20 Top YouTube Channels to Practice Listening Skills

YouTube is like a goldmine of educational videos about anything you can think of! It’s a huge mistake to learn a language without using YouTube.

In this article, I want to share with you a list of awesome channels that can be super helpful when learning Russian. These channels might not be all about education, but they’re packed with cool stuff that shows what life in Russia is like, including their culture, art, and other exciting things!

Watching and learning on YouTube

Don’t forget to bookmark this list so that you can save all the links to these channels and watch them later.

Easy Russian

Okay, I know it might sound a little boastful to kick off the list with my own channel, but hey, I’ve gotta tell you about it anyway! In my videos, I do my best to break down grammar rules, cover all sorts of vocabulary, and most importantly, give you loads of examples to see how the Russian language is used in action.

Now, I get it, some folks might find these videos boring, but learning isn’t always just about having fun. It’s hard work too. And truth be told, videos like mine actually help a bunch of people out there learn the language.


Oh, I know there’s another channel on YouTube with the same name, where people on the streets talk about different topics. I can also recommend this channel to those who are learning Russian.

Отдельная цивилизация

Street interviews with Russian residents, usually focusing on acute political topics. The responses from people, particularly the elderly, may surprise foreigners, but they do reflect the prevailing political views held by many ordinary Russians.

The channel’s creator adds a humorous touch through clever editing, highlighting the absurdity of the situation. The channel’s name, ‘Separate Civilization,’ is used ironically to further underscore this perspective.


Букич

Illustrated videos featuring summaries of popular books on psychology, management, marketing, and finance. These videos include extensive accompanying text, which will make it easier for those who are not native speakers of Russian to comprehend the information. Subtitles in Russian are also provided.


Arzamas

Arzamas is an educational project that focuses on cultural history. It’s a great place to discover fascinating insights about the Russian language as well.

Despite the channel’s theme, the information presented here is anything but boring! Some videos are surprisingly amusing, they cover historical periods or phenomena in just 20 minutes. For instance, there’s an entertaining video about the history of the Russian language (with Russian subtitles).


Additionally, you’ll find a few videos available in English. I highly recommend checking out the concise history of Russian art for those who are interested.

Mosfilm

This is the official channel of the Mosfilm Cinema Concern. It features a collection of over 1000 Soviet and Russian films, including comedies, melodramas, detectives, action films, dramas, and adventures.

The movies have undergone digital restoration, with many available in FullHD and 4K formats.

The channel offers a selection of movies with English subtitles, as well as some films with Spanish, German, and Arabic subtitles. Explore the channel to enjoy a variety of timeless classics, popular hits, and new releases from Russian cinema.

See Also: 10 Best Soviet Movies for Russian Learners

Varlamov

Ilya Varlamov is a popular journalist who shares a range of travel videos and tackles important socio-political subjects on his channel.

Previously, he primarily focused on urbanism and offered critiques of Russian cities in his videos. On his channel, you’ll find a dedicated playlist called ‘Travels in Russia,’ showcasing an authentic perspective that you won’t typically find in travel guides.

There’s also a playlist, where you can find videos with English subtitles. One of them talks about the worst city in Russia.


AdamThomasMoran (+100500)

A guy commenting funny clips from all over the internet. I think this kind of videos will never die.

I remember this channel being extremely popular back in 2009 when I was a student. It felt fresh and incredibly amusing to us at the time. However, my personal interest waned rather quickly.

Since then, the channel has undergone numerous changes, and the video quality has significantly improved. Nevertheless, I still have a preference for the older videos. I think it’s because even the viral videos themselves were funnier. Much more than the host’s comments.

I’ll share one of my all-time favorites here.



The videos contain obscene language.

BadComedian

Reviews of bad Russian (and sometimes foreign) movies.

Another very old YouTube channel that, however, didn’t lose the popularity over the years.

The videos are now released quite infrequently, but viewers always anticipate them with excitement. Each video is filled with humor and the author’s passionate opinions, as it’s hard to take modern Russian cinema seriously.

The only concern is that the author holds a pro-Soviet stance, resulting in highly politicized videos. While I may not agree with the author on many issues, his videos can still be a good way for entertainment. Additionally, some of the videos have English subtitles.


Однажды в России

Now it’s time to explore Russian television a bit.

Once Upon a Time in Russia” is a humorous program that airs on the popular entertainment channel, TNT. The show features short sketches depicting various segments of Russian society. While not every sketch is uproariously funny – the laughter soundtrack in some places seems unnecessary – they still provide a light-hearted introduction to Russian culture.

Стендап

Performances of the most popular stand-up comedians in Russia.

A good way to familiarize yourself with spoken Russian and learn how to tell stories.


СТС

Another popular entertainment television channel. TV-shows, series and other types of content.

In my opinion, the best series this channel has ever produced is “The Kitchen” (Кухня). So I recommend watching it to all those who are learning Russian. You can even turn on the English subtitles – they are available for this series.

In addition, I can also recommend the Ural Dumplings show. Their old skits were quite funny.


Bald and Bankrupt

Well, this one is not even a Russian channel, and you probably know this guy already.

An Englishman who travels the world. Mostly in the countries of the former Soviet Union, which makes his channel especially interesting for those who are learning Russian.

Very simple, sincere and at the same time funny videos. One of them I find to be a real masterpiece. Even the title is brilliant.


Justus Walker

Video blog of an American farmer who moved with his family to Russia. He speaks perfect Russian because he has lived here since childhood.

Justas became popular a few years ago when supplies of foreign cheeses were restricted in Russia and local farmers began to take over the market. He got caught on one of the viral videos on the internet, and since then he has been nicknamed the jolly milkman (весёлый молочник).

He currently lives in Altai Krai and talks on his blog about his village life and teaching his children outside of school.

Русские тайны

Sergey Volkov has been exploring abandoned places in Russia and the former USSR for over 10 years. He tells about unusual human destinies as well as the history of abandoned places, and shows his travels through abandoned villages, ghost towns and the Chernobyl zone.


ПостРоссия

A romantic view on the eras. That’s what the channel is called by its own creator. I’d call that look rather melancholy.

If you’re curious about life in Russia during different historical periods, be sure to subscribe to this channel. Despite the fact that the events and phenomena depicted may not always be the most positive, the channel provides a cozy and inviting atmosphere.


MyGap

Animated videos that explain things ranging from psychology to politics and finance. Recently, due to world events, the channel has been publishing mostly political videos.


The content is more suited to the advanced learners.

Истории русской попсы

The show “Stories of Russian Pop” is an entertaining and informative program that delves into the world of classic Russian pop music.

Hosted by Oleg Karmunin, a music critic and the creator of the Russian Shuffle TV channel, this show uncovers behind-the-scenes stories from the Russian showbiz industry and explores the diverse world of Russian pop.

A good way to familiarize yourself with popular Russian music. It wasn’t so bad in the 90s, by the way.


Кухня наизнанку

A channel with recipes from a simple Russian woman. She has no culinary education and simply shares her own cooking experience.

The videos are straightforward and easy to comprehend, without any unnecessary details. I would also like to note that the author of the channel has a very pleasant voice.


Заимка на Урале

This channel showcases the simple life in a village in the Urals. It offers an interesting insight for those curious about the lifestyle and daily activities of people living in Russian villages.

For example, in every Russian village it is customary to grow potatoes. This is roughly how the process looks like:


Лёля Такси

Well, I couldn’t finish this list without adding some trash content at the end.

Лёля Такси – is a YouTube channel of a taxi driver. Here’s the thing: the driver happens to be a girl. As a result, much of the content revolves around the surprise and occasional pestering she receives due to her gender.

But that’s not the worst part. It seems that the blogger herself likes scandals and various tense moments. The heroes of her videos are boorish and not always sober clients who like to take everything from life.

And the video thumbnails… no comments.


That’s it for today. What are your favorite YouTube channels? Let me know in the comments below.

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