(biography, photos, videos) Praskovya Leykin-Gorshenin

photo Ruslanova

  • Name: Lydia Ruslanova ( Praskovya Leykin-Gorshenin )
  • Date of birth: 27 October 1900
  • Age: 72 years
  • Date of death: 21 Sep 1973
  • Place of birth: village of Chernavka, Saratov province, Russian Empire
  • Activity: singer, Honored artist of the RSFSR
  • Marital status: widow

    Ruslanova’s biography

    Lidia Ruslanova – honored artist of the RSFSR, Soviet singer, performer of Russian folk songs. She sang in the Reichstag as Soviet troops entered Berlin, her work has become a model of Russian folklore for foreigners. The most famous compositions performed by Lydia Andreevna: «Boots, boots», «Katyusha», «outside the rain», «Saratov ditties».

    Childhood and adolescence

    Singer that the world knows as Lydia Ruslanova was born 14 (27) October 1900 in a peasant family in the Saratov region. According to some sources her real name was Praskovya, on the other – Agatha, according to contemporaries, in the village, her name was Pankaj. The girl was one of three children in the family of believers Lakini. At Pankov was the brother of Avdey and sister Julia.

    Ruslanova | E-libra

    After the start of the Russo-Japanese war father Lakini went to the front, and the mother died. So the girl came to the orphanage, where the future singer has corrected the certificate with a new name and surname. Brother and sister Ruslanova shared. The daughter of the actress after her death, told me that Lydia is the real name of the singer, the pseudonym was the only name.

    Mariinsky orphanage
    Mariinsky orphanage. Saratov | E-libra

    Talent manifested Ruslanova in early childhood. During the stay in the orphanage a girl sang in the Church choir. Unique voice helped her in her youth to get into the Saratov Conservatory, but after a couple years of study Lydia realized that academic vocal uninteresting to her.

    She was a born performer of folk songs. In 1916, the girl like sisters of mercy, voluntarily went to the front. During the war she served in the sanitary train. Sometimes she sang for the wounded to ease their suffering. Then there was her life’s first novel.

    Musical career

    Lydia finally formed as an artist in 1921. She had her own style of performance, a live image and a unique repertoire. First job of the young actress as she became the variety theatre «Clowns» in Rostov-on-don.

    To perform on stage as a solo artist Lydia early 1923, her first concert was a huge success. In 20 years Ruslanova began to collect books and Russian folk costumes. Literature is used for self-education and clothing as the concert outfits.

    The second husband of the artist instilled in her a love for Bohemian life. Ruslanova became interested in collecting paintings, Antiques and jewelry. At the time records with the voice recordings of Lydia Andreevna came in large editions and were sold like hot cakes. Especially popular singer with the military.

    After the beginning Soviet-Finnish war of 1939 Ruslanova was again at the front, but as part of a concert brigade. She worked in harsh conditions, in the cold, without proper conditions for rest. In order not to lose the voice of Lydia Andreevna constantly taking antibiotics, for which he received the nickname of «Lida-Soap».

    Next was the Great Patriotic war. Ruslanova again became part of the concert crew, which stands at the front. This period brought the singer’s enormous popularity. Earned money she spent on the purchase of diamonds, clothes, antique furniture and other luxury items.

    In 1942 she was awarded the title of honored artist of the RSFSR, by the way, in the same year, the title received one Ruslanova, Leonid Utesov, who also spoke at the front. During the war years, gave the singer 1120 concerts. This Russian actress in 1945, she sang for the soldiers of the red army in Berlin at the Reichstag.

    Ruslanova in the conclusion

    Two years after the end of the war was revealed the «military conspiracy» and friends of Marshal Zhukov was in disgrace. Among them were the General Kryukov with his wife. In 1949, Lydia and her husband were deprived of military honours, property and arrested. Songs Ruslanova was banned. Lydia Andreyevna was extensively interrogated, then tried, and sent to a camp. Several times it moved from one place of imprisonment to another, continuing the interrogation, including about her relationship with Zhukov.

    Ruslanova | PlayVK

    Even in the camp she never ceased to sing, tried to stay, although experienced serious mental anguish from the experience of shame. In 1950 Lydia Andreyevna came in the Vladimir prison, where he was in custody, the actress Zoya Fedorova. Women found common ground and became friends. In prison Lydia Ruslanova refused to sing, which several times fell into the hole. During his imprisonment, she has suffered pneumonia.

    Ruslanova in the conclusion
    Ruslanova conclusion | Kulturologia

    In 1953, after Stalin’s death, Lydia Andreevna and her husband rehabilitated. They regained part of the property and began to try to establish a life. The prison has undermined the health Ruslanova and Kryukov, the actress even wanted to forget about the scene. The singer is hard to tolerate the humiliation, which put him in front of the whole country. Husband of the artist, too, a long time could not recover from their suffering in prison.

