Since the introduction of streaming services in the entertainment world, people are now not only just limited to movies and TV shows from Hollywood and their native countries. Netflix has been one of the significant contributors in expanding the horizon of TV watching experience as viewers can now watch breathtaking TV shows from various other countries, one of them being Russian tv shows and movies.
Not only will these Russian shows give you a new perspective on the Russian culture, but they also help you learn the Russian language, thereby making an easy and exciting alternative for language learners.
So sit back, and enjoy 20 of these fantastic Russian Netflix series.
20 Russian TV Shows on Netflix
1. To The Lake
One of the most gripping and edge-of-the-seat sci-fi thrillers, To The Lake is almost like The Walking Dead set in Russia and covered in a white blanket of snow. It is a story about a deadly virus that turns Moscow into a landfill of virus-infected humans, and the non-affected must struggle to survive.
2. The Method
Source: Eclectic Pop
If you’re a fan of the gritty crime drama, case solving genre, then this one is going to be an absolute treat for you. The Method follows the life of a loner police investigator specializing in hunting down the most terrible, scum of society type of criminals who escape the police department’s fangs.
3. Better Than Us
Source: Russia Beyond
If Ex Machina won your hearts, so will Better Than us. Inspired by Ex Machina, Better Than Us is the story of a human-like android known as Arisa, who is on the run after murdering a guy who tried to sodomize her. This is a thrilling story of an on-the-run AI and how it plans to survive and evolve into becoming more like humans.
A bizarre mystery thriller series about a crime investigator exploring the mysterious death of a school teacher. He finds out that there have been more deaths in the school and that the students like to participate in a strange virtual reality game. A fantastic series to watch.
5. Silver Spoon
Source: The Calvert Journal
An amazing and unique story about the son of a Russian billionaire, Igor is a playboy type of character who gets in legal trouble when cops catch him for overspeeding his spot’s car while under the influence of heavy drugs.
One of Russia’s path-breaking shows, Locust, is Russia’s first-ever erotic thriller with the themes of adultery and sex-based storylines. It follows the story of a small-town poet who passionately falls in love with a big-time wealthy heiress from Moscow. It forms one of the best Russian TV shows out there on Netflix.
Source: Socialist Revolution
This one is for all you history buffs who are interested in learning about Russia’s glorious yet tainted history, along with the doctrines of communism. Trotsky follows the story of the divisive figure Leon Trotsky who escapes from the Soviet Union to Mexico to get as far she can from his eternal enemy, Lenin.
8. The Road To Cavalry
Source: Willow And Thatch
Yet another Russian Netflix show based on facts from history, The Road To Cavalry, is a different take on history, as it follows the life of two sisters from St. Petersburg during World War 1. The sisters struggle to keep everything on an even keel as a Russian saga is formed around them.
Source: NY Times
It was almost like a mixture of The Wolf of Wallstreet and Entourage with a slice of Soviet-era Russian on top. Fartsa is a story about four wealthy friends who make money by exchanging and selling currency.
10. Masha And The Bear
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Down the list, we have some animated TV series from Russia, among which Masha And The Bear is a must-watch. It is a funny story about a retired circus bear who settles down deep into the woods until he meets venturesome Masha.
11. Masha’s Tales
This time, our second entry of the Masha-verse follows cute little Masha’s adventurous stories and tales, which she tells from her perspective about her life. This is another classic Russian kid’s program that is highly recommended for kids.
12. Masha’s Spooky Stories
Source: Netflix US
Our third entry from the creators of Masha, this time it is Masha’s Spooky Stories. This one follows Masha’s fantastic storytelling abilities, where she tells spooky stories but with a twist that all these spooky stories have a rational explanation.
Source: KikoRiki official website
KikoRiki is yet another colorful and playful animated series for kids. This one follows the story of round-figured living things that have to deal with their own lives’ trials and tribulations. This was inspired by Winnie The Pooh.
Source: Cartoon Brew
Debuted in 2016, JingleKids won the hearts of the audiences with its kooky and silly stories. It is the story of a magical city where tiny humans exist alongside cute furry talking creatures. The only motto that everyone follows is: not a day has to go by without an adventure.
15. Leo & Tig
Source: Animation Xpress
Another classic animated TV series, Leo & Tig, falls last on our list. It is yet another classic story about two tiger cubs that grew up as best friends in a magical forest. We follow them as they go on adventures and learn about ancient myths and legends.
The story focuses on the life of Booba, who sees the world as a mystery, looks at everything with curiosity and wonder, and indulges in adventures every day. The show features Elena Kareva and Roman Karev and has seven seasons to stream on the platform.
