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The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Russian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,577 Politicians, 538 of which were born in Russia. This makes Russia the birth place of the 6th most number of Politicians behind Italy and United Kingdom.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Russian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Russian Politicians 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 Politicians.

Photo of Vladimir Lenin

1. Vladimir Lenin (1870 - 1924)

With an HPI of 89.94, Vladimir Lenin is the most famous Russian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 194 different languages on wikipedia.

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (22 April [O.S. 10 April] 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known as Vladimir Lenin, was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia, and later the Soviet Union, became a one-party socialist state governed by the Communist Party. Ideologically a Marxist, his developments to the ideology are called Leninism. Born to a schoolteacher's family in Simbirsk, Lenin embraced revolutionary socialist politics following his brother's 1887 execution. Expelled from Kazan Imperial University for participating in protests against the Tsarist government, he devoted the following years to a law degree. He relocated to Saint Petersburg in 1893 where he became a senior Marxist activist. In 1897, he was arrested for sedition and exiled to Shushenskoye in Siberia for three years, where he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his exile, he moved to Western Europe, where he became a prominent theorist in the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). In 1903, he took a key role in the RSDLP ideological split, leading the Bolshevik faction against Julius Martov's Mensheviks. Following Russia's failed Revolution of 1905, he initially campaigned for the First World War to be transformed into a Europe-wide proletarian revolution, which, as a Marxist, he believed would cause the overthrow of capitalism and the rise of socialism. After the 1917 February Revolution ousted the Tsar and established a Provisional Government, he returned to Russia and played a leading role in the October Revolution, in which the Bolsheviks overthrew the new government. Lenin's Bolshevik government initially shared power with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, elected soviets, and a multi-party Constituent Assembly, although by 1918 it had centralised power in the new Communist Party. Lenin's administration redistributed land among the peasantry and nationalised banks and large-scale industry. It withdrew from the First World War by signing a treaty conceding territory to the Central Powers, and promoted world revolution through the Communist International. Opponents were suppressed in the Red Terror, a violent campaign administered by the state security services; tens of thousands were killed or interned in concentration camps. His administration defeated right and left-wing anti-Bolshevik armies in the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922 and oversaw the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921. Responding to wartime devastation, famine, and popular uprisings, in 1921 Lenin encouraged economic growth through the New Economic Policy. Several non-Russian nations had secured independence from Russia after 1917, but five were forcibly re-united into the new Soviet Union in 1922, while others repelled Soviet invasions. His health failing, Lenin died in Gorki, with Joseph Stalin succeeding him as the pre-eminent figure in the Soviet government. Widely considered one of the most significant and influential figures of the 20th century, Lenin was the posthumous subject of a pervasive personality cult within the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. He became an ideological figurehead behind Marxism–Leninism and a prominent influence over the international communist movement. A controversial and highly divisive historical figure, Lenin is viewed by his supporters as a champion of socialism, communism, anti-imperialism and the working class, while his critics accuse him of establishing a totalitarian dictatorship that oversaw mass killings and political repression of dissidents.

