photo of Vasily Zaitsev

2. Vasily Zaitsev (1915 - 1991)

With an HPI of 73.63, Vasily Zaitsev is the 2nd most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.

Vasily Grigoryevich Zaitsev (Russian: Васи́лий Григо́рьевич За́йцев, IPA: [vɐˈsʲilʲɪj ɡrʲɪˈɡorʲjɪvʲɪdʑ ˈzajtsɨf]; 23 March 1915 – 15 December 1991) was a Russian 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 1999 historical novel War of the Rats.

Photo of Mikhail Kutuzov

3. Mikhail Kutuzov (1745 - 1813)

With an HPI of 72.09, Mikhail Kutuzov is the 3rd most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 60 different languages.

Prince Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov-Smolensky (Russian: Михаи́л Илларио́нович Голени́щев-Куту́зов-Смолéнский (pre-1918: Михаилъ Илларіоновичъ Голенищевъ​-​Кутузовъ​-Смоленскiй); 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.

Photo of Ivan Konev

4. Ivan Konev (1897 - 1973)

With an HPI of 71.18, Ivan Konev is the 4th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 53 different languages.

Ivan Stepanovich Konev (Russian: Ива́н Степа́нович Ко́нев, IPA: [ɪˈvan sʲtʲɪˈpanəvʲɪtɕ ˈkonʲɪf]; (28 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.

Photo of Mikhail Tukhachevsky

5. Mikhail Tukhachevsky (1893 - 1937)

With an HPI of 71.09, Mikhail Tukhachevsky is the 5th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 49 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. He served as an officer in World War I of 1914–1917 and in the Russian Civil War of 1917–1923, leading the defense of the Moscow district (1918), commanding forces on the Eastern Front (1918), commanding the Fifth Army in the recapture of Siberia from Alexander Kolchak, and heading Cossack forces against Anton Denikin (1920). 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 modernisation 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 during torture he was executed in 1937 during Stalin's military purges of 1936–1938.

Photo of Alexander Suvorov

6. Alexander Suvorov (1730 - 1800)

With an HPI of 70.83, Alexander Suvorov is the 6th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.

Prince Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov-Rymniksky (Russian: Алекса́ндр Васи́льевич Суво́ров-Ры́мникский (pre-1918: Александръ Васильевичъ Суворовъ​-​Рымникскій); 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 ("Наука побеждать"), and was noted for several of his sayings. He never lost a single battle he commanded. Suvorov participated more than 60 battles and combats in total. 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. His first skirmish was on 25 July 1759, when, during the Seven Years' War, with a squadron of dragoons, he attacked and routed Prussian dragoons. Suvorov was promoted to colonel in 1762 for his numerous successes on the battlefield. For example, in the battle of Landsberg (15 September 1761) his Cossack-hussar cavalry unit defeated 3 squadrons of the Prussian hussars. He also won small battles at Birstein and Kielce. When war broke out with the Bar Confederation in 1768, Suvorov, commanding a unit of the army of Ivan Ivanovich Weymarn, captured Kraków and defeated the Poles at Orzechowo and Lanckorona, but he failed in the storming of the Lanckorona Castle, as well as the Tyniec Abbey and its surroundings, including fortified mountain withal strong redoubt with palisade and trou de loups, another redoubt at the monastery cemetery, and other large redoubt, located in the direction of Kraków. The Russians repeatedly captured the fortifications, but they were immediately beaten back. Fearing to lose a lot of time, Suvorov retreated. It is the only tactical setbacks in his career, but these were not field engagements. Follow-up clashes rectify Suvorov's situation: the battles of Lanckorona, Stołowicze, and the siege of the Wawel Castle (Kraków Castle), where the French and the szlachta made a sortie from the fortifications; both were "defeated by brutal shooting and put to flight". This marked the start of the Partitions of Poland. He was promoted to general and next fought in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, taking Turtukaya, repelling the Ottoman assault on the fort of Girsovo, and winning a decisive victory at the battle of Kozludzha. He then with complete surprise for the rebels crossed the Kuban River and decisively suppressed the Nogai uprising in the North Caucasus (12 October 1783). Becoming the General of the Infantry in 1786, he led Russian forces in the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792 under the overall command of Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin. He defeated the Ottomans at the hard-won battle of Kinburn, where Suvorov himself was wounded and saved only thanks to the intervention of the grenadier Stepan Novikov. After that, Suvorov won crushing victory at the siege of Ochakov. The siege was supported by a blockade of the Black Sea flotilla under John Paul Jones. After the joint Russian and Habsburg victory in the battle of Focșani, he and the talented Austro-Bavarian general Josias of Coburg won most decisive victories in their career. First at the battle of Rymnik, where, despite the vast inferiority in numbers, Suvorov persuaded the Austrian commander to attack; with the bold flanking maneuver of Suvorov and the resilience of the Austrians, together they routed the Ottoman army. The second one came at the storming of Izmail, that became one of the days of Russian military honour. For Suvorov's accomplishments, he was made a Count of both the Russian Empire and Holy Roman Empire, having been given a glorifying title Rymniksky (in honour of the victory at Rymnik). He put down a Polish uprising in 1794, defeating them at the battles of Dywin, Kobryń, Krupczyce, Brest, Kobyłka, and in the horrible storming of Praga, suburb ("faubourg") of 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 and the Italian campaign of 1799 began. He captured Milan, Turin, and drove the French out of northern Italy through his triumphs at Cassano, San Giuliano, Trebbia, and Novi. The battle of Trebbia proved to be the heaviest French defeat of the campaign. The following Italian fortresses fell before Suvorov: Brescia (21 April); Peschiera del Garda, Tortona, Pizzighettone (April); Alessandria, Mantua (July). Suvorov was made a Prince of Italy for his deeds and he became known as the Prince of Italy, Count Suvorov-Rymniksky. Afterwards, he was ordered to head Swiss campaign 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 armies under Alexander Korsakov and Friedrich von Hotze, which he was supposed to reinforce, suffered defeats at Zurich and on the Linth River. Suvorov led the strategic withdrawal of exhausted Russian troops dealing with French forces three times the size of his own (27,000 against 77,000 in the theater of operations). Early on in the path, going to join with the not yet defeated Korsakov, he overcame the St. Gotthard mountain pass and the so-called Teufelsbrücke or "Devil's Bridge", and then council decided to pave the way for the army toward Glarus. Between 30 September and 1 October, Suvorov's vanguard of 2,100 men, led by Bagration, was able to break through the Klöntal valley and inflicted 1,000 killed or wounded, and another 1,000 captured on the French. Meanwhile, on the same days, the rearguard of 7,000 men, commanded by Miloradovich and Rosenberg, met with Mortier's and Masséna's forces numbering up to 15,000 men in the Muotatal (Muota valley), formerly Muttental. Suvorov ordered to hold on there at all costs, and the rearguard, suffering about 500 casualties, routed the French by inflicting them up to 2,700 losses. Suvorov then battled his way across the central Alpine spine to the upper Rhine, as a result of which the army returned from the Helvetic Republic to Russia with minimal casualties. For this exploit, he became the fourth Generalissimo of Russia. Suvorov was loved by the soldiers throughout his whole life. He was respected for his truthfulness and honest service. He died in 1800 of illness in Saint Petersburg. Micheal Clodfelter called Suvorov the best general the French First Republic has ever fought (with the possible exception of Archduke Charles).