The show follows the story of Pudding, Cookie, and their little sister Candy. They investigate the things around them and like to eat sweets and play. They always end up on adventures, and by the care of their parents, the three kittens manage to solve every problem.
Each episode sees Pudding, Cookie, and Candy accompanied by their mother, father, grandpa, grandma, Aunt Cinnamon, Uncle Muffin, and little Bagel, making the world a safe and happy place for everyone. They are also joined by their friends Bow, Mustard, Raisin, Cupcake, Dart, Smudge, Boris, and Chase, and along, they enjoy and learn about new things every day.
The show focuses on the white bear cub, a brown cub, and a fox with varied personalities. But despite this, the three friends spend time together, playing games, exploring the world, and learning new things every day.
The Russo-Spanish show encounters a friend named Yoko. The latter makes the fantasies and games into a reality, and they all end up exploring forests, seas, ancient cities, and outer space. The show’s main aim is to educate children regarding the world around them.
20. In From the Cold
The latest 2022 Netflix original series In From the Cold follows the story of a single mother and ex-Russian spy who struggles to keep herself safe after the CIA knows about her hidden secret. The show was made by Adam Glass and got aired on January 28 this year.
15 Top Russian Movies to Watch on Netflix
If you have given those mentioned above best Russian TV series suggestions a watch, then it’s time to get some Russian taste from the films! So go ahead and find out some top Russian movies that are worth giving the time, and while watching movies, you will get to learn Russian as well!
1. Chernobyl: Abyss
The premise follows a heroic fireman named Alexey, who worked as a Chernobyl liquidator, but after uniting with his lost love, he decides to retire and begin his life afresh. But soon, when everything seems to go fine, an unprecedented Chernobyl accident forces him to get back to work by risking his own life.
2. Major Grom: Plague Doctor
This Oleg Trofim directorial draws inspiration from the comic series of the same name by Artyom Gabrelyanov. The film follows the city going into complete chaos when a vigilante undertakes a series of murders. Thus, the detective and his rookie partner are the only ones to stop the utter mess.
The premise follows a Russian beauty named Anna Poliatova, who works for the KGB. But her beauty is unleashed with her outstanding skills and powers when she gets offered by the CIA to become a double agent. But she tries her best to get out of it.
4. Silver Skates
The film’s story follows St. Petersburg getting transformed into a fairytale landmark with frozen lakes and rivers that serve as the ideal place for skaters and markets. Matvey is an 18-year-old city boy who is the son of a poor lamplighter and works at a local bakery as the ice-skating delivery boy.
His only prized possession is a pair of silver skates that he received from his father. But after being fired from the job without a justified reason, he becomes part of a pickpocket gang that is led by Alex and indulges in the act.
On the other hand, Alisa is the daughter of a high-profile official. But she is not happy at her father’s place as she aspires to study science, unlike her father’s views about a woman’s role in society. But everything changes when Alisa meets Matvey and how both bond closer than expected.
5. Secret Magic Control Agency
Secret Magic Control Agency is the Russian computer-animated English language film that has been directed by Aleksey Tsitsilin and is based on Hansel and Gretel by Brothers Grimm. The story follows two detectives named Hansel and Gretel.
They both work for the Secret Magic Control Agency. Their upcoming task is to find The abducted King. But soon realize that to accomplish the mission, they have to face off with the witch named Ilvira.
In 1983, two Soviet Union cosmonauts heard a knock on the hatch when they were returning to Earth. But as soon as they land, one of them is dead while the other is at the base surrounded by the wires. But the one who is alive does not know what is really happening.
An alien is living inside him, and he is unaware of it, but the people around him are well aware of it. The military gets tempted to use the foreign creature from another world as a tool, but they do not know anything about it, and to accomplish the mission, they must be able to communicate with it.
7. The Very Best Day
The comedy film follows Petya Vasyutin (essayed by none other than Dmitry Nagiyev), who has a job as a policeman. He plans to get married but accidentally meets a national celebrity and drinks with her. But this all created chaos for his own wedding, and he must go to something to get out of the mess.
The film was directed by Zhora Kryzhovnikov and made for a perfect entertainment piece to relax from a long, dull day at work.
8. I’m Losing It
The movie focuses on Anya, a young woman from Nizhny Novgorod who gets ditched by her boyfriend on the pretext that she has gained some extra pounds and is no longer attractive. This makes her disheartened, and the film captures her attempts to cope with the body-shaming issues and how she manages to get rid of them.
During the Russian revolution, Kresty in St. Petersburg, the famous prison, was the house of people who were accused of activities against the government. One of Russia’s oldest jails and director Angelina Golikova has focused the documentary on this infamous place.
