Famous people from Georgia
Here is a list of famous people from Georgia. Curious if anybody from Georgia made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.
Ketevan "Katie" Melua is a Georgian-British singer, songwriter and musician. She moved to Northern Ireland at the age of eight and then to England at fourteen. Melua is signed to the small Dramatico record label, under the management of composer Mike Batt, and made her musical debut in 2003. In 2006, she was the United Kingdom's best-selling female artist and Europe's highest selling European female artist. In November 2003, at the age of nineteen, Melua released her first album, Call off the Search, which reached the top of the United Kingdom album charts and sold 1.8 million copies in its first five months of release. Her second album, Piece by Piece, was released in September 2005 and to date has gone platinum four times. Melua released her third studio album Pictures in October 2007. According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2008, Melua has a fortune of £18 million, making her the seventh richest British musician under thirty. It was reported in 2009 that she may have lost millions as a result of the global economic downturn. As of May 2011, Melua could have a £12m fortune and she came second in the under 30 rich list.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky was a Russian and Soviet poet, playwright, artist and stage and film actor. He is among the foremost representatives of early-20th century Russian Futurism.
Aram Khachaturian was a Soviet Armenian composer. Alongside Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich, Khachaturian is sometimes called one of the three "titans" of Soviet music. He is also considered "one of the major musicians" of the 20th century. Khachaturian's works were often influenced by classical European music and Armenian folk music. Born in Tiflis to an Armenian family, Khachaturian moved to Moscow at the age of 19. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1934. Khachaturian is famous for the Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia from his ballet Spartacus, and for the "Sabre Dance" from his ballet Gayane and the adagio from the same ballet, much used in films and TV series around the world.
Mikheil Saakashvili is a Georgian politician, the third President of Georgia and leader of the United National Movement Party. Involved in national politics since 1995, he became president on 25 January 2004 after President Eduard Shevardnadze resigned in the November 2003 bloodless "Rose Revolution" led by Saakashvili and his political allies, Nino Burjanadze and Zurab Zhvania. He was re-elected in the Georgian presidential election on 5 January 2008. He is widely regarded as a pro-NATO and pro-West leader who spearheaded a series of political and economic reforms. In 2010, he had a 67% approval rating despite being criticized by the opposition for his alleged authoritarian tendencies and electoral fraud. Some non-Georgian sources spell Saakashvili's first name via the Russian version of the name Mikhail. In Georgia, he is commonly known as Misha, a hypocorism for Mikheil. On 2 October 2012, Saakashvili admitted defeat in Georgia's parliamentary election against Bidzina Ivanishvili in the election the day before.
Kakhaber "Kakha" Kaladze is a Georgian politician and retired footballer. He played for the Georgia national team from 1996 to 2011. He was voted Georgian Footballer of the Year in 2001–2003, and 2006 and is considered as one of Georgia's most important players. Kaladze started his football career in 1993 at Umaglesi Liga club Dinamo Tbilisi and made 82 appearances in a five-year spell. In 1998, he moved to the Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv and made 71 appearances until 2001, when he was signed by the Italian Serie A club AC Milan. To the date he has won one Serie A, three Ukrainian Premier League and five Umaglesi Liga titles. With Milan he won the Champions League on two occasions, the UEFA Super Cup once and the FIFA Club World Cup once. After captaining his country 50 times in 84 appearances, Kaladze announced his retirement from the Georgian national team on 11 December 2011. Born in Samtredia, a town in Imereti Province, Kaladze comes from a footballing family as his father played for Lokomotiv Samtredia and was also president of the team for some time. His brother was kidnapped in a high profile case in 2001 and officially declared dead in 2006 resulting in two men being sentenced to prison for a combined total of 30 years. Outside of football he owns a company called Kala Capital and an organisation called Kala Foundation as well as being an ambassador for SOS Children's Villages. He is married and has one child.
Pop rock Artist
Valeriy Shotayevich Meladze is a Russian singer of Georgian descent. He is the brother of composer and producer Konstantin Meladze, who writes songs for him.
Eduard Ambrosis dze Shevardnadze is a former Soviet minister of foreign affairs, and later, Georgian statesman from the height to the end of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party, from 1972 to 1985, and as the President of independent Georgia from 1992 to 2003. Shevardnadze was responsible for many top decisions on Soviet foreign policy in the Gorbachev Era. He was forced to retire in 2003 as a consequence of the bloodless Rose Revolution. Shevardnadze's political career started in the late 1940s as a leading member of his local Komsomol organisation. He was later appointed its Second Secretary, and even First Secretary. His rise up the Georgian Soviet hierarchy continued until 1961 when he was demoted after he insulted a senior official. After spending two years in obscurity, Shevardnadze returned as a First Secretary of a Tbilisi city district, and was able to charge the Tbilisi First Secretary at the time for corruption. His anti-corruption work quickly garnered the interest of the Soviet government, and Shevardnadze was appointed to First Deputy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Georgian SSR. He would later become the head of the internal affairs ministry and was able to charge First Secretary Vasil Mzhavanadze for corruption charges.
