Russia – Famous Graves

The most prestigious cemetery in Russia lies on the other side of Lenin’s tomb, directly in the Kremlin wall necropolis. That is where the greatest of Russians lie.  There you will find Stalin, Brezhnev, Chernenko and astronaut Yuri Gargarin. Very few are up to this highest of honors, though, so where do the rich and famous of Russia go when they die? The answer is likely the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.

The cemetery is large and active with many visitors, some to visit specific graves and others to view the entire site as an outdoor gallery filled with history and graced by the best of Russian art. Despite large numbers of people the cemetery maintains a quiet, reflective quality. Some graves have small chairs for guests. Many graves have small offerings of fruit or sweets. Many more have fresh flowers and there is, conveniently, a florist’s shop at the front gate. There are several graves that I photographed that I was unable to locate information about. They are so beautiful that I include them anyway. I really wish I’d had more time here. Lots more time. What a very special place. (I apologize about the quality. My real camera broke and I was using an old spare)

First, I’ll start with the well-known graves.

Boris Yeltsin


Nikita Krushchev


Raisa Gorbechov, wife of Mikhail Gorbachov


Anton Checkov


Yuri Nikulin, beloved actor and clown with his dog


General A Lebed

And now for the beautiful graves I could not identify. The last is my favourite. But first, the flower shop. (note: some names have been added to the original post. See below.)

Florist, Novodevichy Cemetery


Russian entertainer Boris Brunov


Cat lover Valentina Reinholdovna Gliere


Come and sit


Russian singer


Someone to keep watch, Yelizaveta Kairova




Young lovers


Living tree

©voyager, all rights reserved

Edit note: Thanks to meaderborn and Ice Swimmer for helping me fill in a few names on my unidentified list. I have added their names in respect.


Link to previous Post – Russia –  The Novodevichy Nunnery





  1. says

    I love the living tree! How grand is that? Um, what is that thing on Yeltsin’s grave? It looks like someone sculpted a wad of gum.

  2. says

    The agony one kinda freaks me out. That would be like putting a representation of pain on my grave, that’s not what I would want as a takeaway.

  3. meaderborn says

    Cat lady is Valentina Reinholdovna Gliere daughter of the composer Reinhold Gliere.

  4. says

    @Caine on Yeltsin’s grave is a Russian flag made out of stone of different colours. It took me a while too to figure that out.

  5. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly @ 1

    Me too.

    The entertainer seems to be named Boris Brunov and the cat lady Valentina Reingoldovna (or Reinholdovna) Glier. The English language Wikipedia knows the former (an actor and theatre leader) but not the latter. In “Someone to keep watch”, the name is Yelizaveta Kairova and on the plaque Kairov (the masculine form of her last name). No idea who she is.

  6. Ice Swimmer says

    I was writing my comment while meaderborn posted theirs and didn’t check for new ones.

  7. voyager says

    Thanks everyone. I will add the names. As for Boris Yeltsin, it’s supposed to be a waving flag. The red and white are stone and the blue is made of tile. Our guide said that no one really wanted to honour Mr. Yeltsin so they decided on a flag because it wouldn’t offend anyone.

  8. says


    Our guide said that no one really wanted to honour Mr. Yeltsin so they decided on a flag because it wouldn’t offend anyone.

    Heh. I imagine it baffles people more than anything else.

  9. says

    The last is my favourite too. That is how I would like to rest, under a tree…

    That’s exactly what I’m planning to do…
    It is funny, while I love visiting cemeteries of stranmge peope,k in strange places, I really dislike them as places for my own dead.
    Not to be a nitpick, but it should be Gorbacheva, because Russian marks the gender of last names.

  10. says


    And Yeltsin’s is surprisingly generous.

    I don’t know about that. Looks more like a bloated carcass that a flag. I get the distinct feeling that whoever got stuck with that job didn’t want to do it, and it shows.

  11. says

    I believe the “Come and Sit” grave with the gentleman’s portrait is Pavel Nikitovich Alferov, secretary of the Communist Party from January 1947 through August 1951. I am guessing that the smaller marker in front of it is his wife Anna?

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