The 13-part program consists of 40 interviews with people who were held in Russian prisons, collectively enduring a total of 256 years behind bars. It is a distillation of 300 hours of raw video, directed by prominent filmmaker Andrei Sylvestrov. The series takes viewers inside the walls of the Russian incarceration system - “a self-contained cosmos” - through the experiences recounted by former inmates, many of them political prisoners, but also former millionaires, bureaucrats, and thieves. Some were imprisoned recently, while others were incarcerated during the Soviet period. The episodes evoke the system's corruption and brutality, but also reveal inmates' informal code of behavior, and their defiant insistence on survival. Interviews are blended with original animation to capture the "parallel reality" of prison life.
This miniseries by Russian journalist Andrei Loshak takes a look at the history of the Russian Internet, or the RuNet, and how it has changed over time. From the start, the RuNet’s development has reflected the social and political changes in Russian society: the liberalism of the 1990s, the economic boom of the early 2000s, and, more recently, the introduction of strict Internet censorship laws. In the past seven years, the Russian state has actively tried to bring the RuNet under its control, but can it succeed?
“Unknown Russia”, hosted by award-winning Russian journalist Vadim Kondakov, explores extraordinary places and people in Russia rarely seen on mainstream television. Each episode takes the viewer on a literal journey of discovery. Visit Russia’s westernmost border, in Kaliningrad, where a man has spent years without electricity, water, or family comforts in order to pursue his passion of painstakingly preserving an abandoned 19th-century fortress. Or travel to a virtual ghost town on the remote Kurile Islands in Russia’s Far East, where residents say they have been all but forgotten on the mainland. Learn about the mysterious signal from space recorded at an astrophysical observatory deep in the North Caucasus, or find out whether it’s possible to become a traffic cop when you’re raised in a city of long-haul truckers. “Unknown Russia” reveals a side of this vast and fascinating country that’s new even to Russians themselves.
It’s often called Europe’s last dictatorship; an oppressed, Russified country with a grandly mustachioed leader and a passion for potatoes. But how does everyday Belarus actually tick? And how do Belarusians define themselves? Thanks to scant media coverage, many outsiders struggle to say. From Minsk market workers to domestic violence shelters and state-assigned jobs, our monthly documentary series Unknown Belarus, created by Belarusian directors Lyubov Zemtsova and Julia Shatun and producer Vladimir Mikhailovski, will introduce you to the people, places, and phenomena of the real, little-seen Belarus.
#InUkraine looks at exceptional people, places, and phenomena that few Ukrainians know about. How does a remote village of elderly women keep contact with the outside world? What makes successful young people pack up their families and move to a life in the wilderness? Why are farmers taking up arms and becoming real-life cowboys in a bloody battle for land? Hosted by Antonina Marovdi.
“Person on the Map” is a rare encounter with Russians living in the country’s modern-day outback, far from the prosperity of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Each episode focuses on a person - a teacher, a farmer with disability, an inventor - who has opted for the provincial life and is eager to build a better world without leaving home. Hosted by Yekaterinburg-based journalist Ekaterina Ponomaryova.
Russian filmmaker Stanislav Feofanov’s special project is a series of 10 documentary films that examine some of Russian society’s most pervasive problems: inadequate health care and infrastructure, poverty, corruption, and officialdom’s frequent indifference toward ordinary citizens. Viewers travel to a closed village in northern Russia that was exposed to radiation from a 2019 explosion at a nearby military test site. They learn what it’s like to live not far from a cosmodrome but have to rely on a narrow-gauge railway to reach the outside world. Along the Finnish border, they meet the local activists and journalists struggling to preserve the city of Vyborg’s rich architectural heritage.
Countries of the former Soviet Union were the largest single source of foreign fighters in the Syria/Iraq conflict - more than neighboring states in the Middle East. “Not in Our Name” collected video portraits of those who lost family members in Syria and Iraq, presenting them to young people from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan and asking them to share their experiences and perspectives. “Not in Our Name” is the first regional counterextremism project ever produced for Central Asia.
“Details” is a weekly look at the latest news in science and technology produced by VOA Russian. Each week, host Andrei Dziarkach explores stories making headlines in the area of space exploration, tech innovations, and breakthroughs in science and medicine. Our reporters test the newest gadgets and talk to those who make our lives more interesting, safe and comfortable. See the future today!
The program “Real Cinema” by Vitali Manski provides a live connection to reality. The author invites us backstage to the leading film festivals, including Cannes, Berlinale, Toronto, IDFA, and Karlovy Vary, or to friendly, private sittings with filmmakers. Manski takes his viewers all over the world, including to countries that are closed to tourists. The guests of the show are his friends - cultural figures, writers, and politicians. In the format of a seemingly random conversation in progress, the interlocutors immerse themselves in the contradictions of the modern world, drawing on examples from world documentary film. Manski’s guests have included Andrey Zvyagintsev, Marina Razbezhkina, Alexander Gelman, Sergey Loznitsa, Oleg Sentsov, Boris Grebenshchikov, Zhanna Nemtsova and Alexei Serebryakov.