Tigran Petrosian was a Soviet Armenian grandmaster, and World Chess Champion from 1963 to 1969. He was nicknamed "Iron Tigran" due to his almost impenetrable defensive playing style, which emphasised safety above all else. Petrosian was a Candidate for the World Championship on eight occasions. He won the world championship in 1963, successfully defended it in 1966, and lost it in 1969. Thus he was the defending World Champion or a World Championship candidate in ten consecutive three-year cycles. He won the Soviet Championship four times. Petrosian was recognised as the hardest player to beat in the history of chess by the authors of a 2004 book.
Tamar of Georgia
Tamar the Great, was the Queen Regnant of Georgia from 1184 to 1213, who presided over the apex of the Georgian Golden Age. A member of the Bagrationi dynasty, her position as the first woman to rule Georgia in her own right was emphasized by the title mep'e, commonly afforded to Tamar in the medieval Georgian sources. Tamar was proclaimed heir apparent and co-ruler by her reigning father George III in 1178, but she faced significant opposition from the aristocracy upon her ascension to full ruling powers after George's death. Tamar was successful in neutralizing this opposition and embarked on an energetic foreign policy aided by the decline of the hostile Seljuq Turks. Relying on a powerful military élite, Tamar was able to build on the successes of her predecessors to consolidate an empire which dominated the Caucasus until its collapse under the Mongol attacks within two decades after Tamar's death. Tamar was married twice, her first union being, from 1185 to 1187, to the Rus' prince Yuri, whom she divorced and expelled from the country, defeating his subsequent attempts at coup. For her second consort Tamar chose, in 1191, the Alan prince David Soslan, by whom she had two children, George and Rusudan, the two successive monarchs on the throne of Georgia.
Anna Tatishvili is a Georgian professional tennis player. Her highest WTA singles ranking is No. 50, which she reached on 8 October 2012. Her career high in doubles is 78, which she reached on October 31, 2011. In 2011, Tatishvili won her most highest ranked tournament of the ITF tour, winning the 2011 International Country Cuneo. Tatishvili reached the fourth round of the 2012 US Open, where she was defeated by world no. 1 Victoria Azarenka in straight sets, 2–6, 2–6.
Sergei Parajanov was Soviet Armenian film director and artist who made significant contributions to Ukrainian, Armenian and Georgian cinema. He invented his own cinematic style, which was totally out of step with the guiding principles of socialist realism. This, combined with his controversial lifestyle and behaviour, led Soviet authorities to repeatedly persecute and imprison him, and suppress his films. Although he started professional film-making in 1954, Parajanov later disowned all the films he made before 1964 as "garbage". After directing Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors Parajanov became something of an international celebrity and simultaneously a target of attacks from the system. Nearly all of his film projects and plans from 1965 to 1973 were banned, scrapped or closed by the Soviet film administrations, both local and federal, almost without discussion, until he was finally arrested in late 1973 on charges of rape, homosexuality and bribery. He was imprisoned until 1977, despite a plethora of pleas for pardon from various artists. Even after his release he was a persona non grata in Soviet cinema. It was not until the mid-1980s, when the political climate started to relax, that he could resume directing. Still, it required the help of influential Georgian actor Dodo Abashidze and other friends to have his last feature films greenlighted. His health seriously weakened by four years in labor camps and nine months in prison in Tbilisi, Parajanov died of lung cancer in 1990, at a time when, after almost 20 years of suppression, his films were being featured at foreign film festivals. "Everyone knows that I have three Motherlands. I was born in Georgia, worked in Ukraine and I'm going to die in Armenia." - Sergei Parajanov, 1988.
Grigol Ordzhonikidze was a Georgian Bolshevik, later member of the CPSU Politburo and close associate of Joseph Stalin. Ordzhonikidze, Stalin and Anastas Mikoyan comprised what was jokingly referred to as the "Caucasian Clique."
Zabit "Maugli" Samedov is an Azerbaijani kickboxer fighting out of Chinuk Gym in Minsk, Belarus.
Zaza Pachulia is a Georgian professional basketball who currently plays for Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. He was born as Zaur Pachulia, but his first name was legally changed to Zaza.
Diana Gudaevna Gurtskaya is a blind Georgian singer of Russian ethnicity who resides in Moscow, Russia. Following a failed attempt in Belarus the previous year Diana, on March 1, 2008, won the Georgian national final with 39.4% of the vote, therefore she represented Georgia at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade, Serbia. She won a place in the final at the second semi-final on May 22 and finished 11th. Gurtskaya has a number of awards to her credit. Most notably, a 2007 Russian Honorable Artist award given to her by president Vladimir Putin, a Medal of Honor given to her by Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, and the Award of Saint Barbara in Ukraine amongst others. She has recorded duets with various well-known foreign singers including Ray Charles, Toto Cutugno, and Demis Roussos. In 2009, Gurtskaya received significant media attention after failing to obtain a visa from the British embassy due to her blindness. However, after a much publicised campaign, a visa was granted and the rules were changed. Gurtskaya is married to Pyotr Kucherenko, who is a sighted lawyer in Moscow, and they have one son, Konstantin.
Count Sergei Yulyevich Witte, also known as Sergius Witte, was a highly influential policy-maker who presided over extensive industrialization within the Russian Empire. He served under the last two emperors of Russia. He was also the author of the October Manifesto of 1905, a precursor to Russia's first constitution, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Empire.
Shota Arveladze is a former Georgian professional football player and currently the manager of Kasımpaşa. He is Georgia’s all-time top scorer with 291 goals in his 410 league games for his clubs and 26 goals during his 61 games on the national team. Since 2010–11 season, he is the manager of Turkish side Kayserispor. Arveladze played at Dinamo Tbilisi, Trabzonspor, and Ajax, and finished at least one season as the top goal scorer at all three. When he led Trabzonspor in goals in 1995–96, he also led the Süper Lig, making him the second non-Turk to date to lead that league in goals after Tarik Hodžić 1983–84. He is recorded as "most loved foreign player" for Trabzonspor supporters. Arveladze joined Rangers from Ajax for £2 million in 2001. He scored the 300th goal in the SPL. He was part of the squad that won the domestic treble in 2002–03 and the double in 2004–05. He departed for Dutch side AZ on a free transfer in 2004–05. He was also a regular in the Georgian national team, and was the nation's all-time leading scorer. In 1993 he scored an effective first Euro Tournament goal in the history of independent Georgian Football in the match against Linfield, Northern Ireland. He is now retired from international football. His twin brother Archil also played international football for Georgia. Arveladze played football on a high level well into his thirties despite having to deal with chronic asthma his entire career. He ended his playing career on 22 May 2008 and joined AZ's coaching staff, under former Ajax coach Louis van Gaal. Shota's son Giorgi Arveladze, and is trying to follow his father's footsteps. He scored the most goals in the top leagues of different countries from the former Soviet Union. Shota is the top scorer of the Georgia national football team, and he was the top scorer in the Championships of both Turkey and the Netherlands.
Teymuraz Gabashvili is a tennis player from Russia. He was born in Georgia but moved to Moscow, Russia. Gabashvili reached the fourth round of the 2010 French Open and achieved a career-high singles ranking of world no. 59 in February 2009.
Shota Rustaveli was a Georgian poet of the 12th century, and one of the greatest contributors to Georgian literature. He is author of The Knight in the Panther's Skin, the Georgian national epic poem.
Georgi Kinkladze, also spelled as Georgiou, or Giorgi, or shortened to Gio, is a Georgian former footballer, who played as a playmaking midfielder. Born in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, his first professional club was Mretebi Tbilisi. In Georgia he won three league titles and two cups with Dinamo Tbilisi, and was named national player of the year twice. He first came to international prominence with his performances for the Georgian national team against Wales in 1994 and 1995. Kinladze transferred from Dinamo Tbilisi to English Premier League club Manchester City in 1995, where his dribbling ability and spectacular goals made him a cult hero, winning the club's Player of the Year award in two consecutive seasons. Kinkladze stayed with Manchester City despite relegation to the Football League First Division in 1996, but the club continued to decline, and after a second relegation in 1998 he joined Dutch champions Ajax. Kinkladze was unable to settle in the Netherlands, and returned to England with Derby County a little over a year later. He spent four years at Derby, making nearly 100 appearances. After leaving Derby in 2003, he became a journeyman footballer, having unsuccessful trials at several clubs before joining Cypriot club Anorthosis in 2004, where he won a league championship medal. He finished his playing career with Russian club Rubin Kazan in 2006.
Georgiy Daneliya is a Soviet/Georgian/Russian film director, who became known throughout the Soviet Union for his "sad comedies". Daneliya graduated from the Moscow Architecture Institute and worked as an architect. In 1956, he entered the Higher Director’s Courses at the Mosfilm Studio where his teachers were Mikhail Romm, Sergei Yutkevich, Leonid Trauberg, Yuli Raizman, and Mikhail Kalatozov. His 1964 feature I Step Through Moscow, starring Nikita Mikhalkov, is one of the most characteristic films of the Khrushchev Thaw. Among Daneliya's most popular movies are Mimino, about a Georgian pilot's adventures in Moscow, and The Autumn Marathon, about a translator vacillating between his wife and mistress. Mimino won the Golden Prize at the 10th Moscow International Film Festival. In 1986 he directed a sci-fi film, Kin-dza-dza!. In 1976, he was a member of the jury at the 26th Berlin International Film Festival. Most of his films featured his then-wife Lyubov Sokolova, whom the Guinness Book of Records cites as the most prolific film actress, and his friend Yevgeny Leonov. Daneliya was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1990.
Jano Ananidze is a Georgian footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for FC Rostov on loan from Spartak Moscow in the Russian Premier League.
Zviad Konstantines dze Gamsakhurdia was a dissident, scientist and writer, who became the first democratically elected President of Georgia in the post-Soviet era. Gamsakhurdia is the only Georgian President to have died whilst formally in office.
Yakov Iosifovich Dzhugashvili was one of Joseph Stalin's three children. Yakov was the son of Stalin's first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze. He served in the Red Army during the Second World War, and was captured, or surrendered, in the initial stages of the German invasion of the USSR. While there has been dispute over the circumstances of his death, historians currently believe that he was killed in a German camp.
