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17 Unusual And Beautiful Russian Baby Names

Not as difficult to pronounce as you may think.

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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.


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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.


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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".



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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.



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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.



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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.


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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.