This monthly documentary series examines how formerly communist-controlled countries both remember and make use of the past. Each episode examines the contradictions that exist between active, or current, memories of controversial events and those memories that governments and others choose to conceal. From the Nazi siege of Leningrad to Soviet republics' declarations of independence, Active Memory broadens the information available to viewers so that they can decide for themselves what is the real truth about their past.
There are nearly 200 women playing professional football in Ukraine. But few Ukrainians know their country even has a women’s league with a rich sporting culture all its own - starting with the indomitable athletes and their often remarkable personal stories. Explore the world of women’s soccer as it plays out in different corners of Ukraine, from the tiny Carthpathian village of Kryvopolye to the frontline city of Severodonetsk in the country’s war-torn east. For the female athletes at the heart of “Beautiful Game”, football is more than just a sport: it’s a passion, a way of life, and a day-to-day struggle. Hosted by Darya Tkachenko, a former player with the Donchanka women’s professional football team in Donetsk.
“Zoom” lives up to its name with intimate, up-close portraits of ordinary life across the entire post-Soviet space. From Lviv to Vladivostok, a chance to explore the lives of ballerinas, doctors, homeless people, labor migrants, human rights defenders, and even inventors. You’ll see struggles and triumph, creatvity and growth, fresh starts and coming out - never staged, but always with an attentive and curious outlook on life in its many manifestations.
“Our American Story” is a weekly documentary series produced by Voice of America about Russian-speaking Americans and life in their newly adopted country. These people come from various backgrounds - they are architects, lawyers, musicians, and athletes. But they are united in one goal: the pursuit of the American dream. In a series of 25-minute self-narrated episodes, the featured individuals who came to the United States from many post-Soviet states talk about why they chose America as the place to build their new lives - and the challenges and triumphs they’ve met along the way.
The way we educate our children reflects our thoughts about the future. “Open Lesson” looks at issues related to contemporary schools and life in the classroom. What does the next generation need to succeed? Mobile online learning, experimental “park-schools,” religious education, or home-schooling? Learn about the latest trends from those with first-hand experience - teachers, parents, and the students themselves. Travel to countries where governments have made education a national priority - and to those where progressive forms of teaching are still decades away.
An ideal companion to Current Time’s documentary film series, “Real Conversation“ examines the labor and artistry that goes into the preparation and creation of some of the best documentaries of the day. In a series of 24-minute interviews, host Andrey Korolyov talks to the protagonists, filmmakers, and industry experts who serve as your personal guide to the world of documentaries - with critiques, attentive analysis, and deconstruction of the personal narratives on view.
“Business Plan” a joint project between Current Time and independent Ukrainian channel Hromadske.ua, taps into the entrepreneur in all of us. Follow the Ukrainian innovators behind unique business start-ups that range from computerized irrigation to gourmet snail farming. You’ll learn about the specifics of doing business in Ukraine and how business models differ from country to country. Get helpful tips for beginners and experience the excitement and challenges of starting your own business - all while following the ups and downs of some of Ukraine’s most charismatic young entrepreneurs.
What do you know about Central Asia? International media often describe it as just an underdeveloped former part of the Soviet Union that is a breeding ground for Islamic radicalism, but the truth goes much deeper. From the religious diversity of Kyrgyzstan’s “Switzerland,” the small mountain town of Karakol, to Kazakhstan’s happening metropolis, Almaty, this series dispels common myths about Central Asia and introduces you to the variety of people, issues, cultures, and cuisines that define this fascinating, complex region today.
“New York, New York” is a weekly magazine program produced by the VOA Russian team in the Big Apple. Every Sunday, we show you all you should see, eat, wear, and know here. It’s a fast-paced show showcasing the heart and soul of New York, taking viewers out of the studio and onto the streets of the city that never sleeps. The show features iconic New York spots and explains their historic significance and importance of this locale today. These are famous tourist locations like Central Park, Times Square, and Grand Central Station, but with a twist. Portraits is another regular segment where we meet a New York resident who has an interesting story to tell. We see the quirky habits of New Yorkers like those who decide to take a swim in frigid winter temperatures, and we meet Foodie Allen, who introduces us to the latest culinary delights dazzling palettes across the boroughs.