Akim Mikhailovich Tamiroff was an ethnic Armenian actor. He won the first Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Tina Kandeláki is a Georgian-born Russian journalist, public figure, TV presenter and producer. A co-owner of the Apostol company.
Nikolay Tsiskaridze PAR, also spelled Ziskaridze, is a premier dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet. Ethnically Georgian, he was born in Tbilisi on 31 December 1973. He joined the Moscow Ballet School in 1987 and was admitted into the Bolshoi Ballet in 1991. After winning applause of true ballet legends Galina Ulanova, Marina Semyonova and Yuri Grigorovich, he became the youngest person to be named a People's Artist of Russia. He received the State Prize of the Russian Federation in 2001 and 2003 and the Prix Benois de la Danse in 1999. In 1992 Tsiskaridze joined the ballet company of the Bolshoi Theater . The then artistic director Yuri Grigorovich saw Nikolai at the graduation exam and said: “This Georgian, we take him.” At the theater he had the good fortune to enter the class of prominent ballerina Marina Semyonova. The legendary Galina Ulanova also assisted him, and as Nikolai says, became his second mother. She taught him to give meaning to every single movement and gesture and to fill the dance with emotion. “Don’t shout with your hands when dancing a prince.”, she used to say. “A noble man only needs to bow his head to make his wish fulfilled immediately.”
Nodar David Kumaritashvili was a Georgian luger who suffered a fatal crash during a training run for the 2010 Winter Olympics competition in Whistler, Canada, on the day of the opening ceremony. He became the fourth athlete to have died during Winter Olympics preparations, after British luger Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypeski, Australian skier Ross Milne, and Swiss speed skier Nicolas Bochatay, and the sixth athlete to die in either a Summer or Winter Olympic Games. Kumaritashvili, who first began to luge when he was 13, came from a family of seasoned lugers; a relative of his was the founder of organised sledding Georgia, and his father competed when he was younger. A cousin of Kumaritashvili on his father's side was the head of the Georgian Luge Federation; Kumaritashvili himself began competing in the 2008–09 Luge World Cup, where he finished 55th out of 62 racers. Outside of luge, Kumaritashvili had been a student at the Georgian Technical University, where he earned an economics degree in 2009.
Niko Pirosmani was a Georgian primitivist painter.
Aleksei Alekseevich Brusilov was a Russian general most noted for the development of new offensive tactics used in the 1916 Brusilov Offensive. The innovative and relatively successful tactics used were later copied by the Germans. His war memoirs were translated into English and published in 1930 as A Soldier's Notebook, 1914–1918.
Vakhtang "Buba" Kikabidze is a Georgian and Soviet singer, actor, screenwriter, producer, and composer. He performed in a number of films, among them the main role of a helicopter pilot in the iconic Soviet film Mimino. The son of a Princess Manana Bagration-Davitashvili, Kikabidze was born in Tbilisi. He is a People's Artist of Georgia, has been awarded the USSR State Prize and the Order of the King Vakhtang Gorgasali as well as of Nikolai Wondermonger and Knight Cross of St. Konstantin the Great. He was also acknowledged by a number of various music contests and film festivals in the Soviet Union, Georgia and worldwide. In 1999, his star was embedded on the "Star Square" in Moscow. Apart from Mimino, Kikabidze also performed in a number of other films, including "Don't be Sad", "Melodies of Veriski Quarter", and "Completely Lost". His last film, "Fortune", was directed by the famous Georgian and Soviet film director Georgi Daneliya in 2000. As a screenwright and director, Kikabidze produced two feature films: "Be Well, Dearest One", which received the top award at the International Comedy Festival in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, and "Men and All Others".
Gia Alexandrovich Kancheli is a Georgian composer resident in Belgium. Since 1991, Kancheli has lived in Western Europe: first in Berlin, and since 1995 in Antwerp, where he is composer-in-residence for the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.
Film score Artist
Mikael Tariverdiev was a prominent Soviet composer of Armenian descent. He headed the Composers' Guild of Soviet Cinematographers' Union from its inception.
Temuri "Temur" Ketsbaia is a Georgian football manager and former player. As a player he represented the Georgian national team and played for Dinamo Tbilisi, Anorthosis, AEK, Newcastle United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Dundee. Ketsbaia is often regarded as having played a major role in the revival of Anorthosis and he enjoys iconic status at the Cypriot club, since in his time there he elevated the team to the most successful era in its history. Anorthosis in 2010 decided to retire his number 14, recognising his services.
Konstantin Shotayevich Meladze, is a composer and producer of Georgian descent. He is the older brother of singer Valery Meladze and co-founder and co-producer of the Russian/Ukrainian girl group Nu Virgos.
Levan Kenia is a Georgian footballer who currently plays for German club Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Sayat-Nova Armenian: Հարություն Սայադյան, Georgian: არუთიუნ საიათიანი; 1712 or 1722 – 22 September 1795), was an Armenian poet, musician and, ashik who had compositions in a number of languages.