Photo of Vladimir Putin

2. Vladimir Putin (1952 - )

With an HPI of 88.82, Vladimir Putin is the 2nd most famous Russian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 203 different languages.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who has been President of Russia since 2012. Putin has held continuous positions as president or prime minister since 1999: as prime minister from 1999 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2012, and as president from 2000 to 2008. He is the longest-serving Russian or Soviet leader since Joseph Stalin. Putin worked as a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel before resigning in 1991 to begin a political career in Saint Petersburg. In 1996, he moved to Moscow to join the administration of President Boris Yeltsin. He briefly served as the director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and then as secretary of the Security Council of Russia before being appointed prime minister in August 1999. Following Yeltsin's resignation, Putin became acting president and, in less than four months, was elected to his first term as president. He was subsequently reelected in 2004. Due to constitutional limitations of two consecutive presidential terms, Putin served as prime minister again from 2008 to 2012 under Dmitry Medvedev. He returned to the presidency in 2012, following an election marked by allegations of fraud and protests, and was reelected in 2018. In April 2021, after a referendum, he signed into law constitutional amendments that included one allowing him to run for reelection twice more, potentially extending his presidency to 2036.During Putin's initial presidential tenure, the Russian economy grew on average by seven percent per year, driven by economic reforms and a fivefold increase in the price of oil and gas. Additionally, Putin led Russia in a conflict against Chechen separatists, reestablishing federal control over the region. While serving as prime minister under Medvedev, he oversaw a military conflict with Georgia and enacted military and police reforms. In his third presidential term, Russia annexed Crimea and supported a war in eastern Ukraine through several military incursions, resulting in international sanctions and a financial crisis in Russia. He also ordered a military intervention in Syria to support his ally Bashar al-Assad during the Syrian civil war, ultimately securing permanent naval bases in the Eastern Mediterranean. In his fourth presidential term, he launched a significant invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which prompted international condemnation and led to expanded sanctions. In September 2022, he announced a partial mobilization and forcibly annexed four Ukrainian oblasts into Russia. In March 2023, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin for war crimes related to his alleged criminal responsibility for illegal child abductions during the war.Under Putin's leadership, Russia has undergone democratic backsliding and a shift towards authoritarianism. His rule has been marked by endemic corruption and widespread human rights violations, including the imprisonment and suppression of political opponents, intimidation and censorship of independent media in Russia, and a lack of free and fair elections. Putin's Russia has consistently received low scores on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, The Economist Democracy Index, Freedom House's Freedom in the World index, and the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index. Putin is the longest-serving Russian president and the second-longest-serving European president, following Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.

Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev

3. Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 - 2022)

With an HPI of 86.13, Mikhail Gorbachev is the 3rd most famous Russian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 137 different languages.

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (2 March 1931 – 30 August 2022) was a Soviet and Russian politician who served as the last leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to the country's dissolution in 1991. He served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 and additionally as head of state beginning in 1988, as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1988 to 1989, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990 and the only President of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991. Ideologically, Gorbachev initially adhered to Marxism–Leninism but moved towards social democracy by the early 1990s.Gorbachev was born in Privolnoye, Russian SFSR, to a poor peasant family of Russian and Ukrainian heritage. Growing up under the rule of Joseph Stalin in his youth, he operated combine harvesters on a collective farm before joining the Communist Party, which then governed the Soviet Union as a one-party state. Studying at Moscow State University, he married fellow student Raisa Titarenko in 1953 and received his law degree in 1955. Moving to Stavropol, he worked for the Komsomol youth organization and, after Stalin's death, became a keen proponent of the de-Stalinization reforms of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. He was appointed the First Party Secretary of the Stavropol Regional Committee in 1970, overseeing the construction of the Great Stavropol Canal. In 1978, he returned to Moscow to become a Secretary of the party's Central Committee; he joined the governing Politburo (25th term) as a non-voting member in 1979 and a voting member in 1980. Three years after the death of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev—following the brief tenures of Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko—in 1985, the Politburo elected Gorbachev as general secretary, the de facto leader. Although committed to preserving the Soviet state and its Marxist–Leninist ideals, Gorbachev believed significant reform was necessary for its survival. He withdrew troops from the Soviet–Afghan War and embarked on summits with United States president Ronald Reagan to limit nuclear weapons and end the Cold War. Domestically, his policy of glasnost ("openness") allowed for enhanced freedom of speech and press, while his perestroika ("restructuring") sought to decentralize economic decision-making to improve its efficiency. His democratization measures and formation of the elected Congress of People's Deputies undermined the one-party state. Gorbachev declined to intervene militarily when various Warsaw Pact countries abandoned Marxist–Leninist governance in 1989. Internally, Gorbachev wanted to transform the Soviet Union into a less centralized federation but moved towards supporting a loose confederation by April 1991, proposing the New Union Treaty. Growing nationalist sentiment within constituent republics threatened to break up the Soviet Union, leading the hardliners within the Communist Party to launch the unsuccessful coup against Gorbachev in August 1991. In the coup's wake, the Soviet Union dissolved against Gorbachev's wishes. After resigning from the presidency, he launched the Gorbachev Foundation, became a vocal critic of Russian presidents Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, and campaigned for Russia's social-democratic movement. Gorbachev is considered one of the most significant figures of the second half of the 20th century. The recipient of a wide range of awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, in the West he is praised for his role in ending the Cold War, introducing new political and economic freedoms in the Soviet Union, and tolerating both the fall of Marxist–Leninist administrations in eastern and central Europe and the German reunification. In Russia, he is often derided for facilitating the dissolution of the Soviet Union—an event which weakened Russia's global influence and precipitated an economic collapse in Russia and other states.

