The life of five-year-old Nastya Radzinskaya from Krasnodar Territory would be the envy of any adult — she spends her time traveling, playing, dressing up, getting new toys, and generally having lots of fun. In some videos, Nastya does not speak at all, but simply walks through a park to the sound of upbeat music.
But Nastya is no idle airhead. For her, vlogging is a kind of therapy. At birth she was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. Her parents say they spent a lot of money and effort on trying to find a cure for their daughter. It was making videos and vlogging that helped Nastya develop her acting abilities and become more active.
Today Nastya and her parents live in Miami and earn between $200,000 and $500,000 per month. One video in which the girl steals sweets and celebrates her birthday scored 200 million views.
Wind back to 2010, and Russia was only just beginning to upload funny mobile phone videos to YouTube — no one knew what to do with them all.
In the US, Ray William Johnson’s channel was popular, and Muscovite Maxim Golopolosov decided to copy his format by commenting on funny videos against the backdrop of a leopard-skin carpet. That’s how the Russian YouTube entertainment show +100500 appeared in the early 2010s.
Later, it even began to be aired on a Russian TV station (without the cuss words). Since those heady days, the YouTube numbers have fallen significantly. Today his videos gain no more than 1.5 million views, but nostalgic subscribers have not abandoned the channel.
If you don’t know which phone or laptop to choose, check out this bearded guy’s top tips. True, if you’re considering Samsung, Xiaomi, or Huawei, he’ll likely advise you to go for an iPhone — he’s got a major crush on Apple.
However, Wylsacom reviews technology for all budgets and does not limit himself to smartphones. The vlogger recruited a team and created several sections on his channel with the latest tech news and reviews of everything from cheap Aliexpress goods to top-range cars, plus vlogs from trips around Russia.
Very little is known about let’s-player Dmitry Kuplinov, but he knows exactly what game to buy on Steam.
His let’s-plays cover both the simplest children’s toys to multi-platform epics in the vein of Skyrim. However, subscribers love him most for his ham reactions to indie horrors and trash games in the “Brain Takeaways” section.
Throughout her vlogging career, this ordinary girl from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk has had to put up with more than her fair share of haters.
Five years ago she created a series of travel vlogs in which she told about what apps she had on her smartphone. She was accused of piggy-backing on the fame of her boyfriend, the popular Ukrainian vlogger Ivangai.
Even more haters appeared when the two broke up. The additional ill-will was provoked by a video in which Maryana announced her departure from YouTube, yet just a month later she released another video of her singing solely about her beauty and calling herself a mega-star (the video got more than 400,000 dislikes).
However, Maryana continues to give concerts and release videos and vlogs, remaining the most popular female YouTuber in Russia by number of subscribers (discounting US-based Nastya and parents).
Nine years ago, Moscow schoolgirl Katya wore braces, bought second-hand clothes, had issues with classmates, and (horror of horrors) hated Twilight. She poured all her negativity into videos, which she then uploaded to YouTube on the FoggiDisaster channel. One of the most popular clips was Schoolkids Anthem, in which she made fun of a-hole teachers who demanded bribes for good grades.
Katya went on to create a new channel called KateClapp, where she posted travel vlogs and how-to videos about makeup, plus clips in the popular HAUL beauty format. Today she is Russia’s most popular beauty vlogger, and has become a makeup and clothes trendsetter herself. This past year she became seriously interested in Japan, so her videos featured more short school skirts, soft toys, and Asian food.
If you don’t believe in ghosts, then 24-year-old Dima will try to persuade you otherwise. Using spine-tingling music and eerie noises, the vlogger takes viewers through abandoned castles, cemeteries, and haunted hotels. A kind of horror reality show for believers in the paranormal — and Russia is home to many such people.
Dima also produces more “everyday” videos, such as car reviews and practical (or otherwise) life hacks. For example, he tries to extract diamonds from peanut butter (hmm), crack an iPhone in under a minute, and create glowing ice. Not always useful, but very watchable (our advice is not to try it yourself).
In February 2017, Yuri Dud, editor-in-chief (later deputy CEO) of online magazine Sports.ru and ex-presenter on the Match TV sports channel, combined his knowhow, energy, and contact database to launch his own show on YouTube.
He did three important things.
First, he rebooted the interview genre in the Russian media space, asking people awkward and at times absurd questions.
Second, he started to encourage Russians not to suffer in silence, but to speak up if something’s bugging them (as seen in his documentary films Kolyma: Motherland of Our Fear and Porn Films — Songs of Modern Russia).
Third, he restored many Russians’ pride in their country, showing through individual case studies that you don’t need to leave Russia to make it as a musician, actor, or clipmaker (see his video New Russia on this topic).
Nikolai Sobolev is a typical gossipmonger who makes videos about Runet celebs and their lives. The vlogger’s smart appearance and eloquent speech make his videos seem like genteel discussions in a members-only club, not classroom tittle-tattle.
Commenters accuse him of vanity and hypocrisy. But Nikolai is not without self-irony, and occasionally pokes fun at the stereotypes about him in his clips.
Die-hard fans await the reviews of 28-year-old film critic and vlogger Evgeny Bazhenov more than the release of the movies themselves.
That's because Evgeny makes critical reviews of Russian films that are often funded by the Russian Ministry of Culture, and always poses the question: “What does our taxpayer money go on?”
Unsurprisingly, filmmakers are not too keen. After a negative review of the Russian action movie Beyond the Edge, the studio Kinodanz filed a lawsuit against the vlogger demanding that the video be taken down for copyright infringement. However, after a public outcry, the lawsuit was dropped.
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