Photo of Konstantin Rokossovsky

7. Konstantin Rokossovsky (1896 - 1968)

With an HPI of 70.37, Konstantin Rokossovsky is the 7th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Konstantin Konstantinovich Rokossovsky (Russian: Константин Константинович Рокоссовский; Polish: Konstanty Rokossowski; 21 December 1896 – 3 August 1968) was a Soviet and Polish officer who became a Marshal of the Soviet Union, a Marshal of Poland, and served as Poland's Defence Minister from 1949 until his removal in 1956 during the Polish October. He became one of the most prominent Red Army commanders of World War II. Born in Warsaw (in present-day Poland; then part of the Russian Empire), Rokossovsky served in the Imperial Russian Army during World War I. In 1917 he joined the Red Guards and in 1918 the newly-formed Red Army; he fought with great distinction during the Russian Civil War of 1917–1922. Rokossovsky held senior commands until 1937 when he fell victim to Joseph Stalin's Great Purge, during which he was branded a traitor, imprisoned and probably tortured. After Soviet failures in the Winter War of 1939–1940, Rokossovsky was taken out of prison and reinstated due to an urgent need for experienced officers. Following Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Rokossovsky played key roles in the defense of Moscow (1941–1942) and the counter-offensives at Stalingrad (1942–1943) and Kursk (1943). He was instrumental in planning and executing part of Operation Bagration (1944)—one of the most decisive Red Army successes of the war—for which he was made a Marshal of the Soviet Union. After the war, Rokossovsky became Defence Minister and deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers in the newly-established Polish People's Republic. Forced out of office in Poland in 1956 after Władysław Gomułka became the leader of Poland, Rokossovsky then returned to the Soviet Union, where he lived out the rest of his life until his death in 1968.

Photo of Vasily Chuikov

8. Vasily Chuikov (1900 - 1982)

With an HPI of 70.06, Vasily Chuikov is the 8th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 49 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.

Photo of Aleksandr Vasilevsky

9. Aleksandr Vasilevsky (1895 - 1977)

With an HPI of 68.37, Aleksandr Vasilevsky is the 9th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Vasilevsky (Russian: Алекса́ндр Миха́йлович Василе́вский) (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 Operation Uranus 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 Donbas, 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). 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.

Photo of Semyon Budyonny

10. Semyon Budyonny (1883 - 1973)

With an HPI of 67.62, Semyon Budyonny is the 10th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 50 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; Budyonny became renowned for his bravery and was the subject of several popular patriotic songs. In 1922 he also became commander of all the troops in the north Caucasian military district. While serving as inspector of the Red Army’s cavalry (1924–37) and commander of the Moscow military district (1937–40). As a political ally of Joseph Stalin, he became one of the original five Marshals of the Soviet Union. 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 were routed in the battles of Kiev and Uman, he was removed from frontline command. He received the blame for many of Stalin's military strategic errors in the early part of World War II, but he was retained in the Soviet high command. In 1953 he resumed his post of inspector of the cavalry. 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!"

Pantheon has 124 people classified as military personnels born between 1532 and 1983. Of these 124, 5 (4.03%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living military personnels include Valery Gerasimov, Sergei Skripal, and Boris Gromov. The most famous deceased military personnels include Stanislav Petrov, Vasily Zaitsev, and Mikhail Kutuzov. As of April 2022, 13 new military personnels have been added to Pantheon including Andrei Shkuro, Oleg Kalugin, and Eino Rahja.

Living Military Personnels

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Deceased Military Personnels

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Newly Added Military Personnels (2022)

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Which Military Personnels were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Military Personnels since 1700.