The Top 10 Most Famous Russian Americans

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1. Sergey Brin

Key Speakers And General Views From The Google I/O 2012 Conference

Born in Moscow, this computer scientist went on to co-found the internet mega-corporation Google along with Larry Page. Brin immigrated to the United States with his family when he was just six years old in 1979, going on to study mathematics at the University of Maryland and earning his PhD in computer science from Stanford. With a net worth of around $30 billion, Brin remains the 20th richest person in the world, spending his time between his penthouse in Manhattan’s West Village and his home in Los Altos Hills, California.

2. Mila Kunis

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It might be a bad time to equate Ukrainian nationality to Russian, but while the iconic movie actress and That 70s Show star Mila Kunis was technically born in what is today Ukraine, at the time of her birth it was part of the Soviet Union. Born in the Ukrainian city of Chernivsti, Kunis immigrated to the States in 1991 at the age of seven years old. In fact, her college application essay began with this, “Imagine being blind and deaf at age seven,” referring to her lack of English upon her arrival and immediate entrance into elementary school. This experience is excruciating to most Russian-Americans, who find themselves in an alien world with a different culture and language. However, like most immigrants, Mila Kunis overcame the culture shock and language barriers to become one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood today, starring in hits such as Book of Eli, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and voicing the character of Meg Griffin in Family Guy.

3. Maria Sharapova

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Maria Sharapova was born in Nyagan, Russia. She found her way to Florida when her talent for tennis began drawing international focus. Sharapova turned pro in 2001 when she was just fourteen years old. Four years later she became the number one female tennis player in the world. Nowadays, Sharapova is ranked at the number two spot and is still contested for sponsorship by brands such as Nike, which has been with the young player since 1997.

4. Roman Abramovich

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Born in Saratov, Russia (of which he later became Governor) Abramovich rose from being an orphan to become a steel magnate, owner of the Chelsea football (soccer) team, and the private investment company Millhouse, LLC. Frequently appearing at the top of lists charting the world’s most extravagant spenders, Abramovich has built up the world’s most lavish fleet of mega-yachts. He also placed hundreds of millions into the most sought-after real estate in the world, including properties in Moscow, London, and New York. In January, Abramovich paid roughly $30 million for a town house in Manhattan’s Upper East Side from developer Larry Gluck, setting his sights on buying much of the whole city block.

Even though his citizenship remains Russian, the Kremlin prodigy’s acquisition of a New York City block is a sign of love for life in the U.S. Roman Abramovich recently stayed in New York City, mooring his incredible yacht Eclipse on the Hudson river in Manhattan. It was later confirmed that his wife gave birth to his 7th child while in New York. While this does not immediately give Mr Abramovich American citizenship, it does result in his son and possible future heir being an American, and subjects him to world wide tax on his possible future fortune.

5. Mikhail Prokhorov

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Born in Moscow, Prokhorov made his fortune in the precious metals industry, trading in nickel, palladium, and gold, thus becoming Russia’s third richest man. Not satisfied with his nearly $10 billion fortune, 6’8” Prokhorov became the first non-North American owner of an NBA team when he acquired the Brooklyn Nets (formerly known as the New Jersey Nets) in 2010. After his failed 2012 run for the Russian presidency, Prokhorov now spends his time in New York, watching over his NBA team.

6. Kristina Kovalenko

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This emigre socialite is actually royalty – the princess of the republic of Kabardino-Balker in the North Caucasus – and she is certainly living it up in New York City as such. Kovalenko parties in the best clubs in the city, including Avenue and 10ak, alongside the likes of Russian models such as Irina Shayk. Spending thousands of dollars a night, Kovalenko even has her own signature cocktail. The cocktail’s recipe is kept as a secret, though it is known to include Louis XIII Remy Martin cognac (going for $5,000 per bottle) and some grade-A apple juice. Now you know who to look out for when you’re out on the town in NYC. Just be careful you don’t spill her drink or you might lose a few thousand bucks.

7. Mikhail Baryshnikov

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Born in Riga, Latvia (then part of the Soviet Union) Baryshnikov is one of the world’s best ballet dancers. Not only that; he is widely hailed as one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century. Defecting from the Soviet Union in 1974, Baryshnikov found himself dancing for the American Ballet Theater and eventually becoming a director. He remains an inspiration to much of the professional dancing and choreographic world.

8. Anna Kournikova 

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Born in Moscow, Kournikova has become one of the most well-known tennis players in the worldShe has appeared in the media and television, especially in the form of reality TV shows such as The Biggest Loser, playing the role of a guest coach. Despite never winning a title, she placed 8th in the world at the height of her singles career, but 2nd in doubles. Sadly, Kournikova was forced to retire at 21 years old due to back injuries. She currently resides in Miami, Florida.

9. Milla JovovichMIlla Jovovich

Jovovich is the lively actress known for her role in the Resident Evil series. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, she began modeling at eleven years old and came to the United States when she was only five. Her breakthrough role came along as the powerful savior of the world in The Fifth Element, wrapped in only strips of white bandages, alongside a young Bruce Willis. Today, she spends her time between Los Angeles and New York City.

10. Olesya Rulin 

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Born in Moscow, Rulin is a Russian-American actress known for her roles in the High School Musical series. Rulin moved to the United States when she was eight years old along with her mother and brother. They were following her father (who had moved to the U.S. two years prior). She currently lives in Los Angeles.