With peepholes, barred windows, corridors in the shape of crosses, and guards with their shepherd dog guarding the young prisoners, the movie looks at the inmates of the prison and the ones that guard them. The movie does not focus on the famous personalities the prison witnessed, but on the frightening atmosphere the place still has.
The movie also showcases the interviews with the guards of the prison that tell some unexpected facts that will surely keep you intrigued.
The movie focuses on Young Danila Bagrov (essayed by Sergei Bodrov Jr.), who gets told by his mother to visit his brother in St. Petersburg after returning to his town from the Chechen war. She believes that her elder son is a successful man there.
But what she does not know is the fact that he is a hitman there who is in grave trouble. But when Danila meets him, he persuades him to help him in a case and eventually drags him into an ugly conflict between the criminal gangs.
Mermaid, directed by famous director Anna Melikyan, is a romantic drama film that revolves around a girl who bears some supernatural powers that makes her control the elements. One day, she saves the life of a young businessman who wants to commit suicide. This film is especially worth watching because, unlike the other Russian films, this has a taste of fantasy, melodrama, romance, and humor.
This work by Melikyan made her bag the best director prize in the World Cinema category at the U.S. film festival named Sundance. This made the film gain more accolades in other places as well. She also got featured by Variety in the top best directors in the world.
12. 8 First Dates
First to mention is the stellar cast of the film that has famous Vladimir Zelensky, who was a Russian cinema regular before stepping into the world of politics. Thus his presence is definitely worth watching.
Now coming to the plot of this Russian movie. The character essayed by Zelensky and the other sees them waking up in the same bed every day despite them sleeping at different places the night before. They both realize that they are trapped in a time loop and are forced to know more about each other, ultimately resulting in some intimacy between them.
13. Two Days
The story follows Drozdov, a high-ranking Moscow official arriving in the small provincial town. He is assigned to close down the museum dedicated to a famous yet forgotten Russian writer from the 19th century. The aim was to create a beautiful residence by the regional government at the location.
In the beginning, everything goes well, and the official dedicatedly carries out his assignment. But when he meets Maria Ilyinichna, a literary critic and the museum’s deputy director, his notion gets altered. He falls in love with her, and thus, they manage to save the museum from getting demolished.
14. Flight Crew
The premise inspired by an actual event follows the heroic young pilots that, with their skills, manage to save a plane from smashing on the ground and, yes, keep the audience on the edge of their seats from beginning till the end.
The remake by famous Russian director Nikolai Lebedev, which got made almost 40 years after the actual incident, became a massive hit with its intelligent and dynamic cast and plot. The movie got aired back in 2016 and, even to date, manages to entertain the audience and has not lost its essence.
The film made by Alexander Mitta follows the time when posting the revolution in 1917. Marc Chagall got appointed as the commissar of arts for his native Vitebsk. There he set up artists commune. Kazimir Malevich joined the commune in 1918. The relationship between Chagall and Malevich did not go smoothly down the road, and with time their bitterness kept on deepening.
The movie focuses on the conflicts between the two characters that had excellent contrast. This indeed makes a good attempt in creating the world of Marc Chagall and is one of the must-watch biopics.
Shows and Movies about Russia on Netflix
Now that you have got a list of the best Russian TV series and movies on Netflix, we will now tell you about some Russian movies and shows that are created by non-Russian directors in English and can make for a good alternative if you have just begun to dive into the Russian culture.
1. The Last Tzars
The movie is a good watch for entertainment purposes but should not be taken as a reliable source for historical events. It showcases the downfall of Nikolai II, the last Russian tsar, and his family, basically the house of Romanovs. A good drama showcases the bloody Russian revolution by the Russian people.
2. Russian Doll
The story follows the life of Nadia, a 34 years old who gets trapped in a loop and dies every day and later wakes up each day in the same place at her friend’s bathroom during her birthday party. She intends to solve the mystery and get off the trap as soon as possible.
3. The Battle of Russia
The documentary is set during 1942 when Nazi Germany was against the Soviet Union on the Western Front. The film now forms part of the wealthy Russian history and should be watched.
4. Empire of Tzars with Lucy Worsley
British historian Lucy Worsley created the documentary to showcase the rich 300 years old story. Romanov dynasty of the Russian empire by traveling to Russia. The movie is a good watch if you are interested in getting to know more about the history of Russia as the basic facts and dates are made into a fantastic film.
We have all been watching Hollywood movies and TV series . The same from our native countries, for a long time. It gets quite boring after a while when you keep n repeating the same thing. With the help of streaming services like Netflix, you can watch and experience different shows from different cultures.
So this article will get you a clearer picture of the best Russian shows that are available on Netflix. Also along with the exciting movies and an excellent way to learn the Russian language. Those mentioned above popular Russian shows have to offer drama, comedy, sci-fi, and thrillers.