(Kutuzov was a Russian field marshla who was a key figure in the Russian victory.)
Political matryoshki have continued to evolve with the changing leadership.Not long after Boris Yeltsin succeeded Mikhail Gorbachev,the Yeltsin doll appeared.There was even a brief period when one could find Gorbachev dolls with Yeltsin on the inside,signifying Yeltsin's position before the outside doll.(Under Gorbachev,Yeltsin was briefly removed from the inner circle.)And even before Vladimir Putin became president,the Putin doll appeared.
These dolls most commonly have seven pieces-Putin,Yeltsin,Gorbachev,Brezhnev,Khrushchev,Stalin,and Lenin.
Five-pieces Putin dolls are also common,even though they leave out two important leaders of the Soviet Union.
Ten-piece "Soviet leaders" matryoshki are also relatively common.They do not generally depict lesser known leaders like Konstantin Chernenko or Yuri Andropov,but rather include Nicholas II,Catherine the Great,and Peter the Great.Some have three small pieces the presumably represent tsars but are really unidetifiable.On the other hand,there are some beautiful matryoshki picturing the tsars of Romanov dynasty.
The most popular Soviet leader dolls are done in caricature,showing Putin with his penetrating blue eyes,Yeltsin with his bulbouse nose,Gorbachev with his birthmark,Krushchev with an ear of corn,Stalin with his pipe,and Lenin with a red star.(After a trip to Iowa,Krushchev tried to introduce corn into the Moscow region,forgetting that Iowa's climate is much warmer than Moscow's.This and similar projects contributed to Krushchev's removal as the leader of Soviet Union.)
The artists of Ryazan have come up with a process that allows them to produce very realistic portraits.The artists deny hat the portraits are decals,but each painting is so similar that is hard to belive that they are done freehand.
The success of the Soviet leader matryoshki has led to other ideas.First doll appeared picturing recent American presidents.
Another doll shows Russian presidents one one side and American presidents on the other.In 1999,Bill Clinton dolls became the most popular poitical matryoshki.These show Cinton on the outside,with a cast of related characters on the inside,including Monica Lewinsky,Paula Jones,Gennifer Flowers,and usually Hillary Clinton. Other versions include a saxophone or a cigar.