Teaching Russia Online Resource Database

For those who’ve been left without a classroom and are wondering how to make sure that students are still getting a comprehensive education on Russia and the Post-Soviet Space, we’ve compiled a list of resources sent to us by academics around the world who are experiencing the same challenges! Check back daily for more, and if you have materials to add please reach out to jordan.russia.center@nyu.edu. Thank you to all who have contributed thus far!




CSIS “Russian Roulette”: “Hosted by CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program expert Jeffrey Mankoff, Russian Roulette takes a look at the politics, economics, and culture of Russia and Eurasia through both interviews and lively discussion with experts from CSIS and around the world.”

Global News Radio “Russia Rising”: “Russia Rising is an investigative series hosted by Jeff Semple, the former Europe Bureau Chief for Global News. It unravels the mystery behind Putin’s Russia.”

CEPA “The Power Vertical“: “Kremlin coverage for Kremlin watchers. The Power Vertical Podcast is a weekly program focusing on Russian affairs hosted by Brian Whitmore.” Older episodes can be found on the Radio Free Europe website.

Sean’s Russia Blog Podcast: “The SRB Podcast’s mission is simple: to provide a space for the many, many interesting thinkers who do amazing work to express their views, discuss their work, and contribute to the larger public discussion on the region. The show also seeks to give the public access to the wonderful and growing body of research that rarely reaches a broad audience but is crucially important, especially as tensions with and in the region flare.”

Reconsidering Russia Podcast: “Reconsidering Russia and the Former Soviet Union (not be confused with Rethinking Russia) is an online publication dedicated to Russia and the post-Soviet space, maintained by Pietro A. Shakarian, a PhD Candidate in Russian History at The Ohio State University. Shakarian founded Reconsidering Russia in March 2014, while an MA student at the University of Michigan. It became a source of information and analyses on developments in the post-Soviet space for use by students, scholars, journalists, and interested readers.  Entries have been featured on Johnson’s Russia List and have been cited in media as diverse as The John Batchelor ShowThe NationThe National InterestThe Wall Street Journal, and World Politics Review, as well as in various books and web sources.”

Meduza “The Naked Pravda”: “Meduza’s first English-language podcast, The Naked Pravda highlights how our top reporting intersects with the wider research and expertise that exists about Russia. The broader context of Meduza’s in-depth, original journalism isn’t always clear, which is where this show comes in. Here you’ll hear from the world’s community of Russia experts, activists, and reporters about the issues at the heart of Meduza’s stories.”



Beslan. Remember.: This three-hour-long documentary released by journalist Yuri Dud and dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the Beslan school siege features interviews with eyewitnesses who survived the hostage crisis.

HIV in Russia: In this documentary, journalist Yuri Dud discusses the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia that has been growing in the country since the 1990s. It features several interviews with HIV+ Russians from various communities, across the country.

Winter Go Away: This documentary follows the winter protests that took place during Putin’s 2012 presidential campaign. It was made by Russian documentary film and theatre students and profiles several important opposition figures.

Leviathan: This 2014 film directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev follows the story of Kolya, a car mechanic, and his family in Pribrezhny, a working-class coastal town, as the town’s corrupt mayor attempts to expropriate the land on which their home is built. This film has been described as a fitting depiction of corruption and deterioration of rule of law in modern-day Russia.

Elena: This 2011 film directed by Andreey Zvyagintsev follows Elena, a former nurse with a working cass background, as she navigates class resentments between herself and her husband, Vladimir, a business tycoon, who has planned to leave his fortune solely to his daughter.

My Perestroika: This 2010 documentary “follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times — from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Together, these childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionment of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.”

Meeting Gorbachev: This 2018 documentary directed by Werner Herzog and Andre Singer follows the life of Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the USSR. It features three interviews between Herzog and Gorbachev himself.

Khodorkovsky: This 2011 documentary directed by Cyril Tuschi follows the story behind Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s arrest and conviction, and subsequent transformation into a martyr for the cause of political freedom and rule of law in Russia.

