Common Russian last names are Ivanov, Sidorov, Smirnov and Petrov. Most of the common Russian last names end in "-in," "-ov" or "-ev." Some last names are based on first names that are no longer in common use, while others are based on the names of animals.
Surnames in Russia were initially used to identify the family that a person came from. For example, Andrei Ivanovich was the name of Andrei, son of Ivan. One of the most common last names in Russia is Smirnov, which is used by about 1.8 percent of the population in Russia. This name is derived from the Russian word "smyrnoi," meaning meek, and is very common in Russia's Volga region.
Ivanov is the last name of about 1.3 percent of the Russian population. It is derived from the name "Ivan," meaning God's grace. It is common in regional centers in Russia. Some of the derivatives of this surname are Ivanenkov, Ivashutin and Ivankov.
Petrov is from the male name "Petr," which is derived from the Greek word meaning "stone." Other similar last names are Petrikov, Petrishchev and Petrunin. Kuznetsov is a popular last name in Russia that is derived from the word blacksmith. It is an example of a last name based on occupation, and it is common since, in the past, there were blacksmiths in every village. It is most prevalent in the Upper Oka and Middle Volga regions of Russia.