Complete list of ‘Miss Universe’ contestants from Russia (PHOTOS)

Russia Beyond (Photo: Getty Images; AFP; Global Look Press)
Russia has participated in the ‘Miss Universe’ international beauty pageant almost every year since 1994. Let's take a look back at who represented the country throughout this time.

1994. Inna Zobova

Russia participated in the ‘Miss Universe’ contest for the first time that year. The contestant was Inna Zubova, a resident of Khimki in Moscow Region. At the contest, she took 12th place, while at the stage of national costumes – won an honorable third prize. After the contest, Inna continued her modeling career and became the face of the Canadian lingerie brand ‘Wonderbra’.

1995. Yulia Alexeeva

Yulia Alekseeva, a resident of Tambov, also took the 12th place in Russia’s second participation in the beauty event. Alekseeva herself said that she was not allowed to pass to the finals by other contestants – according to her, they secretly slipped something into Yulia’s food. However, her accusations were never confirmed.

1996. Ilmira Shamsutdinova

The Saratov native began her modeling career at the age of 14, winning several regional beauty contests. Ilmira took sixth place at the ‘Miss Universe’ contest. After it, the girl embarked on a modeling career and participated in fashion shows by Versace, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana, among others.

1997. Anna Baichik

Anna Baichik, a resident of St. Petersburg, was a major flop and took only 46th place. At the contest, she performed as a Russian tsarina. After that, Anna gave up her modeling dream and decided to become a journalist.

1998. Anna Malova

She was born in the small town of Tutaev in Yaroslavl Region. In 1995, she went to Florida, where she studied English and, later, even met Donald Trump. And, a year after that, he officially acquired as many as three beauty pageants – 'Miss Universe', 'Miss USA' and 'Junior Miss USA'. However, at 'Miss Universe' in 1998, Anna could only make it to the final four.

1999. Alexandra Petrova

Even before her debut at the international beauty contest, Alexandra Petrova, a resident of Cheboksary,  was pursuing a career in the modeling business and also managed to star in various TV programs and talk shows. At 'Miss Universe', she also only made it to the final four. The following year, in 2000, Alexandra was tragically murdered, merely two days before her 20th birthday. According to the Interior Ministry, she was a victim of a criminal syndicate in her hometown, but the murderer was never found.

2000. Svetlana Goreva

Svetlana Goreva was born in the town of Dmitrov near Moscow. She was encouraged to participate in beauty contests by her mother – she wanted to see a crown on her daughter's head. However, Svetlana never won the contest. She continued to try different walks of life and got three higher education degrees – as an economist, translator and fashion designer. Now, she designs clothes and promotes her own brand ‘Lana2rock’, as well as heads the ‘Samoyed Dog Lovers Club’.

2001. Oksana Kalandyrets

Oksana was able to glorify Russian beauty not only on the national level, where she became 'Vice-Miss Russia 2001', but also made it to the finals of 'Miss Universe' and was even one of the top ten finalists. The girl was born in Surgut, in Russia's north. After participating in 'Miss Universe', she decided to dedicate herself to modeling and opened her own modeling agency in her hometown.

2002. Oksana Fedorova

Oksana became the only participant from Russia who was able to win the 'Miss Universe' contest. However, later, the girl was deprived of the award, because she had not fulfilled the commitments imposed on the winners, that is participation in advertising and charity campaigns. Oksana herself explained it by the fact that she could not leave the country, because she was defending her doctoral thesis. She became a PhD in law and received the rank of major at the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. But, she ended up pursuing a career as a TV presenter and is especially remembered by viewers for her work in the children's program 'Good Night, Kids!'

2003. Olesya Bondarenko

Olesya lost first place in the 'Miss Russia-2002' contest to Oksana Fedorova, but managed to win it the following year, sending her to ‘Miss Universe’ the following year. The president of the 'Miss Russia' contest, however, insinuated that the judges were initially biased against the contestant from Russia, because of the previous winner's refusal to fulfill the terms of the contract. Olesya did not make it to the finals and even her costume by famous designer Valentin Yudashkin, who made a dress of feathers in bright contrasting colors for her, did not help.

2004. Ksenia Kustova

The 18-year-old Novosibirsk native was studying psychology at the Pedagogical University when she entered the ‘Miss Russia’ contest. For the first time, the contestant was chosen not by a professional jury, but by ordinary Internet users. Ksenia got the most votes at that time, but she was not even among the 15 finalists at the international contest.

2005. Natalia Nikolaeva

The contestant from Russia is a resident of Rostov-on-Don. She won her first beauty contest at the age of 14. In her performance, Natasha wore a national costume lent by a modeling agency from her hometown. However, the jury did not appreciate the modernized image of the Russian beauty at all. 

2006. Anna Litvinova

Anna Litvinova from Novokuznetsk did not win the contest, but still managed to make the top 20 most beautiful girls in the world. Her fate, however, was tragic: in 2013, Anna died from progressing melanoma in a German clinic.

