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    17 Unusual And Beautiful Russian Baby Names

    Not as difficult to pronounce as you may think.

    1.

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    Meaning: Foreign, from the Greek word barbaros.

    Informal version: Varya

    This is the Russian form of "Barbara". Varvara Stepanova was a widely influential artist, associated with the Constructivist movement.

    2.

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    Meaning: Defender, from the Latin Alexius.

    Informal version: Aloysha

    It rhymes with "hay" or "stay". Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov was a nobel prize winner.

    3.

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    Meaning: Literally the Russian word for "faith".

    This is a name for a girl destined for a place in fashion: Vera Wang is a prominent designer and Veruschka (a variant form of Vera) was an iconic supermodel in the 1960s.

    4.

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    Meaning: Lion, as this is the Russian variation of the Persian name Aslan.

    Informal version: Rusya

    Ruslan is the name of the male protagonist in the epic poem by Pushkin, "Ruslan and Ludmila".

    5.

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    Meaning: Serenity

    Informal version: Galya

    This name stems from Galine, the Greek goddess of calm seas.

    6.

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    Meaning: Unconquerable

    Informal version: Nika, Kosha

    Nikita is predominantly used as a boys' name in Russia, but has been used as a girls' name too since the 20th century.

    7.

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    Meaning: Life.

    Informal version: Zosha

    Zoya is the Russian form of "Zoe". It's also a really popular name in Arabic, meaning there are a lot of successful Zoyas in every part of the world.

    8.

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    Meaning: "My God is He", as it derives from the Hebrew name "Elijah".

    Ilya Prigogine was a Nobel Prize winning physicist and Ilya Repin was a renowned realist painter, whose art you've probably already seen.

    9.

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    Meaning: Pearl or Daisy

    Informal version: Rita

    This is the name of one of the main characters in Mikhail Bulgakov's literary masterpiece The Master and Margarita. Also, a delicious alcoholic drink.

    10.

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    Meaning: Unsuprisingly, it means "citizen of Rome".

    Informal version: Roma

    It's pronounced with a short "ro" sound, so "Roh-mahn", not "Row-man". It's the name of many successful people, and also means "novel" both in Russian and in French.

    11.

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    Meaning: Unknown, but possibly derived from the Greek word "Phaenna", which means "shining".

    Informal version: Ina

    It's pronounced "Fah-ee-NAH", but if you're not sure, refer to this very catchy '90s song, that repeats the name several thousand times.

    12.

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    Meaning: In Russian it means "schismatic" but derives from the Greek word for a citizen of Rhodes.

    Informal version: Rodya

    Rodion Raskolnikov is the protagonist in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.

    13.

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    Meaning: Light

    Informal version: Alya, Inna

    It's pronounced "AH-leena", and it's a good name for a girl that loves to move and dance, as at least three of Russia's most accomplished ballerinas have been named Alina.

    14.

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    Meaning: Lion

    Informal version: Lyova, Leva

    This is the Russian form of "Leo". The most famous Lev is Tolstoy, who is considered one of the greatest writers of all time.

    15.

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    Meaning: Clear, bright and famous.

    This is a name that has several forms in different languages, but in Russian the "r" is rolled.

    16.

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    Meaning: From the Latin "Maximus", meaning "the greatest".

    Informal version: Max

    It's also the name of Men's fashion magazine, so of course anyone with this name is destined to be both powerful and stylish.

    17.

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    Meaning: "Born on Christmas day" or rebirth

    Informal version: Natasha

    The author of this article has absolutely no bias towards this name.

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