Watching YouTube channels is a great opportunity to improve your Russian. In this post, I will give you a list of the most popular Russian YouTubers that will boost your language skills to the next level.
Let me introduce you to the list of channels that I gathered. You will find a detailed description of each of the channels below.
- Russian language YouTubers (for learners)
- YouTubers with English and Russian subtitles
- Top Russian YouTubers (with no or auto subs)
- Russian YouTubers who speak English
Before we get to the detailed description, I’d like to share some useful tips that will help you to utilize Russian YouTube videos to their ultimate potential.
How to Get Full Use of Watching Russian YouTubers
Ok, here is a couple of things you need to keep in mind to make the best of your YouTube watching.
- Don’t stick to one channel: watch different videos on different topics to absorb various vocabulary.
- Watch videos regularly: include watching YouTube videos in Russian in your daily routine.
- Take notes of new words and phrases: you can do this with Quizlet or another language app.
Russian language YouTubers
This section is for language learners. Most of these channels are made by professional language tutors and contain videos for different levels. They will help you not only expand your vocabulary but also find answers on the most difficult questions of Russian grammar.
- Learning Russian
- 146,984 subscribers
I highly advise this channel for every language starter, because there is a playlist that consists of about 20 lessons that will help you to begin learning the language and grasp the very basics. There, you will also find videos to enlarge your vocabulary, the host’s travel vlog with subtitles in English, and videos about Russian history and culture.
- Russian grammar
- 15,029 subscribers
This is a super cool channel. I don’t know what learners would do without it. Russian grammar can drive anyone crazy, but the host Dr. Curtis Ford (Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics) gives the clearest and the most straightforward explanation of even the most tricky grammar rules. He puts very difficult aspects of Russian grammar into a very logical presentation. He posts rarely, but his vast collection is a treasure for every student who plans on learning Russian seriously.
- Learning Russian
- 20,463 subscribers
This is the channel of another Russian language teacher. Anastasia also has a blog on Instagram. Her YouTube channel a very good option for those who are at the very beginning of their journey with Russian. It’s very motivating, as you’ll find interviews with fellow Russian learners from all over the world. All of her videos are provided with original and English subtitles.
- Learning Russian
- 235,251 subscribers
While most Russian learning channels are focused on language starters, this one offers content for advanced students too. For example, they have special videos with reading practice tasks. Another aspect that I like a lot about this channel is a rubric of Russian Words of the Week with Katya where the host introduces vocabulary from different spheres of life. There are many more helpful things to find there.
- Learning Russian
- 44,479 subscribers
Fedor, the host of the channel, managed to make the Russian learning process more engaging and interactive. I especially like his Practice Friday videos where he presents different topics as if you were his student in a classroom. He also makes cool live lessons where he answers his subscribers’ questions. He’s dedicated to his goal of erasing cultural borders and he’s already created a massive collection of videos that will help any Russian learner.
- Russian language tips
- 15 subscribers
Not so long ago I’ve started my own YouTube channel where I give basic tips and tricks for Russian starters. There are not many videos, but I have big plans for the future! Subscribe and click the notification bell to not to miss my new episodes.
YouTubers with English and Russian subtitles
Searching for videos with quality English subs is like finding a needle in a thousand haystacks. But from a massive amount of content, I managed to find exact episodes translated into English. You will also find quality manually-made Russian subtitles on the following channels.
If you find additional resources or episodes translated into English or with good Russian subtitles, please, let everyone know in the comments below.
- 5,745,092 subscribers
This is the number one channel I advise everyone to subscribe to. The host—Yury Dud—is a former TV journalist who quit his job to make his own show on YouTube. On his show, he interviews the most influential people in modern Russia: politicians, actors, pop-stars, etc. The way he builds his show can’t leave you indifferent; he asks deep and disturbing questions. He also makes long documentaries. The last I watched (Kolyma) literally made me cry.
- Kolyma – Birthplace of Our Fear
- Russian Zambia
- Russian Hollywood
- Khabensky – “The Method 2” and Brad Pit
- Tolokonnikova – bisexuality, Face, prison
- Ievleva – about Eljey, sex and plastic surgery
- StandUp Comedy
- 2,529,051 subscribers
This is another Russian blogger (in addition to Yury Dud) who has been mentioned in the American press. The journalist of the New York Times didn’t understand his humor, but I hope you will. I agree that he is rough sometimes, but personally, I laugh out loud at his content. For you, as a language learner, it’s a good chance to learn a bit more about Russian humor. Don’t miss it!
- Fun parodies on American movies and shows
- 516,188 subscribers
This guy started his youtube career with videos where he discusses serious issues such as propaganda, censorship and many others in a very light and fun manner. His channel is growing fast and he’s now making new videos that look more like real movies in a short format. His jokes are targeted to Russian culture to create “our own national something”. He has videos about Russian “Breaking Bad”, Russian “Black Mirror” and I hope there will be more.
- Current news
- Travel vlog
- 1,055,547 subscribers
Ilya Varlamov is an architect by profession, but a multi faceted person: traveler, civil activist, journalist, blogger, businessman, and so on. I disagree with him on some points but I admire his honest view on many up-to-date problems. Check out his interviews and you’ll learn much more about life in Russia. Usually, the videos that have English titles have manually-made Russian subs, but there might be much more. Here are some recent examples.
