Russian baby names offer a unique combo of consonant sounds, trend toward the dramatic, and sound really cool rolling off the tongue. While the world’s largest country (by land mass, at least!) is bursting with baby name inspiration, we whittled it down to the very best Russian baby names. 

We tossed in some old standbys, but went ahead and left Russia’s number one boy and girl names of 2019 (Alexander and Sofia, respectively) off this list...we’re pretty sure you’ve heard those two before! If you are expecting a baby and would like to be inspired by Russian names both popular and rare, consider our list of the best Russian baby names for your little boy or girl.

Russian Boy Names

Adamka: If you like Adam, consider this rare Hebrew/Russian baby name that offers a similar root and something extra. Adamka means “son of the red earth.” (See more Hebrew baby names here!) 

Alexei: This popular Russian baby boy name is actually a variation of, you guessed it, Alexander… but this reimagining with Russian and Greek origins sounds more unique while offering up the same host of easy nicknames. Alexei translates to “defending men.” (Browse more Greek baby names!) 

Benedikt: You’ve heard this baby name, but do you recognize the Russian spelling? That “k” makes this one undoubtedly Russian, its meaning “blessed” from the Latin. 

Danil: In a sea of Daniels, consider the Russian boy version, which means “God is my judge.” 

Dimitre: One of the more popular picks on our list of the best Russian baby names, it means “belonging to the Lord.”

Fyodor: We love the Russian take on Theodore, with a cute spelling and the nickname option “Fyo.” Fyodor means “God’s gift.”

Grigor: It’s a bold, old-world name with mixed Russian and Greek roots, meaning “vigilant, a watchman.” 

Ignati: This cool Russian boy name means “fiery,” and sounds just like it.  

Kesar: A fresh take on the more known Caesar, this unique Russian boy name translates to “long haired” from the Latin and is a beloved baby boy name among Russian parents.

Leonid: In Russian, it’s the “lion,” and as a baby boy name, it’s equal parts quirky and strong. 

Lev: We have a soft spot for one-syllable baby names, especially when they’re as sweet as Lev. This popular Russian boy name means “heart, lion” and is pronounced like the English word, leave. 

Maksim: Whether spelled this way or Maxim, it’s a popular Russian baby name for boys. Maksim means “the greatest,” and Max is the classic nickname choice here.  

Natan: Another Russian take on a classic baby boy name, the hard vowel sound at its core sets this one apart from the more known version, Nathan; both mean “given” with Hebrew origins.  

Rolan: This is the Russian spelling of the German name Roland, and we love the softer ending that occurs from dropping the “d.” Rolan means “famous throughout the land.”

Samvel: Like many Russian baby names, it shares roots with the Hebrew language. Samvel is the Russian “Samuel,” and it means “told by God.” 

Sergi: A classic Russian baby name you’ve likely heard, either with or without an ending “o.” We love the shorter version; this name derives from a Russian clan name.

Stas: The strong one-syllable Russian name has a meaning as cool as its sound: “someone who achieves glory or fame.”

Timka: One of the more unique Russian baby boy names on our list, Timka offers the same nickname options as Timothy with a more exclusive feel. Timka means “honoring God.” 

Viktor: It’s one of Russia’s more common and beloved baby boy names, with the Latin translation “conqueror.” 

Vlad: A very typical and bold Russian boy name that means “to rule.”

Zinov: This unique Russian name is probably new to you; it’s actually a Russian version of the Greek baby name Zenobios and it means “life of Zeus.” In Greek mythology, Zeus was the ruler of all the other gods, giving this baby boy name megawatt power.

Russian Girl Names

Agasha: You can go this beautifully unique Russian baby name route, or opt for the more common sounding (yet still distinctly Russian) Agata. Both versions are derived from the Greek Agatha, meaning “good woman.” 

Anastasia: Definitely one of the most popular Russian names on our list, this classic offers adorable nicknames from Annie to Stassi and means “resurrection.” Anastasia is the 150th most popular baby girl name in the US. 

Annika: A quirky and pretty Russian name for girls meaning “grace.”  

Dariya: Translating to “kingly” and also “the sea,” it’s a powerful—yet cute—Russian girl name with alternate spelling options Daria or Darya.  

Evva: The Russian version of Eve has a unique spelling and pronunciation (like EH-va) unlike the more known Eva that’s common in the States. Evva means “life.” 

Fanya: If you’ve considered Anya but want something even more rare sounding, this little gem just might be it! Fanya sounds pretty, is easy to spell, and has two great meanings: “free man” and “from France.” 

Feodora: The beautiful pronunciation, fay-oh-DOR-a, and meaning “gift of God” make Russia’s version of Theodora a top contender for Baby Girl. 

Gala: Your little girl would share this fun name with the wife of Salvador Dali. Not only does it have the association with a glam English word for party, its meaning (“calm, healer”) is also a special choice for a little girl.

Karina: It’s the Russian spelling of the Italian name Carina, which means “dear little one.” You might also consider Karine, which is similar but actually derived from Karen, or “pure.” 

Lara: A sweet little two-syllable baby name translating to “citadel” that’s favored among Russian parents.

Nadia: Like Anastasia, you’re probably familiar with this popular Russian girls’ name, which means “hope.” 

Odessa: It’s a Russian place name referring to a Ukranian port city named by Catherine the Great after Homer’s Odyssey. What a storied name to impart on your baby girl!

Rina: This lovely name is a stand-alone offshoot of longer Russian monikers including Caterina and others; its meaning is open to interpretation depending which longer name you’re attributing it to. This is a top Russian baby name that is widely used throughout Europe today, but less heard in the States.

Sabina: The ancient Russian name derives from the Latin, Sabine, offering a unique alternative to Sabrina. You can also swap in a “v” ie. Savina for another Russian slant on the same early Roman tribal name. 

Sharlotta: A beautiful answer to the widely popular French name Charlotte, this rare choice is no chart topper, but it’s definitely special enough to consider for your girl.  

Svetlana: Very popular in Russia but less heard here, Svetlana or “star” is a standout name for a little one.  

Tatiana: The ancient Roman surname Tatius is the root of this spirited name for girls. Tati is another option as a standalone name, or a nickname.

Verina: From the Latin “verum” meaning “true,” a lyrical Russian girl name with endless charm.

Zhanna: You might not guess that this very unique Russian name for girls is actually a version of Jane, or “God is gracious.”

Gender-Neutral Russian Baby Names

Alek: Whether you like it as a spelling variation on the Russian Alec for a son, or as a strong pick for a daughter, this chic gender-neutral Russian baby name is a winner. It means “defender of mankind.” (Another offshoot of Alexander that you can also use for a boy or girl is Sasha).

Arman: It sounds somewhat masculine, and means “warrior,” but this bold Russian baby name can also be used for a boy or girl.

Damyan: A twist on Damian, meaning “to tame, subdue,” is a gender-neutral Russian baby name with a quirky feel.  

Georgi: There are endless beautiful takes for boys and girls on George (the “farmer”) the world over, but Russia’s cute contender, Georgi, can be used for a baby of either gender and has a fresh and darling feel thanks to the “ee” ending.

Mischa: The unisex derivative of Mikhail, this sweet gender neutral Russian baby name is one of our favorites. It means “one who is like God.”

Beyond Russian Baby Names…

Want to look elsewhere for baby name inspiration? Check out our other favorites. Then, once you pick out your little one’s name, it’s time to pick out a bassinet! Learn more about how SNOO Smart Sleeper adds sleep and peace of mind.

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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