Photo of Peter the Great

4. Peter the Great (1672 - 1725)

With an HPI of 83.99, Peter the Great is the 4th most famous Russian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 133 different languages.

Peter I (Russian: Пётр I Алексеевич, romanized: Pyotr I Alekseyevich, IPA: [ˈpʲɵtr ɐlʲɪˈksʲejɪvʲɪtɕ]; 9 June [O.S. 30 May] 1672 – 8 February [O.S. 28 January] 1725), commonly known as Peter the Great, was Tsar of all Russia from 1682, and the first Emperor of all Russia from 1721 until his death in 1725. He reigned jointly with his half-brother Ivan V until 1696. From this year, Peter was an absolute monarch who remained the ultimate authority. His methods were often harsh and autocratic. Most of Peter's reign was consumed by long wars against the Ottoman and Swedish Empires. Despite initial difficulties, the wars were ultimately successful and led to expansion to the Sea of Azov and the Baltic Sea, thus laying the groundwork for the Imperial Russian Navy. His victory in the Great Northern War ended Sweden's era as a great power and its domination of the Baltic region while elevating Russia's standing to the extent it came to be acknowledged as an empire. Peter led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, Westernized, and based on radical Enlightenment.In 1700, he introduced the Gregorian calendar but the Russian Orthodox Church was particularly resistant to this change; they wanted to maintain its distinct identity and avoid appearing influenced by Catholic practices. In 1703, he introduced the first Russian newspaper, Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti, and ordered the civil script, a reform of Russian orthography largely designed by himself. He founded the city of Saint Petersburg on the shore of the Neva as a "window to the West" in May 1703. In 1712 Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, where it remained – with only a brief interruption – until 1918. He promoted higher education and industrialization in the Russian Empire. Peter had a great interest in plants, animals and minerals, in malformed creatures or exceptions to the law of nature for his cabinet of curiosities. He encouraged research of deformities, all along trying to debunk the superstitious fear of monsters. The Russian Academy of Sciences and the Saint Petersburg State University were founded in 1724, a year before his death. Peter is primarily credited with the modernization of the country, transforming it into a major European power. His administrative reforms, creating a Governing Senate in 1711, the Collegium in 1717 and the Table of Ranks in 1722 had a lasting impact on Russia, and many institutions of the Russian government trace their origins to his reign.

Photo of Boris Yeltsin

5. Boris Yeltsin (1931 - 2007)

With an HPI of 83.89, Boris Yeltsin is the 5th most famous Russian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 126 different languages.

