Maybe you want to pay homage to your grandparents who emigrated from Moscow. Or perhaps you fell in love with Lake Baikal (and the language) when you visited there years ago. Or it might just be that your partner is from St. Petersburg and you want to pick a baby name that honors their heritage. No matter what the reason, Russian names can be a beautiful choice for your little one. But since you don’t want to be a-rushin (ha) to select a name for your little sweetie, these 21 Russian
baby names are a good place to start before you give birth. 1 Nadia Igor Alecsander/E+/Getty Images
If you’ve been hoping for a baby for a while, there’s no better name than Nadia. It means “hope” and is a shortened form of Nadezhda. It can be spelled Nadya or Nadea, depending on how creative you want to get.
Yuri is the quintessential Russian name. It’s very popular as a boy’s name, and it means “farmer.” Although you can stick with the traditional spelling, you can always give it a new twist by spelling it Yuriy, Youri, Iouri, or even Juri.
Descending from Hebrew and Russian descent, Lev is a boy’s name. It means “leo” or “lion,” and is less common than the more modern Levi.
Tania is a traditional Russian girl’s name. It means “Fairy Queen,” and has a slew of different spellings, such as Tanya, Tanyah, Taini, Tanaya, Tana, for example.
If you’re looking for a Russian name with some history, Tatiana is it. It’s a girl’s name that is of Latin and Russian origin, and is a
feminine form of Tatius, a Roman family name, according to The Bump. Again, you can have a lot of fun with alternative spellings, such as Tatianna, Tatyana, and even come up with cute nicknames like Tiana, Tati, or Ana. 6 Sasha Karl Tapales/Moment/Getty Images
The name Sasha is a good choice if you’re looking for something gender-neutral. Although it is a Russian girl’s name meaning “defending men,” it is also popular as a boy’s name, too. It can be spelled Sascha or Sacha, and pronounced with a soft s, or a hard c, depending on how you choose to spell it.
When you just can’t get over how sweet your little newborn is, you might fall in love with the name Mischa. It is a girl’s name of Russian descent, and, aww, it means “bee” or “honey.”
When you want your baby’s name to be religious but not, Oleg is a good option. It means “holy,” and is a very common boy’s name not just in Russia, but also in Ukraine and Belarus.
A Russian boy’s name, Aleksey means “defender.” It can be spelled a bunch of different ways, like Alexsey, Alexei, Alexey, or Alexie. And if you’re unsure of the pronunciation, Aleksey sounds like “Alek-say,” with the stress on the “ek.”
When it seems like your baby has brightened your world, you might want to name her Yelena. It literally means “bright shining one” and is a common Russian girl’s name. It can also be spelled Jelena, and can be pronounced “Yeel-e-en-a” or “Yeh-lena,” depending on which you prefer.
11 Ilya PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images
Meaning “strength of God” or “the Lord is my God,” Ilya is a popular boy’s name. Although it is of Russian origin, it comes from the Hebrew name Elijah.
With both Greek and Russian roots, Anastasia means “resurrection.” It can be pronounced “An-a-STAH-see-a” or “An-a Stay-see-a” with either the third A in the name having either a long or short sound.
Meaning “grace,” Anya is a Russian girl’s name. It’s a variation of Anna, and Anya is common not just in Russia, but other East European countries as well. It can also be spelled Ania, or even Anja.
Ekaterina has claims to Greek, Slavic, and Russian origin. It means “pure” and is a girl’s name. It can also be spelled Yekaterina which is more Russian, and has sweet nicknames like Katya or Katyusha, too.
Vladimir is a pretty popular Russian boy’s name (because, well, Putin). It has ties to both Slavic and Russia, and means “renowned prince.”
16 Svetlana GoodLifeStudio/E+/Getty Images
You’ll be seeing stars when you name your baby Svetlana. With the significance of “light” and “pure,” Svetlana can also mean “star,” too.
Think your baby boy is the greatest? Then name him Maksim, because that’s literally what it means — “greatest.” Coming from the Latin “maximus,” Maksim can also be spelled Maxim as well. And for a sweet nickname, there’s nothing more adorable than Max.
18 Sergei South_agency/E+/Getty Images
Despite its meaning of “servant,” Sergei continues to be a very popular baby name in Russia. It is primarily a boy’s name, and for a nickname, you can call your little guy Serg (pronounced like “surge”).
Your baby is probably bringing you a lot of peace. And that’s why Irina is a great name for your little gal. Irina is a girl’s name of Greek and Russian origin and it means “peace.”
Dimitri is a popular boy’s name meaning “loves the earth.” It’s commonly for boys, but it could be gender-neutral, too.
Although it’s typically a boy’s name, Pasha can be an awesome gender-neutral name for your baby. Pronounced “paw-shuh,” the name means “small and humble,” which is perfect for your little darling.
If you’re thinking about a Russian baby name for your newborn, this list can give you some ideas to start. You might choose a name for its significance, for its connection to your country, or even as an homage to a friend or family member. And once you choose a name, you might feel a rush as you say the name that hails from the Russian Federation.