Russian is the largest and most widely spoken Slavic language in the world. With over 250 million first and second language speakers it easily lands in the top ten for most spoken languages in the world as well. Unlike most of its European and Asian neighbors, Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet and is relatively standardized across the Russian territories. Materials for learning Russian are not as abundant as the Romance languages and English native speakers will find some more difficult grammar to deal with initially. However, this world language has a long history of producing great writers, thinkers, rulers, revolutionaries, and scientists.
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Catherine the Great
This woman ruled Russia for 34 years between 1762 and 1796. Her reign is known as the Russian Golden Age.
Tolstoy is considered one of the all time greats in literature. His most famous works include Anna Karenina and War and Peace.
Ivan the Terrible
You have to be a pretty ruthless ruler to get a name like Ivan the Terrible.
Puskin is considered one of Russia's greatest literary treasures. Unfortunately, this poet and playwright died before his 40th birthday from wounds sustained during a duel.
Russian born and moved to the US around the time she was 20. Famous for writing Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.
One of the most famous and influential communists ever. He helped solidify the formation of the Soviet Union.
First human to travel into outer space.
Current President of Russia...for the second time.
This man invented the AK-47 assault rifle.
Peter the Great
Famous Russian ruler who grew both the geographical and cultural influence of greater Russia.
Wrote the famous works The Brothers Karamazov and also Crime and Punishment.