David IV of Georgia
David IV, also known as David the Builder, of the Bagrationi dynasty, was a king of Georgia from 1089 until his death in 1125. Popularly considered to be the greatest and most successful Georgian ruler in history, he succeeded in driving the Seljuk Turks out of the country, winning the major Battle of Didgori in 1121. His reforms of the army and administration enabled him to reunite the country and bring most of the lands of the Caucasus under Georgia’s control. A friend of the church and a notable promoter of Christian culture, he was canonized by the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Vladimer "Lado" Dvalishvili is a Georgian footballer, currently playing in the Ekstraklasa for Legia Warsaw.
Tamta Goduadze, known professionally as simply Tamta, is a Georgian pop singer, famous in Greece and Cyprus for her participation in Super Idol Greece, and for her later singles such as "Ftes",Agapw
Rouben Zachary Mamoulian was an Armenian American film and theatre director.
Otar Iosseliani is a Georgian-French film maker. He was born in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, where he studied at the State Conservatory and graduated in 1952 with a diploma in composition, conducting and piano. In 1953 he went to Moscow to study at the faculty of mathematics, but in two years he quit and entered the State Film Institute where his teachers were Alexander Dovzhenko and Mikhail Chiaureli. While still a student, he began working at the Gruziafilm studios in Tbilisi, first as an assistant director and then as an editor of documentaries. In 1958 he directed his first short film Akvarel. In 1961 he graduated from VGIK with a diploma in film direction. When his medium-length film Aprili was denied theatrical distribution, Iosseliani abandoned filmmaking and in 1963–1965 worked first as a sailor on a fishing boat and then at the Rustavi metallurgical factory. Aprili was finally released only in 1972. In 1966 he directed his first feature film Giorgobistve that was presented at the Critics' Week at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival and won a FIPRESCI award there. When his 1976 film Pastorali was shelved for a few years and then granted only a limited distribution, Iosseliani grew sceptical about getting any artistic freedom in his homeland. Following Pastorali's success at the 1982 Berlin Film Festival, the director moved to France where in 1984 he made Les Favoris de la Lune. The film was distinguished with a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. Since then Venice became a showcase for all his subsequent films.
Zurab Konstantines dze Tsereteli is a Georgian-Russian painter, sculptor and architect who holds the office of President of the Russian Academy of Arts.
Arkady "Badri" Patarkatsishvili was a Georgian businessman, who was also extensively involved in politics. He contested the 2008 Georgian presidential election and came third with 7.1% of the votes. Although his first name was Arkady, he was best known by the nickname "Badri".
Nadezhda Sergeevna Alliluyeva was the second wife of Joseph Stalin. Per a December 2012 RT documentary her grave stone says she died 11 September 1932. Nadezhda was the youngest child of Russian revolutionary Sergei Alliluyev, a railway worker, and his wife Olga, a woman of German, and Georgian ancestry who spoke Russian with a strong accent. Sergei Alliluyev, though Russian, had found work and a second home in the Caucasus. During Stalin's time of exile, the Alliluyev family was a source of assistance and refuge, and during 1917, Stalin lived from time to time in their apartment. Nadezhda first met Stalin as a child when her father, Sergei Alliluyev, sheltered him after one of his escapes from Siberian exile during 1911. She may have always been in love with the mysterious swarthy Georgian with the yellowish-colored eyes who saved her life from drowning when she was a child. After the revolution, Nadezhda worked as a confidential code clerk in Lenin's office. She eschewed fancy dress, makeup, and other trappings that she felt un-befitting of a proper Bolshevik. The couple married in 1919, when Stalin was already a 41-year-old widower and father of one son, born to his first wife, who died of typhus years earlier. Nadezhda and Joseph had two children together: Vasily, born in 1921, who became a fighter pilot at Stalingrad, and Svetlana, their daughter, born 1926.
Elena Marié Satine is a Georgian-born American film actress and singer.
Georgiy Ruslanovich Gongadze was a Ukrainian journalist of Georgian origin who was kidnapped and murdered in 2000. The circumstances of his death became a national scandal and a focus for protests against the government of the then President, Leonid Kuchma. During the Cassette Scandal, audiotapes were released on which Kuchma, Volodymyr Lytvyn and other top-level administration officials are allegedly heard discussing the need to silence Gongadze for his online news reports about high-level corruption. Former Interior Minister Yuriy Kravchenko died of two gunshots to the head on 4 March 2005, just hours before he was to begin providing testimony as a witness in the case. Kravchenko was the superior of the four policeman who were charged with Gongadze's murder soon after Kravchenko's death. The official ruling of suicide was doubted by media reports. Three former officials of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's foreign surveillance department and criminal intelligence unit accused of his murder were arrested in March 2005 and a fourth one in July 2009. A court in Ukraine sentenced Protasov to a sentence of 13 years and Kostenko and Popovych to 12-year terms March 2008 for the murder. Gongadze's family believe the trial had failed to bring the masterminds behind the killing to justice. No one has yet been charged with giving the order for Gongadze's murder.
Zurab Khizanishvili is a Georgian footballer who plays for Turkish club Kayserispor as a defender.
Nino Burjanadze is a Georgian politician and lawyer who served as Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia from November 2001 to June 2008. She has served as the acting head of state of Georgia twice; the first time from 23 November 2003 to 25 January 2004 in the wake of Eduard Shevardnadze's resignation during the Rose Revolution, and again from 25 November 2007 to 20 January 2008, when Mikheil Saakashvili stepped down to rerun in the early presidential elections. She withdrew into opposition to Saakashvili as the leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia party in 2008. In June 2013, she announced her intention to run for president in the October 2013 election.
