Alevtina Horinyak

A physician with over 50 years of experience, Alevtina Horinyak spent the last 20 years working as a district physician in Krasnoyarsk. In 2009, she personally wrote out a prescription for a terminally ill cancel patient for the drug "Tramadol," which cost 286 rubles. Two years later, the Federal Drug Control Service initiated criminal proceedings against Horinyak and her assistant for forgery and the illegal acquisition of potent drugs. In June 2013, a court issued a fine of 15,000 rubles to each of the accused. Horinyak's lawyer managed to get a re-examination of the case, but prosecutors continued to insist on an indictment and demanded criminal imprisonment of Horinyak (between four and eight years).

Horinyak did not give up, however, and refused to accept the false charges against her and her assistant. Several petitions were filed in support of Alevtina Horinyak. On Oct. 21, a Krasnoyarsk court fully acquitted the 72-year-old doctor. The criminal case against her — as well as the suicide of Rear Admiral Apanasenko in the winter of 2014, a tragedy attributed to his inability to obtain painkillers — forced the authorities to change their attitude to this problem. In the Krasnoyarsk region, according Horinyak, pharmacy management now provides an adequate supply of the analgesic "Dyurogezik" for cancer patients.

Yanina Urusova

The founder of the "Without Borders" project, which deals with the problems of society's perception of disability, in March 2014 organized a large-scale festival of the same name at the "DI Telegraph" center. The main event of the festival was the photo exhibition "The Acropolis: How I Found My Own Body," which traced the parallel between people with disabilities and antique statues. "Looking at the ancient Greek statue, we admire its beauty without noticing the absence of the feet or hands, and yet in our society, even looking at an amputee is considered unacceptable, we simply do not know how to handle it. Our project helps to understand the similarities of ancient statues with people who have amputated limbs, and look at people with different bodies without fear and dislike," Yanina Urusova said of the project.

At the festival, there were many meetings with people with disabilities. For example, a workshop was held, called "Simply FashionABLE: Fashion Without Borders," where guests could join with a designer from the British Higher School of Design to make clothes that are comfortable for a person with a particular shape. It was not only the disabled who were invited to participate, but also ordinary people who were offered the chance to try someone else's shoes on for size. For example, in order to understand how to dress and undress people with cerebral palsy, it was enough to glue the fingers into a fist. Urusova, who also deals with social entrepreneurship in the field of fashion for people with disabilities, organized the first fashion show for people as part of Mercedes Fashion Week.

Igor Airapetyan

Volunteer Igor Airapetyan spent two days traveling from Moscow to Sochi in his BMW to save at least 10 dogs from being destroyed before the Winter Olympics. In April 2013, he saw what was happening in Sochi: the city administration had announced a tender for catching and euthanizing stray animals. The 41-year-old lawyer wanted to participate in the tender to take as many animals as he could out of the city and build a shelter for them. There was no such shelter in Sochi at the time, despite the demands of local activists. But in the end, the authorities simply gave 1.7 million rubles to a local company to shoot the stray animals. The same practice had been used in Soviet times, before the Moscow Olympics, and it has also been used by the current Russian authorities — before the Universiade in Kazan and the Eurovision final in Moscow.

Airapetyan learned about the start of the shooting of dogs in Sochi from a community on Facebook, "Olimpiskiye Smertniki." For the killing of animals, they were using poisoned darts with a paralytic agent, which caused the dogs to be agonized for several hours, during which time helping them was impossible. Volunteers took a great deal of effort to get to the Olympic Games in Sochi, to pick up 11 dogs from the train station – where the dogs had started to go since the start of the euthanization campaign. Airapetyan managed to find new owners for most of the rescued dogs, but a few of the animals now live in his country house. Numerous international media outlets wrote about Airapetyan's deed. He still deals with the problems of homeless animals. "At first I tried to fill the void in my soul with material items, like cars and travel, but I quickly got bored. Now I live the real life," he told The Moscow Times.

Lyudmila Petranovskaya

A family-psychologist and one of the leading specialists on family in the Russian Federation, as well as the author of several books for foster parents, Petranovskaya in 2012 initiated the establishment of the Institute of Development of Social Order (IRSU). In addition to offering a school for foster parents, the insitute also has programs for social workers, volunteers, teachers and psychologists who work with orphans and families with adopted children. In keeping with Petranovskaya's vision, the education is practical, interactive, and training-oriented.

"Decisions about particular children and families are made by certain people, by specialists. If these specialists have no system of coordinates in their work, if they don't have consciously set priorities, if the most serious aspects of a problem are beyond their competency, what is the point of even complaining or scolding them? If the majority of social services employees sincerely believe that a child in an orphanage is better off there "because there are teachers," that putting a baby in a home for six months is "the best solution" if the household is poor, that the child's relationship with his blood relatives is "better off forgotten," that only those without children could genuinely want a foster child and everyone else does it for the money — all these notions are useless," Petranovskaya wrote on her blog, explaining what prompted her to create IRSU. A popular blogger, in 2014 she regularly published comments on Livejournal and in a Russian media column, not only about the problems of orphans and foster parents, but also about the state of Russian society in a tense political situation.

Konstantin Khabensky

In 2008, the famous Russian actor created a charity foundation to help children with cancer and other diseases of the brain. "Brain tumors account for approximately 96% of all tumors of the central nervous system in children, and they come in second place after leukemia in terms of frequency in children. Each year, about 850 children in Russia face a brain tumor diagnosis. It is rarely possible to beat the disease in the first year, so the number of children who need help grows each year," a statement on the foundation's website reads. As of October 2014, the fund had worked with 85 children. Fifty million rubles for their treatment was collected by the summer, although the foundation had been hoping to achieve this amount only by the end of the year.

Khabensky's charity work is linked to his creative projects for children. Since 2010, he has been creating studios for the creative development of children in the Russian regions. They are now supported by Mikhail Prokhorov as well, and are located in Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Ufa, Perm, Nizhny Tagil and St. Petersburg. About 2,000 children are enrolled at the studios. And this year, with the support of MTS, Khabensky has started to put on the play "Mowgli Generation" in cities where his children's studios are located. The musical features adult stars and young actors. The play has already been staged in Kazan, and in December it is expected to premiere in Ufa. Proceeds from the show go to Khabensky's charity.