The Most Famous

MILITARY PERSONNELS from Russia

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This page contains a list of the greatest Russian Military Personnels. The pantheon dataset contains 2,058 Military Personnels, 127 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 Mikhail Kutuzov

1. Mikhail Kutuzov (1745 - 1813)

With an HPI of 73.49, Mikhail Kutuzov is the most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 60 different languages on wikipedia.

Prince Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov-Smolensky (Russian: Михаил Илларионович Голенищев-Кутузов-Смоленский; German: Mikhail Illarion Golenishchev-Kutuzov Fürst 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 Vasily Zaitsev

2. Vasily Zaitsev (1915 - 1991)

With an HPI of 73.20, Vasily Zaitsev is the 2nd most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

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 1999 historical novel War of the Rats.

Photo of Stanislav Petrov

3. Stanislav Petrov (1939 - 2017)

With an HPI of 72.53, Stanislav Petrov is the 3rd most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 51 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 would have resulted in a large-scale nuclear war. 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 Yevgeny Prigozhin

4. Yevgeny Prigozhin (1961 - 2023)

With an HPI of 72.28, Yevgeny Prigozhin is the 4th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 77 different languages.

Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin (Russian: Евгений Викторович Пригожин, IPA: [jɪvˈɡʲenʲɪj ˈvʲiktərəvʲɪtɕ prʲɪˈɡoʐɨn]; 1 June 1961 – 23 August 2023) was a Russian mercenary leader and oligarch. He led the Wagner Group private military company and was a close confidant of Russian president Vladimir Putin until launching a rebellion in June 2023. Prigozhin was sometimes referred to as "Putin's chef" because he owned restaurants and catering businesses that provided services to the Kremlin. Once a convict in the Soviet Union, Prigozhin controlled a network of influential companies whose operations, according to a 2020 investigation, were "tightly integrated with Russia's Defence Ministry and its intelligence arm, the GRU". In 2014, Prigozhin reportedly founded the Wagner Group to support pro-Russian paramilitaries in Ukraine. Funded by the Russian state, it played a significant role in Russia's invasion of Ukraine and supported Russian interests in Syria and in Africa. In November 2022, Prigozhin acknowledged his companies' interference in United States elections. In February 2023, he confirmed that he was the founder and long-time manager of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company running online propaganda and disinformation campaigns. Prigozhin's companies and associates, and formerly Prigozhin himself, are subject to economic sanctions and criminal charges in the United States and the United Kingdom. In October 2020, the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions against Prigozhin for his financing of the Wagner Group's activities in Libya. In April 2022, the EU imposed further sanctions on him for his role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The FBI offered a reward of up to $250,000 for information leading to Prigozhin's arrest. Prigozhin openly criticized the Russian Defense Ministry for corruption and mishandling the war against Ukraine. Eventually, he said the reasons they gave for invading were lies. On 23 June 2023, he launched a rebellion against the Russian military leadership. Wagner forces captured Rostov-on-Don and advanced toward Moscow. The rebellion was called off the following day, and the criminal charges against Prigozhin were dropped after he agreed to relocate his forces to Belarus. On 23 August 2023, exactly two months after the rebellion, Prigozhin was killed along with nine other people when a business jet crashed in Tver Oblast, north of Moscow. The Wall Street Journal cited sources within the US government as saying that the crash was likely caused by a bomb on board or "some other form of sabotage". Since then, researchers and other analysts have reached the conclusion that an on-board bomb or explosive likely downed the plane.

Photo of Alexander Suvorov

5. Alexander Suvorov (1730 - 1800)

With an HPI of 71.52, Alexander Suvorov is the 5th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 68 different languages.

Count Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov-Rymniksky, Prince of Italy (24 November [O.S. 13 November] 1729 or 1730 – 18 May [O.S. 6 May] 1800; Russian: Князь Италийский граф Александр Васильевич Суворов-Рымникский, romanized: Kni͡az' Italiyskiy graf Aleksandr Vasil'yevič Suvorov-Rymnikskiy; IPA: [ɐlʲɪkˈsandr vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ sʊˈvorəf]), was a Russian general and military theorist in the service of the Russian Empire. Born in Moscow, he studied military history as a young boy and joined the Imperial Russian Army at the age of 17. Promoted to colonel in 1762 for his successes during the Seven Years' War, his victories during the War of the Bar Confederation included the capture of Kraków and victories at Orzechowo, Lanckorona, and Stołowicze. His reputation rose further when, in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, he captured Turtukaya twice and won a decisive victory at Kozludzha. After a period of little progress, he was promoted to general and led Russian forces in the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792, participating in the siege of Ochakov, as well as victories at Kinburn and Focșani. Suvorov won a decisive victory at the Battle of Rymnik, and afterwards defeated the Ottomans in the storming of Izmail. His victories at Focșani and Rymnik established him as the most brilliant general in Russia, if not in all of Europe. In 1794, he put down the Polish uprising, defeating them at the battle of Praga and elsewhere. After Catherine the Great died in 1796, her successor Paul I often quarrelled with Suvorov. After a period of ill-favour, Suvorov was recalled to a field marshal position at the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars. He was given command of the Austro-Russian army, and after a series of victories, such as the battle of the Trebbia, he captured Milan and Turin, and nearly erased all of Napoleon's Italian conquests of 1796–97. After an Austro-Russian army was defeated in Switzerland, Suvorov, ordered to reinforce them, was cut off by André Masséna and later surrounded in the Swiss Alps. His successful extraction of the exhausted, ill-supplied, and heavily-outnumbered Russian army was rewarded by a promotion to Generalissimo. Masséna himself would later confess that he would exchange all of his victories for Suvorov's passage of the Alps. Suvorov died in 1800 of illness in Saint Petersburg. He was instrumental in expanding the Russian Empire, as his success ensured Russia's conquering of Kuban, Crimea, and New Russia. One of the foremost generals in all of military history, and considered the greatest military commander in Russian history, Suvorov has been compared to Napoleon in military generalship. Undefeated, he has been described as the best general Republican France ever fought, and noted as "one of those rare generals who were consistently successful despite suffering from considerable disadvantages." Suvorov was also admired by his soldiers throughout his whole military life, and was respected for his honest service and truthfulness.

