Semenov Bogatyr (Семеновский богатырь). The original version! The mighty Bogatyr, with his smaller companions, stands ready for battle. The first doll is carries a club and shield. Each have pointed red helmets, and the overall painting is detailed. This is the classic style that dates back to the early 1960's through the early 1990's. It was probably made in the mid-1980's. Due to the labor involved, the style was eventually discontinued. Made in USSR paper label, 5 nest, about 5" tall. In like new condition.
Refer to Collector's Guide to Nesting Dolls by Michele Lefkovitz, p 12 and color section, 1st page between pp 93-94. (Note: the picture depicts an earlier version which is quite rare.) Refer to the reference book Russian Matryoshka (Moscow: Interbook, 1993) by Larissa Soloviova and Marina Marder, photo on pg 19 showing the painted version.
The bogatyr is an ancient hero or warrior akin to a Western European knight errant. Many of the legends about bogatyrs revolve around the court of Vladimir I of Kiev (958–1015). The most prominent were the trio of Alyosha Popovich, Dobrynya Nikitich and Ilya Muromets, each distinguished by a character trait: Alyosha for his wits, Dobrynya for his courage, and Ilya for his physical and spiritual power and integrity, and for his dedication to protect his homeland and people. Notable bogatyrs fought by Alexander Nevsky's side and at the Battle of Kulikovo against the Tatars in 1380.