Prince Ilia Chavchavadze was a Georgian writer, poet, journalist and lawyer who spearheaded the revival of the Georgian national movement in the second half of the 19th century, during the Russian rule of Georgia. Today he is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern Georgia. In 1987 he was canonized as Saint Ilia the Righteous by the Georgian Orthodox Church. Today, Georgians revere Chavchavadze as Pater Patriae of Georgia. Inspired by the contemporary liberal movements in Europe, as a writer and a public figure, Ilia Chavchavadze directed much of his efforts toward awakening national ideals in Georgians and to the creation of a stable society in his homeland. His most important literary works were: The Hermit, The Ghost, Otaraant Widow, Kako The Robber, Happy Nation, Latters of a Traveller and Is a man a human?!. He was editor-in-chief of the Georgian periodicals Sakartvelos Moambe and Iveria, and authored numerous articles for journals. Most of his work dealt with Georgia and Georgians. He was a devoted protector of the Georgian language and culture from Russification.
Ivan "Vano" Merabishvili is a Georgian politician and former Prime Minister of Georgia from 4 July to 25 October 2012. A former NGO activist, he became directly involved in Georgia's politics in 1999 and emerged as one of the government's most influential members after the 2003 Rose Revolution, especially as Georgia's Minister of Internal Affairs.
Fazil Abdulovich Iskander is an Abkhaz writer, known in the former Soviet Union for his descriptions of Caucasian life, mostly written in Russian. He has written various stories, most famously "Zashita Chika", which star a crafty and likable young boy named "Chik".
Georgi Demetradze is a retired Georgian international footballer. He was a striker.
Count Mikhail Tarielovich Loris-Melikov was a Russian-Armenian statesman, General of the Cavalry, and Adjutant General of H. I. M. Retinue. The Princes of Lori - Loris-Melikovs are the representatives of an old noble family whose ancestors in the 14th century owned the town of Lori and the province of the same name. They belonged to the top aristocratic society of Georgia. In Russian nobility the princely family of the Loris-Melikovs was approved in 1832.
Oksana Kalashnikova is a professional Georgian tennis player playing in the ITF Women's Circuit. On July 5, 2010, she reached her highest WTA singles ranking of 156. On August 12, 2013, she reached her highest WTA doubles ranking of 52. She is of Russian origin. In 2013, Kalashnikova won the Baku Cup doubles tournament alongside Irina Buryachok. After that, she and Alicja Rosolska reached the quarterfinals of the Canadian Open, a prestigious masters tournament serving as a warm-up for the US Open.
Rashid Behbudov was an Azerbaijani singer and actor. He sang in Azerbaijani, Russian, Persian, Turkish, Georgian, Hindi, Armenian, Urdu, and Bengali among other languages. Rashid Behbudov was born in Tiflis Tbilisi, Georgia in 1915. His father, Majid Behbudoglu, was a singer as well. From 1938 to 1944, Rashid moved to Armenia and worked at Yerevan State Philharmonia and Opera House, and in 1945, upon the invitation of Tofig Guliyev, Rashid Behbudov moved to Baku. In the same year, he was assigned the main role of Asgar in the film "Arshin Mal Alan" The Cloth Peddler, based on a play by Uzeyir Hajibeyov. His role in this film combined with his vocal skills brought him fame throughout Azerbaijan. In a short time, Behbudov became also prominent Azerbaijani pop singer. His combination of vocal masterpieces ranged from classical performances to lyrical songs. Behbudov's rare vocal talent gave him opportunity to travel beyond the "Iron Curtain" of the Soviet Union, and as a singer he toured with concert performances in several countries of the world, including Iran, Turkey, China, India, Japan, Argentina, and many other countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Viktor Hambardzumyan was a Soviet Armenian scientist, and one of the founders of theoretical astrophysics. He worked in the field of physics of stars and nebulae, stellar astronomy, dynamics of stellar systems and cosmogony of stars and galaxies, contributed to Mathematical physics. Hambardzumyan was the President of the International Astronomical Union from 1961 till 1964, was twice elected the President of the International Council of Scientific Unions, was a member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and foreign member of the Royal Society, the US National Academy and the Indian Academy of Sciences. Among his numerous awards are Stalin Prize, Hero of Socialist Labor, State Prize of the Russian Federation, Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Bruce Gold Medal from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, National Hero of Armenia. Hambardzumyan was the founder of Byurakan Observatory.
Elisabeth Leonskaja is a distinguished Russian pianist and teacher. She was born to a Russian family living in Tbilisi, then the capital of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. She gave her first concert at the age of eleven. In 1964 she began studies in the Moscow Conservatory. During her conservatory years she won prizes in the prestigious Enescu, Marguerite Long–Jacques Thibaud and Queen Elizabeth international piano competitions in Bucharest, Paris and Brussels. She left the Soviet Union in 1978 and has since then lived in Vienna. A notable recording of hers is of Edvard Grieg's piano transcriptions of Mozart's piano sonatas K. 545 and k. 533, accompanied by Sviatoslav Richter, with whom she built a close friendship and collaboration. She recorded many years for Teldec, now for German label MDG and gives many Masterclasses.