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (Russian: Борис Николаевич Ельцин, IPA: [bɐˈrʲis nʲɪkɐˈla(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ ˈjelʲtsɨn] ; 1 February 1931 – 23 April 2007) was a Soviet and Russian politician who served as President of Russia from 1991 to 1999. He was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1961 to 1990. He later stood as a political independent, during which time he was viewed as being ideologically aligned with liberalism. Yeltsin was born in Butka, Ural Oblast. He grew up in Kazan and Berezniki. After studying at the Ural State Technical University, he worked in construction. After joining the Communist Party, he rose through its ranks, and in 1976 he became First Secretary of the party's Sverdlovsk Oblast committee. Yeltsin was initially a supporter of the perestroika reforms of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. He later criticized the reforms as being too moderate, and called for a transition to a multi-party representative democracy. In 1987 he was the first person to resign from the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which established his popularity as an anti-establishment figure. In 1990, he was elected chair of the Russian Supreme Soviet and in 1991 was elected president of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), becoming the first popularly-elected head of state in Russian history. Yeltsin allied with various non-Russian nationalist leaders, and was instrumental in the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union in December of that year. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the RSFSR became the Russian Federation, an independent state. Through that transition, Yeltsin remained in office as president. He was later reelected in the 1996 election, which was claimed by critics to be pervasively corrupt. Yeltsin transformed Russia's command economy into a capitalist market economy by implementing economic shock therapy, market exchange rate of the ruble, nationwide privatization, and lifting of price controls. Economic downturn, volatility and inflation ensued. Amid the economic shift, a small number of oligarchs obtained a majority of the national property and wealth, while international monopolies came to dominate the market. A constitutional crisis emerged in 1993 after Yeltsin ordered the unconstitutional dissolution of the Russian parliament, leading parliament to impeach him. The crisis ended after troops loyal to Yeltsin stormed the parliament building and stopped an armed uprising; he then introduced a new constitution which significantly expanded the powers of the president. After the crisis, Yeltsin governed the country in a rule by decree until 1994, as the Supreme Soviet of Russia was absent. Secessionist sentiment in the Russian Caucasus led to the First Chechen War, War of Dagestan, and Second Chechen War between 1994 and 1999. Internationally, Yeltsin promoted renewed collaboration with Europe and signed arms control agreements with the United States. Amid growing internal pressure, he resigned by the end of 1999 and was succeeded as president by his chosen successor, Vladimir Putin, whom he had appointed prime minister a few months earlier. He kept a low profile after leaving office and was accorded a state funeral upon his death in 2007. Domestically, he was highly popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s, although his reputation was damaged by the economic and political crises of his presidency, and he left office widely unpopular with the Russian population. He received praise and criticism for his role in dismantling the Soviet Union, transforming Russia into a representative democracy, and introducing new political, economic, and cultural freedoms to the country. Conversely, he was accused of economic mismanagement, corruption, and sometimes of undermining Russia's standing as a major world power.

Photo of Nikita Khrushchev

6. Nikita Khrushchev (1894 - 1971)

With an HPI of 83.74, Nikita Khrushchev is the 6th most famous Russian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 120 different languages.

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (15 April [O.S. 3 April] 1894 – 11 September 1971) was the first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers (premier) from 1958 to 1964. During his rule, Khrushchev stunned the communist world with his denunciation of his predecessor Joseph Stalin's crimes and embarked on a policy of de-Stalinization with his key ally Anastas Mikoyan. He sponsored the early Soviet space program and the enactment of moderate reforms in domestic policy. After some false starts, and a narrowly avoided nuclear war over Cuba, he conducted successful negotiations with the United States to reduce Cold War tensions. In 1964, the Kremlin leadership stripped him of power, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier. Khrushchev was born in 1894 in a village in western Russia. He was employed as a metal worker during his youth, and he was a political commissar during the Russian Civil War. Under the sponsorship of Lazar Kaganovich, he worked his way up the Soviet hierarchy. He supported Joseph Stalin's purges and approved thousands of arrests. In 1938, Stalin sent him to govern the Ukrainian SSR, and he continued the purges there. During what was known in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War, Khrushchev was again a commissar, serving as an intermediary between Stalin and his generals. Khrushchev was present at the defense of Stalingrad, a fact he took great pride in throughout his life. After the war, he returned to Ukraine before being recalled to Moscow as one of Stalin's close advisers. On 5 March 1953, Stalin's death triggered a power struggle in which Khrushchev emerged victorious upon consolidating his authority as First Secretary of the party's Central Committee. On 25 February 1956, at the 20th Party Congress, he delivered the "Secret Speech", which denounced Stalin's purges and ushered in a less repressive era in the Soviet Union. His domestic policies, aimed at bettering the lives of ordinary citizens, were often ineffective, especially in agriculture. Hoping eventually to rely on missiles for national defense, Khrushchev ordered major cuts in conventional forces. Despite the cuts, Khrushchev's time in office saw the tensest years of the Cold War, culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Khrushchev enjoyed strong support during the 1950s thanks to major victories like the Suez Crisis, the launching of Sputnik, the Syrian Crisis of 1957, and the 1960 U-2 incident. By the early 1960s however, Khrushchev's popularity was eroded by flaws in his policies, as well as his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This emboldened his potential opponents, who quietly rose in strength and deposed him in October 1964. However, he did not suffer the deadly fate suffered by the losers of previous Soviet power struggles and was pensioned off with an apartment in Moscow and a dacha in the countryside. His lengthy memoirs were smuggled to the West and published in part in 1970. Khrushchev died in 1971 of a heart attack.