2007. Tatiana Kotova

Tatiana Kotova won 'Miss Russia 2006' and got a chance to represent her homeland the following year at 'Miss Universe'. Kotova did not make it to the semi-finals, but, after the contest, became the lead singer of the famous Russian pop band 'VIA Gra'. She then went on to pursue a solo career in music.

2008. Vera Krasova

Vera Krasova took fourth place in the contest, receiving the title of 'Vice Miss Universe'. After that, she changed her occupation and started working in journalism – first for the federal news channel 'Russia 24' and then for the channel '360°'.

2009. Sofia Rudieva

Sofia found herself in the modeling business at the age of 15. However, her participation in 'Miss Universe' was accompanied by a scandal: Sofia was found to have done an erotic photo shoot. Sofia herself later apologized for this, saying she did not fully understand what she was doing at the time. Later, the jury did not consider Rudieva's controversial photo shoot as a reason for dismissal from the contest, but did not hand her the crown, either.

2010. Irina Antonenko

Irina was among the 15 finalists of the contest, but she could not go further. After participating in 'Miss Universe', Irina decided to dedicate herself to a career as an actress and began to star first in music videos and, later, in feature movies.

2011. Natalia Gantimurova

Natalia became the winner of the 'Miss Russia' contest at the age of 19, thus receiving the “golden ticket” to participate in the international competition. She was not among the finalists, but, according to her, the participation itself was an important milestone in her life.

2012. Elizaveta Golovanova

Elizaveta Golovanova is a native of Smolensk Region. She has a degree in law and plays the piano. At the 'Miss Universe' pageant, she became one of the ten most beautiful participants.

2013. Elmira Abdrazakova

Elmira represented Russia at the 'Miss Universe" contest while still an 18-year-old student. But she did not enjoy much support in her homeland. Her compatriots reacted negatively to her performance at the pageant. Elmira later recounted that most of the messages people wrote to her were about her ethnicity (she's half Tatar.). As a result of the harassment, the girl even had to delete her profiles on social networks, but she later restored them. 

2014. Yulia Alipova

Yulia was not among the finalists of the contest, but this did not get her down. She is keen on ballroom dancing and has two higher education degrees – in thermal power engineering and translation.

2015. Vladislava Yevtushenko

Vladislava went to the 'Miss Universe' pageant instead of Sofia Nikitchuk, who decided to represent Russia at 'Miss World'. Vladislava didn’t make it to the finals, however, as the jury dismissed her following the national costume segment. After that, she went on to study at a fashion school in Italy and star in Russian music videos and TV shows. She currently lives in Italy. 

2016. Yuliana Korolkova

Yuliana Korolkova is originally from Tolyatti. She entered the contest while still in her first year at university – at the time, the girl was doing a degree in design. Yuliana could not make it to the finals and dropped out following the national costume segment. 

2017. Ksenia Alexandrova

Model and TV presenter Ksenia Alexandrova represented Russia at ‘Miss Universe’ when she was just 22 years old. By education, she is a financier. At the contest, Ksenia was among the ten most beautiful participants.

2018. Yulia Polyachikhina

According to Yulia, in  her childhood, she often put on a plastic crown and dreamed of becoming a beauty queen. And she jumped at the chance in 2018. Yulia did not go past the semi-finals and, after the contest, decided to become a journalist.

2020. Alina Sanko

The contest itself was held only in early 2021. It had been postponed, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Russia was represented by Alina Sanko from the city of Azov in Rostov Region. However, she fell short of the semifinals.

Despite this, Alina's national costume caused a heated debate online, as no one seems to have understood the idea behind it. Designer Gleb Vinokurov decided to depart from tradition and dressed the contestant in a shiny short dress with a huge "diamond" on her back. It was as if crystals were growing on Alina's head. 

2021. Ralina Arabova

In 2021, a girl from Tatarstan became a representative of Russia for the first time. Ralina had participated in beauty contests from the age of nine, but an opportunity to move on to the international level arose only in 2021. She didn't manage to make it to the finals, having been dismissed during the selection of the 16 best contestants.

2022. Anna Linnikova

Anna Linnikova, a resident of Moscow, managed to reach the semifinals. The girl admitted that it was hard for her to be at the contest, due to pressure from the  geopolitical situation. Now, she dreams of her own business – she wants to open her own modeling school and try her hand at acting. 

2023. Margarita Golubeva

Twenty-two-year-old Margarita Golubeva made it to the finals of the 'Miss Universe' 2023 pageant. The national costume for her was created by designer Olga Malyarova, based on Mikhail Vrubel's painting 'The Swan Princess'. As many as 300 meters of tulle were used to create the outfit, with a lace corset and a long bouffant skirt, adorned with natural river pearls and other precious stones. Margarita, however, was dismissed during the selection of the 20 best contestants.

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