How the Russian Playboy looked like in Hugh Hefner’s time

Russian Playboy

Russian Playboy

The founder of Playboy passed away aged 91 on Sept. 27 at his LA mansion. Russia Beyond looks back at some of the Russian magazine’s most iconic covers.

It almost took half a century for Playboy Magazine to appear in Russia after it was first published in America. It didn’t occupy shelf space in the country until 1995, but its presence was significant - there was a post-Soviet sexual revolution kicking off. The first cover page off the press in Russia was emblazoned with the words: “Russia, summer 1995” - and it was a very hot summer, in every sense of the word.

 The first cover page in Russia, 1995

The likes of Russian pop star Lada Dance soon appeared half-naked in Playboy (1996) - afterwards she landed a leading role in Russia’s version of TV series Sex and the City - playing Samantha’s role in Balzac Age.

Russian pop star Lada Dance

A year later in 1997, singer and nineties sex symbol Natasha Koroleva was made Playboy’s “girl of the month,” which helped propelled her hit song Yellow Tulips.

Singer Natasha Koroleva

Russian pop singer - and former member of the group Mirazh Irina Saltykova - also featured in the magazine, in 1997 and 2000. She was compared to U.S. model Pamela Anderson, at least part of her anatomy was...

Former member of the group Mirazh Irina Saltykova

Another Russian actress who graced Playboy’s glossy pages was Oksana Fandera. In 1988 she was awarded second place in the USSR’s first beauty pageant, imaginatively called Moscow Beauty. Fellow model Alika Smekhova also became a “bunny” in 1996 and 1999.

Actress Oksana Fandera

Most Russian men will fondly remember model and TV star Anna Azarova. She appeared in one edition with a Donald Trump interview.

TV star Anna Azarova

In 2008, sexy TV presenter Anfisa Chekhova quickly became popular thanks to the erotic show “Sex with Anfisa Chekhova.” It didn’t take her long to gain a loyal following, not least because she stripped off to appear in Playboy.

TV presenter Anfisa Chekhova

Another TV show - Dom-2 (participants build a house and try to find a partner in the process) - produced one particularly spiky cover girl for the magazine. Alena Vodonayeva bared it all in 2009 after she left the show, where viewers had watched her reckless lifestyle for no more than three years: She was a real bad girl of Russian TV.

Alena Vodonayeva

Singer and former competitive ice dancer Anna Semenovich charmed people with her extraordinary appearance. Rumors about her bust are rife, but she says she’s never had surgery. She’s a former winner of the World Junior Championships, double Finlandia Trophy holder - and ex-bunny.

Former competitive ice dancer Anna Semenovich

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