    For the welfare of the family Ruslanova returned to the stage. Earned enough money to buy some furniture and a car to men. After his death in 1959, the singer canceled all concerts and again was going to leave forever the scene. In the sixties its voice is often heard on the radio, the popularity continued unabated. Gradually Lidiya returned to concert activity.

    Personal life

    The personal lives of Lydia Ruslanova consisted of UPS and downs. The first time she got married in 1916 the quartermaster Vitaly Nikolayevich Stepanov. In may 1917, the couple had a child. There is a version that the first husband ran away with a Gypsy woman with the kid. The name of his son Ruslanova kept secret, as the details of the disappearance of a loved one. According to some reports, the baby died a month, but the singer herself this part of his biography didn’t want to talk.

    In 2014 in the TV program «live» the pensioner from Kirov, calls himself the son of Lydia Ruslanova, was able to prove the relationship with the niece of the singer. This fact speaks in favor that a child born Ruslanova in 1917 might have survived.

    Ruslanova and Michael harkavy
    Ruslanova and her third husband, Michael harkavy | Phoenix

    Second marriage singer was more durable. For Naum Noumena Ruslanova married in 1919 in Vinnitsa, two years later the young family moved to Moscow. They lived together for ten years until, in 1929, Lydia demanded a divorce. After 8 years Noumena repressed and shot.

    By the time Ruslanova was already a different person. In Moscow known entertainer Michael harkavy, the actress got married in the same year 1929. They lived together for 13 years until Ruslanova is not a new love in the person of the colleague and friend of Georgy Zhukov.

    Ruslanova and Kryukov Vladimir
    Ruslanova and last husband Vladimir Kryukov | Coollib

    General who charmed the heart of a Russian singer named Vladimir Kryukov. Lydia divorced was because he did not tolerate hypocrisy and adultery. A woman said sorry to her «Bear», but the heart is full of love for the military, as in his youth. The singer herself suggested Kryukov to sign. The General had a seven-year-old daughter Margarita, which Ruslanova adopted as his own.

    Ruslanova with children
    Ruslanova adopted daughter Margaret

    After the war they lived together all along, as evidenced by the happy photos of the period. The daughter remembers that Lydia Andreevna always loved the cleanliness and comfort, perfectly cooked, and in the evenings, the house was full of friends and interesting people.

    A close relationship with Zhukov had fatal consequences in the life of General Kryukov and his wife. Fourth husband of singer could not recover after a five-year prison sentence and died in 1959. The death of a spouse strongly influenced Ruslanova, she canceled all their concerts, and the year did not appear on the scene.

    Last years and death

    After her husband’s death Ruslanova was often ill and complain of heart. She spent a lot of time at home in bed, and the daughter was reading to her. When health allowed, Ruslanova went with Margaret to the theatre, performed in variety concerts. The title of people’s actress Lydia Andreevna has not received, abroad it is also not allowed. Health is almost not affected the singer’s voice, he remained rich, beautiful, young and full of life.

    Ruslanova | E-libra

    In August 1973 Ruslanova took part in a series of large concerts, the last of which took place in Rostov, where the singer began his singing career in 1921. Lidiya died on September 21, 1973. The cause of death was a heart attack.

    After opening, it became known that the actress had at least six heart attacks. The singer will be buried at Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow. Conduct your favorite artist in the latest way so many people came, the traffic near the cemetery had to stop.


    In 2007 the documentary film «Cruel romance Lydia Ruslanova» about the life of folk singer. In 2008, in Irkutsk has put performance «the Lady», which was dedicated to the memory of Lydia Andreevny. Every year across Russia, the competitions of folk songs, which are named after the famous singer, as on Venus, the crater Ruslanova. Articles about the life and work of the singer continue to appear in the press.

    Monument Of Lydia Ruslanova
    The plaque Lydia Ruslanova | Novodevichy cemetery

    The memory of the singer of the song «Valenki, valenki» does not disappear, though her voice rarely sounds on the radio or on TV. In 2015, the way Ruslanova was reconstructed in entertainment «just Exactly». Song «Valenki, valenki» was presented by a talented artist Danila Dunaev, who turned into a folk singer looks and copied the manner of its performance.

    Monument Of Lydia Ruslanova
    Monument of Lydia Ruslanova and Kryukov Vladimir | Wikimedia

    In the same show to simulate Ruslanova tried pop singer Elena Vaenga, she sang the song «We on the boat ride». In the two thousandth years, commissioned by major TV channels began filming a biopic about the life of famous artists and figures of the Soviet time. Personality Lydia Andreevna presented in several of them («Zoe», «Ludmila», «Zhukov») by the actress Irena Morozova.


    • 1996 — Sings Ruslanova
    • 2000 — the Queen of Russian song
    • 2001 — the Great performers of Russia in the XX century. Ruslanova
    • 2002 — Russian folk songs. Records 1930-40-ies
    • 2007 — the Names on all the time. Ruslanova



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