Russian Television: How to Watch it Online

Watching television is unequivocally a favourite pastime in Russia. Nobody wants to do without popular programs, thereby maintaining a clear connection to Russian art and culture.

To make the vast network of public, private and regional television stations available, users need a satellite dish and fee-based receivers. Anyone with an Internet connection can receive their favourite shows at home as normal; anyone who wants to access their usual programs for free must consider a few things.

Russian Television Abroad: Best via Internet

If you have an Internet connection, you can watch your favourite shows for free. Russian television channels, such as 1TV/ORT, Rossija 1, and others offer live streaming on their websites. You can search for films, series or news programs in the various media libraries, so it’s easy to choose what to watch, whether it is on PC, tablet or Smart TV.

But be careful: for legal reasons, without further action, some Russian TV channels or programs cannot be viewed—a barrier known as “geoblocking” prevents its.

Despite this, it’s fairly easy to receive Russian television anyway. For this purpose, a so-called VPN-Client ensures you are equipped with a Russian IP address while the software runs in the background. To the TV station, it now looks as if you are accessing the program from Russia, and you get full access to the entire program.

All of this is completely legal, and your data remains protected as long as the VPN software remains activated.

Set Up VPN in 4 Easy Steps

  1. Download the VPN-Client from Shellfire and install it on the device you where you want to watch TV. Both your PC and your smartphone or tablet are supported by Shellfire.
  2. Run the software or app and connect to a server in Russia.
  3. Your connection is now anonymous, and you have a Russia IP address. Call up the stream or media library of the Russian station that denied you access to its programming because of your foreign IP address.
  4. Optional Step: Create favourites for all your live streams so you don’t need to search for them whenever you want to watch Russian TV.

If all of this is too complicated for you, we offer you an even simpler solution with our Shellfire Box—a special type of  VPN-Router. Plus, with the Shellfire Box, you can even equip devices that can’t have VPN-software installed on them, with a Russian IP address. These include, for example, Smart TV, PlayStation or Xbox.

No matter which option you choose, this puts you back in the thick of things and allows you to watch popular Russian films such as “Solaris”, “The Cranes are Flying” or “The Snow Queen”, “The Stone Flower”, and other unforgettable fairy tale classics.

Now you can be sure you won’t miss the regular sports broadcasts of hockey matches, chess tournaments, wrestling matches or the national martial art, Sambo. In addition, a VPN ensures your security on the Net. All of your communication is encrypted, even if you use public hotspots. Watching Russian television shows and maintaining privacy on the net cannot be simpler, cheaper or safer.

The Most Popular Russian Channels and Their Programs

1tv: Channel One Russia

The first channel is the main channel in Russia. It is part of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). It also broadcasts European-wide events such as European Football Championships or the Eurovision Song Contest. The programming is diverse and broadcasts films, series, news, talk shows, documentaries or popular entertainment programs such as:

  • “Best of All” – a children’s talent show
  • “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” in Russian
  • “The Field of Wonders” – a version of Wheel of Fortune for guessing Russian words
  • KVN

Rossija 1

Rossija 1 is the largest Russian channel, with nationwide programming. It includes news, reports, talk shows or cultural documentaries, but it also shows films.

Especially popular:

  • The news program “Vesti”
  • Live talk show broadcasts with popular presenter Andrey Malakhov


Entertainment is the top priority here. It is a private channel affiliated with Gazprom Media Holding. The target audience is young, and they can’t do without “Comedy Club” which is a long-running program, and the popular series programming “Fizruk” and “Olga”.

Image: Iakov Filimonov / 123RF

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