What comes to mind when we say Russia? For students of history, it might be Peter the Great. For literature lovers, it might be Dostoevsky. Political scientists might cite the Cold War. But, for word nerds, it's the many words English owes to Russian. So, get in the know ... with intelligensia.
The intelligentsia are "intellectuals considered as a group or class, especially as a cultural, social, or political elite." Today, some might use this term of people rubbing elbows at cocktail parties in Manhattan where the guest list includes writers for The New Yorker, former ambassadors, and major donors to the MoMA.
English borrowed intelligentsia from the Russian intelligéntsia (from the same Latin root that gives us intelligence) in the late 1800s.
The Russian intelligéntsia were an influential group during a period of a great change in the country, leading up to the Bolshevik Revolution, when workers overthrew Tsar Nicolas II and soon after established the communist Soviet Union.