Language Resources

Russian Audiovisual Resources

Radio and Podcasts

Радио Свобода (Radio Liberty)

Stream news from a major radio station live. Many shows are also available for download, and some provide transcripts. Radio Sbovoda also hosts several podcasts on news and life in Russia, which are available for download or subscription. Shows with transcripts may be accessible to intermediate learners, but streaming radio is best for advanced speakers.

РоссияFM

This website connects you to many Russian music radio stations. Advanced speakers will understand more of the content, but all Russian learners may enjoy listening to the stations!

Russian Podcast

This is a language learning podcast appropriate for beginners to advanced students who want to review. Paid subscriptions provide transcripts of episodes, but the podcasts are free to listen to, and they also include free PDFs with vocabulary and other information.

TV and Movies

Последний из Магикян (Last of the Magikyan)

All episodes available on Youtube. This sitcom follows a mixed Russian-Armenian family living in present day Moscow -- comparable to Modern Family in its scope and silliness. An excellent resource for beginning students who want to start watching TV/films in Russian, as the dialogue is fairly easy to follow (children are often speaking) and context makes the simple plots easy to understand. The first episode is especially useful, as it deals with lots of beginning vocabulary -- birthdays, smiles, nationalities, etc. A genuinely funny and heartfelt show about identity, family, and modern life.

Ivanovo Detstvo (Ivan’s Childhood) (1962)

Ivan’s Childhood opens with a dream—the film’s protagonist, 12-year-old Ivan Bondarev, runs around barefoot, chasing butterflies with his mother—before grounding itself into the harsh reality of World War II, where Ivan fights for the Soviet army as a frontline scout. The film continues in this non-linear fashion, where memories of serene family life are contrasted with the trauma of wartime life—although he is only a child, Ivan has experienced tremendous loss. Tarkovsky’s first feature film, Ivan’s Childhood joined a new genre of war films under the de-Stalinization of the late ‘50s and ‘60s, such as The Cranes Are Flying and Father of the Soldier—at a time when World War II was still a major influence on Soviet identity, these films moved away from the typical heroic and glorified post-war narratives and instead centered around the anguish and sorrow of Soviet citizens.

Film synopses by Kristina Kutateli.