Photo of Nicholas II of Russia

7. Nicholas II of Russia (1868 - 1918)

With an HPI of 83.34, Nicholas II of Russia is the 7th most famous Russian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 102 different languages.

Nicholas II (Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov; 18 May [O.S. 6 May] 1868 – 17 July 1918) or Nikolai II was the last reigning Emperor of Russia, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland from 1 November 1894 until his abdication on 15 March 1917. During his reign, Nicholas gave support to the economic and political reforms promoted by his prime ministers, Sergei Witte and Pyotr Stolypin. He advocated modernisation based on foreign loans and close ties with France, but resisted giving the new parliament (the Duma) major roles. Ultimately, progress was undermined by Nicholas's commitment to autocratic rule, strong aristocratic opposition and defeats sustained by the Russian military in the Russo-Japanese War and World War I. By March 1917, public support for Nicholas had collapsed and he was forced to abdicate, thereby ending the Romanov dynasty's 304-year rule of Russia (1613–1917). Nicholas signed the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907, which was designed to counter Germany's attempts to gain influence in the Middle East; it ended the Great Game of confrontation between Russia and the British Empire. He aimed to strengthen the Franco-Russian Alliance and proposed the unsuccessful Hague Convention of 1899 to promote disarmament and peacefully solve international disputes. Domestically, he was criticised for his government's repression of political opponents and his perceived fault or inaction during the Khodynka Tragedy, anti-Jewish pogroms, Bloody Sunday and the violent suppression of the 1905 Russian Revolution. His popularity was further damaged by the Russo-Japanese War, which saw the Russian Baltic Fleet annihilated at the Battle of Tsushima, together with the loss of Russian influence over Manchuria and Korea and the Japanese annexation of the south of Sakhalin Island. During the July Crisis, Nicholas supported Serbia and approved the mobilisation of the Russian Army on 30 July 1914. In response, Germany declared war on Russia on 1 August and its ally France on 3 August, starting World War I. The severe military losses led to a collapse of morale at the front and at home; a general strike and a mutiny of the garrison in Petrograd sparked the February Revolution and the disintegration of the monarchy's authority. After abdicating himself and on behalf of his son, Nicholas and his family were imprisoned by the Russian Provisional Government and exiled to Siberia. After the Bolsheviks seized power in the October Revolution, the family was held in Yekaterinburg, where they were executed on 17 July 1918. In 1981, Nicholas, his wife, and their children were recognised as martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, based in New York City. Their gravesite was discovered in 1979, but this was not acknowledged until 1989. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the remains of the imperial family were exhumed, identified by DNA analysis, and re-interred with an elaborate state and church ceremony in St. Petersburg on 17 July 1998, exactly 80 years after their deaths. They were canonised in 2000 by the Russian Orthodox Church as passion bearers. In the years following his death, Nicholas was reviled by Soviet historians and state propaganda as a "callous tyrant" who "persecuted his own people while sending countless soldiers to their deaths in pointless conflicts". Despite being viewed more positively in recent years, the majority view among historians is that Nicholas was a well-intentioned yet poor ruler who proved incapable of handling the challenges facing his nation.

Photo of Ivan the Terrible

8. Ivan the Terrible (1530 - 1584)

With an HPI of 82.61, Ivan the Terrible is the 8th most famous Russian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 98 different languages.