Spinning Boris: The 2003 American comedy starring Jeff Goldblum, Anthony LaPaglia, and Liev Schreiber is based on the true story of three American political consultants who were hired by Russian elites to work on Boris Yeltsin’s successful reelection campaign in 1996 during which his approval ratings were down to single digits.

Age of Delirium: This 2013 documentary by David Satter “tells the story of the fall of the USSR as lived and experienced by the Soviet people.” It profiles several normal individuals and communities as they navigate the Soviet Union’s collapse and the start of life in Russia in the 1990s.

Putin’s Kiss: This 2012 documentary follows Russian youth activist Masha Drokova and her experiences in the Russian government-organized youth political action NGO Nashi.

The Orange Chronicles: This 2005 film by Damian Kolodiy and Peter Zielyk follows the development of the Orange Revolution through a personal account of three months spent in the middle of uprising.

Putin’s Revenge: This 2017 PBS Frontline production “tells the inside story of how Vladimir Putin came to see the US as an enemy — and why he decided to target an American election.”

Inside Putin’s Russia: “PBS NewsHour special correspondent Nick Schifrin and producer Zach Fannin spent seven weeks in Russia, traveling to more than 12 cities as they provided viewers with a context for thinking about President Vladimir Putin’s global impact: How did this KGB veteran rise to power, and how has he shaped public opinion through appeals to nationalism and through manufacturing consent via “fake news”? What factors have turned Russia’s Islamic minority into prime recruits for ISIS? How has Putin disposed of his domestic enemies and deployed cyberwar against America? Not since the Cold War has a Russian leader cast such a shadow over world events or generated such intense concern within American politics.”

The Rise of Vladimir Putin: This documentary by Russian filmmaker Vitaly Manskiy “looks at the rise of Vladimir Putin using video material never shown before. The film begins its examination with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the year 2000.” The film’s collection of one-on-one interviews with Russian political leaders including Putin and Yeltsin provides an unparalleled inside look into political transitions in Russia in the early 2000s.

Don’t Call Him Dimon: This 2017 investigative documentary produced by Russian opposition leader Alexei navalny “tells the story of the corrupt empire of the chairman of the government of the Russian Federation and the United Russia party Dmitry Medvedev. … Through his puppet “charity foundations” Dmitry Medvedev owns real estate around the country, controls giant lots of land in the most elite districts, enjoys yachts and apartments in pre-revolutionary mansions, and receives profit from the agricultural companies and vineyards both in Russia and abroad.”

Putin’s Russia | Empire: This 2012 documentary by Al Jazeera, released and produced at the start of Putin’s third term as Russian President, asks “if Russia can become a superpower once again.”

The Donetsk People’s Republic: This short documentary by VICE “follows the chaotic birth of the Donetsk People’s Republic as it tries to forge a path to independence and closer ties to Russia.”

Russian Ark: “A unique and sumptuous cinematic experience. Sokurov’s extraordinary masterpiece is a unique journey through time and Russian history. Filmed entirely in the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, this groundbreaking film recreates 300 years of history in a single, unedited, feature length take.”


Video Series

Putin, Russia, and the West: This BBC Two series follows “how the great Soviet superpower, crushed and humiliated, has been resurrected in the form of Vladimir Putin’s new Russia.”

Generation Gulag: This series of nine short documentary films from online publication Codastory “uncovers the impact of Russia’s campaign to rewrite the history of Gulag survivors. The series features interviews and animated illustrations of the survivors’ memories, offering an accessible medium for understanding the dangers of recent campaigns to make history books fit new political narratives.”


YouTube Channels

Yuri Dud “вДудь”: Yuri Dud is a Russian journalist and video-blogger who got his start at Izvestia and later moved into sports reporting. Since 2017 he has been producing short videos and documentaries on his YouTube channel in which he interviews prominent journalists, businessmen, politicians, actors, bloggers, filmmakers, and more about topics ranging from HIV and the Gulag to Soccer and Russian music.

Alexei Navalny: Lawyer, activist, and political opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s YouTube channel features a wide array of videos including the Anti-Corruption Foundation’s videoblog series, Navalny’s personal videoblog, documentaries on large scale corruption among high-up Russian political leaders, and more.