Photo of Ivan Konev

6. Ivan Konev (1897 - 1973)

With an HPI of 70.81, Ivan Konev is the 6th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 55 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

7. Mikhail Tukhachevsky (1893 - 1937)

With an HPI of 70.39, Mikhail Tukhachevsky is the 7th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky (Russian: Михаил Николаевич Тухачевский, romanized: Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevskiy, IPA: [tʊxɐˈtɕefskʲɪj]; 16 February [O.S. 4 February] 1893 – 12 June 1937), nicknamed the Red Napoleon, was a Soviet general who was prominent between 1918 and 1937 as a military officer and theoretician. He was later executed during the show trials of 1936–1938. 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. Tukhachevsky blamed Joseph Stalin for his defeat at the Battle of Warsaw. 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 and Yezhov's military purges of 1936–1938.

Photo of Vasily Chuikov

8. Vasily Chuikov (1900 - 1982)

With an HPI of 69.57, Vasily Chuikov is the 8th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov (Russian: Васи́лий Ива́нович Чуйко́в, Russian: [vɐˈsʲilʲɪj t͡ɕʉjkof] ; 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 Pyotr Bagration

9. Pyotr Bagration (1765 - 1812)

With an HPI of 68.28, Pyotr Bagration is the 9th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.

Prince Pyotr Ivanovich Bagration (10 July 1765 – 24 September 1812) was a Russian general and prince of Georgian origin, prominent during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Bagration, a member of the Bagrationi dynasty, was born in Kizlyar. His father, Ivan (Ivane), served as an officer in the Imperial Russian Army, in which Bagration also enlisted in 1782. Pyotr Ivanovich Bagration began his military career serving in the Russo-Circassian War of 1763–1864 for a couple of years. Afterwards he participated in a war against the Ottomans and the capture of Ochakov in 1788. Later he helped suppress the Kościuszko Uprising of 1794 in Poland and capture Warsaw. During Russia's Italian and Swiss campaigns of 1799 against the French, he served with distinction under Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov. In 1805 Russia joined the coalition against Napoleon. After the collapse of the Austrians at Ulm in October 1805, Bagration won praise for his successful defense in the Battle of Schöngrabern (November 1805) that allowed Russian forces to withdraw and unite with the main Russian army of Mikhail Kutuzov. In December 1805 the combined Russo-Austrian army suffered defeat at the Battle of Austerlitz, where Bagration commanded the allied right wing against the French under Jean Lannes. Later he commanded Russian troops in the Finnish War (1808–1809) against Sweden and in another war against the Turks (1806–1812) on the Danube. During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, Bagration commanded one of two large Russian armies (Barclay de Tolly commanded the other) fighting a series of rear-guard actions. The Russians failed to stop the French advance at the Battle of Smolensk in August 1812. Barclay had proposed a scorched-earth retreat that the Emperor Alexander I of Russia had approved, although Bagration preferred to confront the French in a major battle. Mikhail Kutuzov succeeded Barclay as Commander-in-Chief but continued his policy until the Battle of Borodino (7 September [O.S. 26 August] 1812) near Moscow. Bagration commanded the left wing around what became known as the Bagration flèches at Borodino, where he was mortally wounded; he died a couple of weeks later. Originally buried at a local church, in 1839 he was reburied on the battlefield of Borodino.

Photo of Aleksandr Vasilevsky

10. Aleksandr Vasilevsky (1895 - 1977)

With an HPI of 68.11, Aleksandr Vasilevsky is the 10th most famous Russian Military Personnel.  His biography has been translated into 50 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 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.

People

Pantheon has 161 people classified as Russian military personnels born between 1532 and 1993. Of these 161, 11 (6.83%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Russian military personnels include Valery Gerasimov, Sergei Skripal, and Sergey Surovikin. The most famous deceased Russian military personnels include Mikhail Kutuzov, Vasily Zaitsev, and Stanislav Petrov. As of April 2024, 33 new Russian military personnels have been added to Pantheon including Yevgeny Prigozhin, Dmitry Utkin, and Sergey Surovikin.

Living Russian Military Personnels

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Deceased Russian Military Personnels

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Newly Added Russian Military Personnels (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

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