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Image for Russia’s women: activists, students and journalists who dominate (8 images)

Russia’s women: activists, students and journalists who dominate (8 images)

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According to one potted history lesson given by a former Russian (female) colleague, Russian young men were sent to war and died in world war one, in the civil war, in world war two and in the purges, where the bright (mainly male) stars of the intellectual scene were disposed of. Add to this the poor life expectancy for men, who on average die at least twelve years younger than women at 63, and Russia still has a predominately female population who are beginning to make their mark on the country. These are the ‘rossianki’ to watch

Ludmilla Alexeeva

A core activist at the strategy 31 movement, this octogenarian historian and human rights activist is also one of the few veterans of the soviet dissident movement still around (Image: (cc) osipovva/ Flickr)

Diana: Putin’s army member

Putin’s army was one of the many well-publicised stunts of girls ‘stripping for Putin’: as part of a competition girls should post videos on the Russian social network vkontakte showing what they would tear up for Putin (Image: © courtesy of Putin's Army/ Facebook)

Putin’s pin ups

Twelve journalist students at Moscow state university famously posed for a pin up calender for Putin’s 58th birthday in 2010. ‘I love you,’ announces Miss May, while Miss September claims, ‘You only get better with time’ (Image: courtesy of Jakelestat/ Youtube)

‘Mr Putin, we have a few questions’

Six fellow students at Moscow university countered with a more critical address to the Russian prime minister. Unlike the erotic calendar, their project received no financing and could only be published online (Image: © courtesy of Liz Anderson/ Live Journal)

Tatiana Kartoshova

‘When will there be the next terrorist attack?’ asks the second-year journalism student (Image: © courtesy of Liz Anderson/ Live Journal)

Anna Politkovskaya

The investigative journalist who worked for opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta was murdered on Putin’s birthday in 2006. As yet no one has been arrested for her death, and women journalists continue to be assassinated, such as Natalya Estemirova in 2009 (Image: © courtesy of Novaya Gazeta/ Facebook)

Evegenia Chirikova

The mother-of-two has gained attention for her passionate campaigning against a road being built through Khimki forest, to the north-west of Moscow. The state has threatened to put her children into care – but the construction looks set to go ahead (Image: © courtesy of Defence of the Khimki forest/ Facebook)

Codename Koza

Natalia Sokol, aka Koza, is one of the core members of Russian guerrilla art group Voina, most famous for painting an illuminated phallus on a drawbridge in St Petersburg, and is often pictured with the group’s youngest activist, two-year-old Kasper (Image: courtesy of Voina/ Yandex)