Russian Language Blog

Some Ukrainian shows on YouTube you should check out Posted by on Mar 16, 2022 in Film & Theater

As a part of a continued celebration of Ukrainian culture, especially as it applies to the Russian-speaking world in general, I would like to explore another aspect: the entertainment. Ukraine remains one of the largest exporters of great content in the Russian language, and the TV shows produced in the country are incredibly popular throughout the Post-Soviet area. In this post, I will explore only a few of my own favorite shows, which I highly recommend you check out yourself, especially as a way to improve your Russian. In many of the shows mentioned, you can find contestants from all over the country. Therefore, some of them speak Ukrainian and some of them speak Russian.


Reality TV makes up a large part of what is produced in modern Ukrainian TV. Many people I have met who have reached an excellent grasp of any language have a lot they owe to reality TV in that language; the close-to-life situations, the drama, and the fact that the content is rather new, provides an excellent source of linguistic material. So, get your pens and papers, open YouTube, and turn on:

Топ-моде́ль по-украи́нски Ukrainian Top Model

This show started out with a slightly different format from the American franchise (and it had a slightly different name – Супермоде́ль по-украи́нски). The contestants go through the show with various зада́ние tasks/challenges. Finally, there is the elimination. If you are a fan of this format, I encourage you to check this show out.

In this episode, the show follows the following format:

Пе́рвое зада́ние – дефиле́ под выступле́ние гру́ппы TVORCHI1First challenge – catwalk to the performance of TVORCHI

Второ́е зада́ние – фотосе́ссия на цифербла́те2Second challenge – photo session on a clock face

Кто вы́был из шо́у?3Who was eliminated?

Су́перба́бушка Supergranny

This one is kind of fun. A more recent one that I watched and enjoyed. A group of four grandmothers who think they are the best gather together. Each one takes turns hosting the others, during which they narrate to the camera how dirty, small, or unacceptable an environment the grandmother is providing for her grandchild(ren). This show is derived from the cult of the grandmother that is present in many Eastern European nations.

Two certainly isn’t nearly enough to cover the huge amount of reality TV present on the Ukrainian market. There are a few shows worth checking out if you are interested in reality TV: from Ма́стер Шеф Master Chef to Бере́менна в 16 16 and Pregnant to Ревизор Revizor.

Орёл и Ре́шка Heads and Tails

This is a travel show with, in my opinion, the most interesting premise I have ever seen:

Дво́е веду́щих, то́лько что прилете́вших в како́й-то го́род, в аэропорту́ броса́ют моне́ту. Кто вы́играл, тот получи́л «золоту́ю» ба́нковскую ка́рту, содержа́щую неограни́ченную су́мму. Кто проигра́л, тот получи́л 100 до́лларов на два дня.4Two hosts who have just arrived in a city toss a coin in the airport. The winner gets a “gold” bank card with an unlimited amount of money on it. The loser gets $100 for two days.

This is how the show gets its name – орёл eagle, the side of the coin that has the eagle on it, and ре́шка, the side of the coin that in English would be called “tails.” This show is interesting in that the viewer gets an idea of the two sides to any destination – the “luxury” option with all the cool stuff you could do if you had the money, and the “budget” option with the cool stuff you can do with limited funds.

My favorite episode of this show is the first one, from 2011 where they go to New York. Of course, the $100 host, finding herself in one of the world’s most expensive cities, actually cannot make it by on just $100 and breaks the rules by finding a job in a Russian restaurant washing dishes.

Here are just a few interesting shows I encourage you to check out. The show is a great way to work on your Russian and to train your ear for the language.

And, most importantly, Нет войне́! No to war!

  • 1
    First challenge – catwalk to the performance of TVORCHI
  • 2
    Second challenge – photo session on a clock face
  • 3
    Who was eliminated?
  • 4
    Two hosts who have just arrived in a city toss a coin in the airport. The winner gets a “gold” bank card with an unlimited amount of money on it. The loser gets $100 for two days.
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  1. SusanB:

    Thank you for posting these…..but I have to be honest 🙂 These shows don’t appeal to me in English, so I hope that you will post links to other shows in Russian that beginner/intermediate Russian language students could watch to improve our listening comprehension. Perhaps a talk show or a travel show? Thanks in advance….

    • ryan:

      @SusanB Сузан, спасибо большое за Ваш комментарий! I would recommend you check out Bota’s most recent blog, in which she gives some links that may be useful for you. There are also a number of Russian language bloggers (usually they also have subtitles in Russian and English, which helps a lot) you can check out who can help with learning Russian, including Tatiana, Stanislav, Max, or Irina. There are many others, just let me know if you would like some more recommendations.