- How to beat a hangover
- Top applications for travel: things to download before traveling abroad
- Blogger ‘Stalingulag’ about the life of disabled people in Russia
- Wildfires in Siberia: why it’s necessary to take immediate action
- Tampere: Russian officials would be shocked!
- Japan — life beyond the Russian regulations
11. Всё как у зверей (Just like other animals)
- Human & Wildlife
- 236,609 subscribers
I totally love this channel. The host tells exiting scientific facts that disclose a simple truth: we are much more like animals than we think. She unfolds many surprising truths about evolution, genetics, and biology. I think I significantly saturated my understanding of the surrounding world with this channel. Another bonus—the host has a very soft and calming voice that is very pleasant to listen to. These are the episodes I would recommend the most:
- Sexual Selection – What Women Want
- How to Rule the World Using Altruism, Patriotism, and Other Animal Instincts
- Lion – Animal-asshole: Animal Sex 40 Times a Day, Polygamy, Fighting
- Homosexuality in Animals and Humans
- How to know if your girlfriend is cheating on you?
- Cinema critiques
- 254,076 subscribers
This channel doesn’t seem to be very big, but the host—Evgeny Bazhenov—is a real influencer in the field of cinematography! His opinion means so much that Russian government-related cinema companies even tried to sue him. Luckily, they didn’t manage. Evgeny started as a cinema critic, but now his reviews look like movies themselves. They are super funny and I believe his constructive criticism is changing Russian cinematography for the better.
- [BadComedian] – Red Sparrow (RUSSIAN wHoRe vs. USA)
- Channel Closure, Courts, Medinsky and CENSORSHIP
- Breaking BadComedian [No Country for Reviews ]
- CHERNOVIK (our Doctor Strange by Lukyanenko)
- A Nightmare on Elm Street [Bad’s] (Tarantino, Scrubs and Die Hard) (Russian subtitles)
- T-34 (Attraction of Nazis) (Russian subtitles)
Top Russian YouTubers
This section is for those of you who are ready to watch videos without any subtitles. Sure, you can turn on automatically generated subs, but they are not very reliable and will most likely confuse you, rather than make things more clear. So, challenge yourself, and watch what native Russian-speakers watch.
13. Room Factory
- Short comedy sketches
- 3,658,457 subscribers
A team of very talented guys from Ukraine makes incredibly funny sketches on matters of daily life. In short episodes, every youngster will find something to relate to: the university, a rented flat, an empty fridge and cool friends. I think their humor is cross-cultural and will be understood in every country. Their show is a magic pill for fixing a bad mood!
14. Ruslan Usachev
- Reviews: news, movies, techno
- 1,908,867 subscribers
Ruslan started his career on YouTube some 10 years ago, yet he continues to trend. He began the channel with movie reviews, but then expanded his topics to news and gadgets. In his videos, he talks about issues that worry the Russian younger generation: censorship, orthodox church, corruption, etc. I also advise you to not miss his show “Пора валить” (Time to get out) where he travels across Russia.
15. Орёл и решка (Head & Tail)
- Travel show
- 2,235,736 subscribers
This by no means is the most extravagant travel show in Russia. The idea is simple: there are two hosts, traveling across the globe. Having reached the next city one of them gets $100 for a weekend and while the other gets a golden bank card (they decide this by flipping a coin). Sure, it’s not a real life vlog, as it involves the work of a big production team, but it is still very exciting. It shows two sides of traveling, where an adventure with $100 is often a much better option.
16. Simple Life
- Life of a family in a small Russian village
- 53,629 subscribers
This is a small, cozy channel where a family of downshifters tells about their life in a tiny Russian village. They describe the hustles and bustles of country life: plowing a field, harvesting, keeping domestic animals, and raising a child. This family changed life in huge Moscow into life in a natural and calm place in central Russia. This is an excellent channel to see what a Russian village looks like.
Russian YouTubers who speak English
There are very few English-speakers on YouTube who represent themselves as Russians. To my deepest regret most of them don’t try to share anything valuable, choosing instead to exploit common stereotypes about Russia, such as vodka and an unmistakable accent. However, there are a couple of channels that I would still recommend.
17. Sergey Baklakov
- Life in Russia
- 125 364 subscribers
Sergey started his YouTube channel more than 6 years ago and some of his videos have more than 5 million views. These days, he continues his journey across Russia and shows it from the inside. Here, you’ll see everything: from a typical Russian house entrance to magnificent churches.
- Gadgets reviews
- 11 175 107 subscribers
This guy has become popular for his unique and fun manner to tell about different (sometimes incredible) gadgets: from foot cutters to devices for chicken coops. His videos are an alternative to the fancy content that represents different gadgets in the artificial manner of advertising. Unlike those channels, Russian crazy hacker tries everything himself and shows a real result.
This was my list of the best Russian YouTubers for language learners. What channels helped you master Russian? Who are your favorite vloggers that should also take a place on this list? Share below!