Ivan IV Vasilyevich (Russian: Иван IV Васильевич; 25 August 1530 – 28 March [O.S. 18 March] 1584), commonly known as Ivan the Terrible, was Grand Prince of Moscow and all Russia from 1533, and Tsar of all Russia from 1547 until his death in 1584. He was the first Russian monarch to be crowned as tsar. Ivan IV was the eldest son of Vasili III by his second wife Elena Glinskaya, and a grandson of Ivan III and Sophia Palaiologina. He succeeded his father after his death, when he was three years old. A group of reformers united around the young Ivan, crowning him the tsar of all Russia in 1547 at the age of 16. Ivan's reign was characterised by Russia's transformation from a medieval state to an empire under a tsar, but at an immense cost to its people, and long-term economy. In the early years of his reign, Ivan ruled with the group of reformers known as the Chosen Council and established the Zemsky Sobor, a new assembly convened by the tsar. He also revised the legal code and introduced reforms, including elements of local self-government, as well as establishing the first Russian standing army, the streltsy. Ivan conquered the khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan, and significantly expanded the territory of Russia. After he had consolidated his power, Ivan rid himself of the advisers from the Chosen Council and triggered the Livonian War, which ravaged Russia and resulted in failure to take control over Livonia and the loss of Ingria, but allowed him to establish greater autocratic control over the Russian nobility, which he violently purged using Russia's first political police, the oprichniki. The later years of Ivan's reign were marked by the massacre of Novgorod and the burning of Moscow by the Tatars. Ivan pursued cultural improvements, such as importing the first printing press to Russia. He also began several processes that would continue for centuries, including deepening connections with other European states, particularly England, fighting wars against the Ottoman Empire, and the gradual conquest of Siberia. Contemporary sources present disparate accounts of Ivan's complex personality. He was described as intelligent and devout, but also prone to paranoia, rage, and episodic outbreaks of mental instability that worsened with age. Historians generally believe that in a fit of anger, he murdered his eldest son and heir, Ivan Ivanovich; he might also have caused the miscarriage of the latter's unborn child. This left his younger son, the politically ineffectual Feodor Ivanovich, to inherit the throne, a man whose rule and subsequent childless death led directly to the end of the Rurik dynasty and the beginning of the Time of Troubles.

Photo of Kim Jong-il

9. Kim Jong-il (1941 - 2011)

With an HPI of 79.58, Kim Jong-il is the 9th most famous Russian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 110 different languages.

Kim Jong Il (; Korean: 김정일; Korean pronunciation: [kim.dzɔŋ.il]; also transcribed as Kim Jong-il and born Yuri Irsenovich Kim; 16 February 1941 or 1942 – 17 December 2011) was a North Korean politician who was the second supreme leader of North Korea. He led North Korea from the death of his father Kim Il Sung in 1994 until his own death in 2011, when he was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong Un. Afterwards, Kim Jong Il was declared Eternal General Secretary of the WPK. In the early 1980s, Kim had become the heir apparent for the leadership of North Korea, thus being established the Kim dynasty, and he assumed important posts in party and army organs. Kim succeeded his father and founder of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, following his death in 1994. Kim was the General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), WPK Presidium, Chairman of the National Defence Commission (NDC) of North Korea and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army (KPA), the fourth-largest standing army in the world. Kim ruled North Korea as a repressive and totalitarian dictatorship. Kim assumed leadership during a period of catastrophic economic crisis amidst the dissolution of the Soviet Union, on which it was heavily dependent for trade in food and other supplies, which brought a famine. While the famine had ended by the late 1990s, food scarcity continued to be a problem throughout his tenure. Kim strengthened the role of the military by his Songun ("military-first") policies, making the army the central organizer of civil society. Kim's rule also saw tentative economic reforms, including the opening of the Kaesong Industrial Park in 2003. In April 2009, North Korea's constitution was amended to refer to him and his successors as the "supreme leader of the DPRK". The most common colloquial title given to Kim during his lifetime was "Dear Leader" to distinguish him from his father Kim Il Sung, the "Great Leader". Following Kim's failure to appear at important public events in 2008, foreign observers assumed that Kim had either fallen seriously ill or died. On 19 December 2011, the North Korean government announced that he had died two days earlier, whereupon his third son, Kim Jong Un, was promoted to a senior position in the ruling WPK and succeeded him. After his death, alongside "Eternal General Secretary" of the WPK, Kim Jong Il was declared "Eternal Chairman" of the now defunct National Defence Commission, in keeping with the tradition of establishing eternal posts for the dead members of the Kim dynasty. North Korean media also began referring to Kim as "the General" (Changun), similar to his father's posthumous designation as "the [eternal] President".

