This unique Russian word describes smart and humble people, but the “West” has more of these people…

Alexei Sorokin
2 min readApr 8, 2022

Oh boy, I’m about to step onto a very slippery slope… I’ve always resisted making generalizations and stereotypes, but here I am…

So the word is intelligentnyi, in Russian интеллигентный. It’s a very mainstream, well-understood word in Russian.

Nothing to do with “intelligent”, “intelligentsia”. Well, maybe some connection but it’s extremely remote and misleading.

Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. More here: