Friday, October 30, 2015

Real Russia Channel

If you are interested in ordinary life in Russia behind the scary recent headlines, have a look on for videos on the Real Russia channel. Produced and hosted by Sergey Baklykov, a young man who lives in the provincial city of Ufa, capital of the autonomous republic of Bashkortostan in the Urals, it offers insights into various aspects of Russian life.

There is now a total of 166 videos produced over the last three years, covering topics such as ordinary Russian apartments, dachas, stores, schools and health care, as well as more specialised ones revolving around motorcycle racing, restaurants and discos, and blogger forums. Most of the videos are filmed in Ufa, but there have also been examples from Moscow and Sochi.

The channel has more than 63 thousand subscribers, and its followers were sufficiently supportive to cough up money for the host to buy an expensive new camera when his original one was lost in a dispute with a former business partner.

It is difficult to get unbiased coverage of Russia now--perhaps it always has been. The government channel Russia Today is obviously biased, but many of the Western media reports also seem biased to me. Baklykov aspires to show us glimpses of Russia with, as he says, "No lies and no b.s." He doesn't discuss politics, at least in any of the videos I've watched, but the government was sufficiently impressed with his reporting to give him credentials to a meeting of the heads of the BRIC countries that took place in Ufa earlier this year.

I think he has a great idea in reporting on ordinary life in a country that is relatively unknown. I'm trying to think of a topic I could do here in North America that might attract viewers--maybe Real Montreal or Real Westmount?


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