This documentary project explores the character of different American states and cities through the stories of their people, history, culture, and food. Our documentary series of 24-minute episodes showcase the uniqueness of each place and aims at breaking down popular stereotypes about America. We’ll take our viewers on a tour beyond major tourist routes and introduce them to the people who represent the best of the American character: self-made problem solvers, innovators, thinkers, and role models. Our special focus in each episode will be on strong female characters, the stories of successful immigrants, on diversity and the LGBT community.
“Come Visit” is a food and travel show hosted by Georgian journalist Zurab Dvali and produced by Irina Khangoshvili. Travel with Dvali as he explores the culture, history, and traditions of different countries around the world - all the while enjoying beautiful views and attractions, spectacular nature, and hospitable locals urging viewers to “Come visit!”. Learn interesting, little-known facts about the history and culture of some of your favorite countries before settling back for a cooking lesson with one of the region’s top chefs.
“Baltic Weekly” takes a look at some of the most interesting news stories coming out of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia - three countries with three distinct languages and cultures whose people nonetheless are bound by common issues and concerns. The show taps into political developments, soliciting a wide range of voices for balance and clarity. No topic goes unexplored, and no voice unheard. Baltic Weekly’s goal is to unite its audience around issues that are important regardless of the country you live in. Hosted by Evgeny Erlich.
The "Morning" show is Current Time's first program, appearing weekdays from our Kyiv studio and is hosted by Oksana Dumskaya and Vladimir Mikhailov. It gives our viewers the most important stories as they start their day. The 30-minute "Morning" program airs at 8 a.m., 9 a.m., and 10 a.m. Kyiv time (and at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. Moscow and Minsk time, respectively). This dynamic program appeals to all our viewers in the various countries, and is produced by a talented new team of journalists in Ukraine.
“Footage vs. Footage” hosted by Russian journalist Andrey Cherkasov, is a show about the news - and the people who make it. This media literacy program mines the week’s top international stories, dissecting fake news and sensationalized stories, and helping the viewer learn the difference between unintentional mistakes and conscious manipulation. “Footage vs. Footage“ examines stories from all possible angles and sources - and lets you be the judge.
The “Evening" program gives an in-depth look at the most interesting and important news of the day with exclusive interviews and unexpected guests. The show offers various points of view on all the hot topics of the day -- and is shown live every night from Monday to Friday [add times like you did for Morning?]. It is produced and hosted in Prague by Iryna Romaliiska and Igor Sevruigin.
The daily half-hour news program “Newsday” brings you the top international and regional stories of the day. With dozens of correspondents in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltics, Europe and beyond, Newsday provides accurate and balanced fact-based information, gives voice to all parties, and offers a full range of opinions and insight on contentious issues. “Newsday” strives to stand out from local media options by covering topics that official media in a number of countries frequently seek to bypass. Hosted by Ksenia Sokolanskaya.
The news program “Asia” is information designed specifically for a Central Asian audience. Produced in Bishkek, with exclusive reports and investigations from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Daily interviews with independent journalists and civil activists, politicians, and human rights activists. With fact-based reporting and context that puts stories into perspective, our correspondents provide an alternative to official reports. Hosted by Shavkat Turgaev.
“America” provides a daily hour of news from the United States. The show covers everything from the top political events of the day to the economy, science and technology, health, and show business. With correspondents in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, and other cities, our exclusive interviews, stories, and reports provide viewers with information that is difficult to find in Russian-language media.
“Week in review” is an analytical talk show that brings you in-depth discussions about the most important social and political events of the week - on both sides of the ocean, and with a range of voices. Newsmakers - politicians, journalists, experts - all appearing exclusively on our show to discuss the issues that matter. We offer opinions, insight, and details you won’t find on other channels.
The series, consisting of short documentaries about real Russian life from protests at the Kremlin to the line for bread in a provincial town. These are stories of people: inhabitants of big cities and abandoned villages, successful and not so much, experiencing grief and joy. Films about people of different fates and beliefs, which are united by the fact that they live in Russia.
The series, consisting of short documentaries on complex topics in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. This is an author’s view on the problems and prospects of these regions. Real life close-up.
Current Time (Настоящее Время) is a 24/7 TV & digital network targeting Russian speakers living around the globe. Current Time offers an objective and fresh alternative to Kremlin-controlled media – providing live news, spin-free analysis, and engaging feature programming with an accent on people, not politics.
Funded by the U.S. Congress, and led by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in cooperation with Voice of America, Current Time has gathered top-rate independent journalists to deliver the news from Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, the Baltics, Europe, and the United States. And with 100 new titles a year, Current Time offers the largest compendium of Russian-language documentaries – many of them never shown on the mainstream Russian market.
We round out our programming with shows on business start-ups, education, media literacy, cooking and travel, and a rare look at the unexplored people and places of the Russian-speaking world.