I am so happy that you all are interested in this little niche fandom. It’s super weird and its real life (which I think is cool but it’s given many people an excuse to talk shit and call us horrible people). I am assuming that you have somewhat gotten past that, since you are cruising the ruspol tag. Anyways…
Most of y'all (myself included) got into ruspol initially because of the weird/interesting/horrible person that is Vladimir Putin. He is one of the world’s most powerful men, and he has one of the most interesting pasts and personalities to try and analyze and “figure out”. Of course, with Putin comes Medvedev, the most adorable bear in Russia. Of course, Putvedev is the ruspol OTP. Putvedev all the way. Anyway, there’s also Surkov, associated with Satan, sunflowers, Tupac, etc, etc.
I know there are other figures people love (mostly within the Kremlin aka part of the ruling party of people) like Mikhail Abyzov, Nikolai Nikiforov, Sergei Ivanov, what have you.
It’s important to know though (and it makes it even more interesting!) is that Russian politicians exist outside the ruling United Russia party. United Russia likes to degrade Opposition members by calling them middle class whiners who are useless and have no direction. While this may be true to some extent, this is a tactic used by the Kremlin to silence any opposing viewpoint. The Opposition is also not just one party, and it’s usually just used to refer to anyone outside of the United Russia party (which is still a super recent conglomerate party, but let’s not complicate this for the time being).
Anywayyyyy, what I’m getting at is that there are other figures to read about, enjoy, fawn over, or completely hate, depending. This includes but is by no means limited to:
most of you probably already know who Khodorkovsky is, but just in case, he used to be Russia’s richest man and an oligarch. For a while in the 90s he and the other oligarchs were pretty much running the country because Yeltsin was so sick. Then Putin locked him up in 2003 because he dared to expose corruption apparent in the Russian government. Khodorkovsky spent the next 10 years in jail, and was only released this past December as a gesture of “good will” by Putin, but it was most likely so Putin could patch up his shitty image before the Sochi olympics started. Also he’s super cute and super passionate about his country.
Nemtsov is currently a member of the Russian Opposition, but he used to be in higher offices back in the 90s. He started out as the governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region, and was even deputy prime minister of the Russian Federation for a hot second in 1998. Many thought Nemtsov was going to be picked as Yeltsin’s successor, but obviously Putin was eventually picked over Nemtsov. Since Putin took over, Nemtsov has been sequestered to an Opposition position, decrying Putin’s ways fromt he sidelines. Don’t get me wrong, Nemtsov is a HUGE asshole, always has been and always will be. But he’s also super hot, too, and has a bunch to say about the bullshit going on in Ukraine right now, so yeah, check him out. I post pics and other media of him fairly regularly.
I don’t profess to know much about Yashin, other ruspolers do know more than I do. He is pretty damn young though (30) and a co-founder of the Solidarity Party, a Russian Opposition Party formed in 2008 with the help of Boris Nemtsov, Gerry Kasparov, and others. He dated Ksenia Sobchak (daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, former mayor of St. Petersburg back in the 90s, although Ksenia has currently made a name for herself in her own right) for a while and both of them got attention as the Opposition poster couple. Since then, however, they have broken up.
I’m not sure what the rankings are now, but Prokhorov is definitely one of the richest men in modern day Russia. He owns an American basketball team among many other huge ass important companies in Russia. Prokhorov ran for the office of Prime Minister in 2012 on his own party’s ticket. Prokhorov often gets into trouble on account of the press-motivated idea that he is a womanizer. Back in like 2007 or so he got busted with a bunch of hookers at a ski lodge and he just didn’t give a fuck, because he’s rich as hell. There’s more than meets the eye to Prokhorov, though. He could just as easily take his billions and leave Russia forever, but he has decided to stay and help out his country, which is pretty damn admirable.
Navalny is propably the most well-known Opposition member, at least the most well known one to come about in the past 15 years or so. A lawyer by profession (I’m pretty sure, correct me if im wrong), Navalny has been running an opposition blog for years now, where he digs up dirts on russian politicians and find the sources of their corruption. In 2013, Navalny attempted to run for mayor of Moscow, and he very nearly won. The ruling party, United Russia would never ever accept an opposition member as the mayor of the country’s capital, so in a “democratic election”, Navalny’s opponent (and United Russia candidate) Sergei Sobyanin, won. Last year as well, Navalny was sentenced with a bullshit charge of corruption (don’t get me started on the Russian judicial system) and was put on probabtion for 5 years from doing pretty much anything political. When this crisis in Ukraine fired up, Navalny was very vocally against it. Currently, I believe Navalny is in jail for doing exactly what he was told not to do. He’s a firecracker, albeit kind of a dumb firecracker.
Other figures who are interesting and deserve attention (but this post is super long so imma just post pics and descriptions now. You can google them or msg me if you have any questions!) are:
Dmitry Gudkov-Duma member and former member of A Just Russia Party (although idk how his Duma memberships is affected by him getting ousted):
Ilya Ponomarev-Also a former A Just Russia member, Duma member, and vocal opposer of Putin and his regime:
Anatoly Chubais- Once a huge mover and shaker in Russia in the 90s (he co-started Russia’s mass privatization after the Soviet Union collapse), Chubais is now the CEO of Rusnano, a government owned company specializing in nanotechnology. Chubais has no fucks to give at this point:
aaaand my personal favorite,
Yevgeny Roizman- co-founder of an anti-drug foundation and former convict, now mayor of Russia’s 4th largest city, Yekaterinburg. Roizman is a historian by profession, and has shied away from outright deposing Putin’s policies. Just an all around badass:
Obvs there are more people, but I felt the need to make this summary post to show that the Kremlin is the hub of ruspol, there is no doubt about that, but it is by no means the whole of ruspol. There are many figures to keep an eye on, some who used to be big, some who may have not yet reached their peak political period, and some non-politicians who dabble in politics. It’s a fascinating medley.
Again, any questions you can msg me. I don’t know all the things, but I can sure as hell try!