Russians (Russian: русские, tr. russkiye) are a Slavic ethnic group located mainly throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union. Speaking the Russian language, they are one of the world's largest ethnic groups, with about 180 million Russians worldwide. Russian scientists, writers and artists began to be recognized in the West in the mid 1800s. Great minds like Aleksandr Pushkin, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and many others exemplified the Russian creative tradition and became famous worldwide. Soviet science launched Yuri Gagarin, first human in space, in addition to other achievements. There is a significant Russian diaspora abroad, especially in the United States, Australia, Canada, France and Germany.