Short Videos

New York Times, What it’s Like to Be a Teenager in Putin’s Russia: “Teenagers who have grown up in Russia have known only one leader in their lifetimes: Vladimir Putin. In this video Op-Ed, Daria Navalnaya, host of an influential YouTube channel and daughter of the opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny, interviews a cross-section of young Russians about how they feel about Mr. Putin, politics and their country’s future. Her interviews reveal a generation frustrated with the status quo, pessimistic about the possibility of change, and torn between their dreams for the future and their deep sense of patriotism.”


Multimedia Projects

Generation P:  This series of articles and videos from the Moscow Times presents “the stories of 18 teenagers who have lived a lifetime under Vladimir Putin.”

1917: Free History: 1917. Free History. is a project organized by Yandex Publishing and Pushkin House that teaches viewers about the year 1917 through the words and experiences of those that were there to witness it. It displays primary sources (“letters, memoirs, diaries and other documents of the period”) in the model of a social media timeline to take viewers day by day through the year of the Russian Revolution.


Recorded Talks/Lectures

Jesse Driscoll, “Ukraine’s Civil War”: “Jesse Driscoll, an associate professor of political science and chair of the Global Leadership Institute at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California–San Diego, spoke about “Ukraine’s Civil War” at the Mershon Center on September 14, 2017.” 


Cultural Institution Online Platforms

Tretyakov Gallery: In light of its closing in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus in Moscow, the Tretyakov Gallery has launched a series of concerts, films, excursions and lectures with the hashtag #ТретьяковкаДома, which can be found here on the Gallery’s website. In addition, the Gallery’s YouTube channel features over 400 videos, including films, lectures, and curated walks through permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Bolshoi Theatre: The Bolshoi Theatre will be broadcasting its “Golden Collection” — six of its most popular opera and ballet performances — on its official YouTube channel weekly from March 27th to April 10th.  In addition, the Bolshoi’s YouTube channel features a permanent archive of over 400 videos including clips from performances, interviews with performers, and more!

Hermitage Museum: The expansive State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has a “virtual visit” feature on its website, which allows the viewer to take a virtual tour of any of the museum’s permanent or temporary exhibitions. In addition, Apple recently released a 5+ hour long virtual tour through 45 of the museum’s galleries (shot on the iPhone 11…).


Online Educational Platforms

Arzamas: This Russian-language resource “is dedicated to the history of culture.” The project uses a variety of platforms including online courses, an online magazine, special projects, educational programs, podcasts, and live events to share information about literature, art, history, and all aspects of the humanities (Russian and non-Russian).

Gorky.media: This Russian-language resource is focused on “new media about books and reading.” The platform publishes “news, book reviews, essays, interviews with writers, translators, scientists, publishers and readers, thematic book reviews, articles about publishing, excerpts from books being prepared for publication, fragments of classics that are still relevant today, and articles about the history of reading as well as how people read today.” Gorky.media also houses a database of modern Russian literary journals.

Polka: This Russian-language resource is dedicated to expanding our knowledge of the Russian literary canon. It features a wealth of information on over 100 classic Russian books, with one featured book per day. Viewers can browse books based on genre, style, period, and other characteristics, and hear from Russian literature experts on all aspects of each work. The resource also provides links to free, full online versions of each book (in Russian).



Prozhito: “Prozhito is a searchable digital corpus of Russian- and Ukrainian-language diaries. The ultimate goal of Prozhito is to create a digital gateway to understanding diaries with DH tools and methods. Prozhito started in April 2015 with 100 diaries containing 30,000 entries.  Over the years the project has expanded and today Prozhito gives users access to over 3,000 diaries with over 300,000 daily entries.”


Similar Databases

PONARS Eurasia Digital Resource Hub: “The PONARS Eurasia Digital Resource Hub is a unique online resource compiling videos on a variety of topics relating to Russian and Eurasian history and politics. The collection can be used to supplement both in-person and online lectures and coursework.”