Photo of Alexander I of Russia

10. Alexander I of Russia (1777 - 1825)

With an HPI of 78.54, Alexander I of Russia is the 10th most famous Russian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 85 different languages.

Alexander I (Russian: Александр I Павлович, romanized: Aleksandr I Pavlovich, IPA: [ɐlʲɪkˈsandr ˈpavləvʲɪtɕ]; 23 December [O.S. 12 December] 1777 – 1 December [O.S. 19 November] 1825), nicknamed "the Blessed", was Emperor of Russia from 1801, the first king of Congress Poland from 1815, and the grand duke of Finland from 1809 to his death in 1825. He was the eldest son of Emperor Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. The son of Grand Duke Paul Petrovich, later Paul I, Alexander succeeded to the throne after his father was murdered. He ruled Russia during the chaotic period of the Napoleonic Wars. As prince and during the early years of his reign, Alexander often used liberal rhetoric, but continued Russia's absolutist policies in practice. In the first years of his reign, he initiated some minor social reforms and (in 1803–04) major liberal educational reforms, such as building more universities. Alexander appointed Mikhail Speransky, the son of a village priest, as one of his closest advisors. The Collegia were abolished and replaced by the State Council, which was created to improve legislation. Plans were also made to set up a parliament and sign a constitution. Alexander also was hostile towards European powers. Unlike his predecessors who tried to westernize Russia so it could compete with European nations, Alexander was a Russian nationalist and Slavophilist who wanted Russia to develop on the basis of Russian culture rather than European. The Slavophilism policy still remains the main foreign policy in Russia to this day. In foreign policy, he changed Russia's position towards France four times between 1804 and 1812 among neutrality, opposition, and alliance. In 1805 he joined Britain in the War of the Third Coalition against Napoleon, but after suffering massive defeats at the battles of Austerlitz and Friedland, he switched sides and formed an alliance with Napoleon by the Treaty of Tilsit (1807) and joined Napoleon's Continental System. He fought a small-scale naval war against Britain between 1807 and 1812 as well as a short war against Sweden (1808–09) after Sweden's refusal to join the Continental System. Alexander and Napoleon hardly agreed, especially regarding Poland, and the alliance collapsed by 1810. Alexander's greatest triumph came in 1812 when Napoleon's invasion of Russia proved to be a catastrophic disaster for the French. As part of the winning coalition against Napoleon, he gained territory in Finland and Poland. He formed the Holy Alliance to suppress revolutionary movements in Europe which he saw as immoral threats to legitimate Christian monarchs. He also helped Austria's Klemens von Metternich in suppressing all national and liberal movements. During the second half of his reign, Alexander became increasingly arbitrary, reactionary, and fearful of plots against him; as a result he ended many of the reforms he made earlier. He purged schools of foreign teachers, as education became more religiously driven as well as politically conservative. Speransky was replaced as advisor with the strict artillery inspector Aleksey Arakcheyev, who oversaw the creation of military settlements. Alexander died of typhus in December 1825 while on a trip to southern Russia. He left no legitimate children, as his two daughters died in childhood. Neither of his brothers wanted to become emperor. After a period of great confusion (that presaged the failed Decembrist revolt of liberal army officers in the weeks after his death), he was succeeded by his younger brother, Nicholas I.

Pantheon has 538 people classified as politicians born between 95 BC and 1999. Of these 538, 156 (29.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Vladimir Putin, Sergey Lavrov, and Dmitry Medvedev. The most famous deceased politicians include Vladimir Lenin, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Peter the Great. As of April 2022, 124 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Irina Godunova, Platon Zubov, and Princess Olga Paley.

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