Tornike Shengelia is a Georgian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Springfield Armor of the NBA D-League, on assignment from the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA. He is nicknamed "Toko".
Alexander Iashvili is a Georgian football striker. He currently plays for Azerbaijani club Inter Baku.
Alexander Metreveli is a retired Georgian tennis player who represented the Soviet Union. He lives in Moscow. In 1962, aged 17, Metreveli lost 7–5 to Stanley Matthews in the Wimbledon Boys' Championship. Metreveli is best known for making the final at Wimbledon in 1973, where he lost to Jan Kodeš of Czechoslovakia. In that year 13 of the 16 seeded men had withdrawn from Wimbledon in protest at the suspension of Nikki Pilic by the Yugoslav tennis federation. He reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 9 and won 15 singles titles. Metreveli was a member of the Dynamo sports society. He competed in professional tour events during the 1970s.
Elene Gedevanishvili is a Georgian figure skater. She is a two-time European bronze medalist. In winning the medal in 2010, Gedevanishvili became the first skater from Georgia to medal at an ISU Championships. She competed at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics and has qualified for a third in 2014.
Marlen Martynovich Khutsiev is a Georgian-born Soviet and Russian filmmaker best known for his cult films from the 1960s, which include I Am Twenty and July Rain. He was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1986.
Vladimir Ivanovich Nemirovich-Danchenko was a Russian theatre director, writer, pedagogue, playwright, producer and theatre organizer, who founded the Moscow Art Theatre with his colleague, Konstantin Stanislavsky, in 1898.
Giorgi Chanturia is a Georgian footballer who plays as a winger for Eredivisie side Vitesse.
Zurab Zhvania was a Georgian politician, who served as Prime Minister of Georgia and Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia as well as Minister without Portfolio. Zhvania assumed premiership on 18 February 2004 and remained on the position until his death on 3 February 2005. Zurab Zhvania is the only Georgian Prime Minister to have died whilst in office.
Sergei Uasyl-ipa Bagapsh was the second President of the Republic of Abkhazia. He was Prime Minister from 1997 to 1999 and was later elected as President in 2005. He was re-elected in the 2009 presidential election. He died on May 29, 2011, at the age of 62, from complications of surgery.
Meliton Varlamovich Kantaria or Kantariya, Hero of the Soviet Union, was a Georgian sergeant of the Soviet Army credited to have together with M. A. Yegorov hoisted a Soviet flag Banner of Victory over the Reichstag on April 30, 1945.
Olympic Track and field Athlete
Hanna Anatoliïvna Melnychenko is a Ukrainian heptathlete. She was married to Italian decathlete William Frullani. She won the 2013 Decastar competition with 6308 points.
Narimanov Nariman Karbalayi Najaf oglu was an Azerbaijani revolutionary, writer, publicist, politician and statesman. In 1920, Narimanov headed the Soviet government of Azerbaijan, the Provisional Military-Revolutionary Committee, replacing Mirza Davud Huseynov, then he was the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars. In 1922, he was elected chairman of the Union Council of the Transcaucasian SFSR. He was also Party Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union from December 30, 1922, until the day of his death. Narimanov translated into Turkic Nikolai Gogol's The Government Inspector and wrote a large number of plays, stories, and novels, such as Bahadur and Sona. He was also the author of the historical trilogy Nadir-Shah. The district in Greater Baku, Azerbaijan Medical University and metro station in Baku are named after him. In the Lankaran region there is a town named Narimanabad in his honour. There are cities named after him also in other Post-Soviet states, mainly in Russia.
Ben Lovett is a current American recording artist, film composer, songwriter and producer from Georgia. Lovett is the founder of record label, Lovers Label. Previous work includes recording and producing musical projects, Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves with Chris Wollard, and Heavens with Matt Skiba. Lovett has won several awards, including Best Score at The Brooklyn International Film Festival for The Last Lullaby in 2009, and Best Score for "Ghost Of Old Highways" at the Madrid International Film Festival and the Charlotte Film Festival in 2012.
Alexander Andreyevich Prokhanov is a Soviet and Russian writer. He is a member of the secretariat of the Writers Union of the Russian Federation and the editor-in-chief of Russia's most important extremely right wing newspaper "Завтра".
Nina Ananiashvili is a Georgian ballerina and artistic director of the State Ballet of Georgia.
Viktor Saneyev is a retired triple jumper, who competed internationally for the USSR and won four Olympic medals; three golds and one silver. He was born in Sukhumi, Georgian SSR. He dominated the event during the late 1960s and 1970s. Saneyev trained in Sukhumi and later in Tbilisi at Dynamo.
Vazha-Pshavela is the pen-name of the Georgian poet and writer Luka P. Razikashvili, a classic of the new Georgian literature.
Olympic Freestyle wrestler
Besik Seradinovich Kudukhov is a Russian freestyle wrestler of Ossetian descent. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he won bronze in his category. He was considered to be the best pound for pound wrestler in the world in 2011-2012. Besik was recently beaten by Puerto Rican Franklin Gómez at pre-olympic tournament in Germany. However, Kudukhov defeated Gómez during the first round at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He lost the Olympic final to Azeri Toghrul Asgarov.
Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia
Grand Duke Alexander Mihailovich of Russia, Александр Михайлович Aleksandr Mihailovich was a dynast of the Russian Empire, a naval officer, an author, explorer, the brother-in-law of Emperor Nicholas II and advisor to him.
Khatia Buniatishvili is a Georgian concert pianist.
Levan Mchedlidze is a Georgian professional football player who is currently playing with Italian club Empoli.
Giorgi "Kochag" Shermadini or Georgi Shermadini is a Georgian professional basketball player who last played for Olympiacos of the Greek Basketball League and the Euroleague. He was born in the village of Natakhtari, in the then Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic on April 2, 1989. He is 2.16 m in height and he plays at the center position. His coach Khukashvili named him Shermadini.
Nikoloz Tskitishvili is a Georgian professional basketball player. He is a 7'0", 245 lb. forward-center, who was selected 5th overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2002 NBA Draft.
Manuchar Markoishvili is a Georgian professional basketball player who plays for Galatasaray Liv Hospital in the Turkish Basketball League and the Eurocup.
Nino Katamadze is a Georgian jazz singer and artist.
Stepan Gevorgi Shahumyan was a Bolshevist Russian Communist politician and revolutionary active throughout the Caucasus. Shahumyan was an ethnic Armenian and his role as a leader of the Russian revolution in the Caucasus earned him the nickname of the "Caucasian Lenin", a reference to the leader of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Lenin. Although the founder and editor of several newspapers and journals, Shahumyan is best known as the head of the Baku Commune, a short lived committee appointed by Lenin in March 1918 with the enormous task of leading the revolution in the Caucasus and West Asia. His tenure as leader of the Baku Commune was marred with numerous problems including ethnic violence between Baku’s Armenian and Azerbaijani populations, attempting to defend the city against an advancing Turkish army, all the while attempting to spread the cause of the revolution throughout the region. Unlike many of the other Bolsheviks at the time however, he preferred to resolve many of the conflicts he faced peacefully, rather than with force and terror.
Heraclius II of Georgia
Heraclius II, or Erekle II was a Georgian monarch of the Bagrationi Dynasty, reigning as the king of Kakheti from 1744 to 1762, and of Kartli and Kakheti from 1762 until 1798. In the contemporary Persian sources he is referred to as Erekli Khan, while Russians knew him as Iraklij. His name is frequently transliterated in a Latinized form Heraclius because both names Erekle and Irakli are Georgian versions of this Greek name. The penultimate king of the united kingdoms of Kakheti and Kartli in eastern Georgia, his reign is regarded as the swan song of the Georgian monarchy. Aided by his personal abilities and the unrest in the Persian Empire, Heraclius established himself as a de facto independent ruler and attempted to modernize the government, economics, and military. Overwhelmed by the internal and external menaces to Georgia’s precarious independence and its temporary hegemony in eastern Transcaucasia, he placed his kingdom under the formal Russian protection in 1783, but the move did not prevent Georgia from being devastated by the Persian invasion in 1795. Heraclius died in 1798, leaving the throne to his moribund heir, George XII.
Aslan Abashidze was the leader of the Ajarian Autonomous Republic in western Georgia from 1991 to May 5, 2004. He resigned under the pressure of the central Georgian government and mass opposition rallies during the 2004 Adjara crisis, and has since lived in Moscow, Russia. On January 22, 2007, the Batumi city court found him guilty of misuse of office and embezzlement of GEL 98.2 million state funds, and sentenced him to a 15-year imprisonment in absentia. He also faces a charge of murder of his former deputy, Nodar Imnadze, in 1991.
Dito Tsintsadze is a Georgian film director and screenwriter. He has directed eleven films since 1988. His film Lost Killers was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. In 2007 he was a member of the jury at the 29th Moscow International Film Festival.
Tengiz Abuladze was a Georgian film director. Abuladze studied theatre direction at the Shota Rustaveli Theatre Institute, Tbilisi, Georgia, and filmmaking at the VGIK in Moscow. He graduated VGIK in 1952 and in 1953 he joined Gruziya-film as a director. He was awarded the title of People's Artist of the Soviet Union in 1980. His first film, Magdana's Donkey, which he directed with Rezo Chkheidze won the "Best Fiction Short" award at the 1956 Cannes International Film Festival. He is most famous for his film trilogy: The Plea, The Tree of Desire, and Repentance, which won him the Lenin Prize and the first Nika Award for Best Picture. Repentance won the Special Jury Prize at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. In 1987 he was a member of the jury at the 15th Moscow International Film Festival.
Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev is a Russian political writer renowned as the author of the dissident history of Stalinism, Let History Judge, first published in English in 1972. Medvedev became a prominent Russian public figure and served as a consultant to Mikhail Gorbachev.
Akhrik Sokratovich Tsveiba is a retired Soviet association footballer. His son Sandro Tsveiba is a professional footballer as well.
Leila Meskhi is a retired Georgian professional female tennis player. She was ranked World No. 12 on 5 August 1991. She was born in Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union.