YouTube has named the most-watched videos in Russia of 2019, the state-run TASS news agency reported, citing Google Russia data.
While television is still overwhelmingly popular in Russia, Russians are increasingly turning off the tube and instead turning to online sources of news and entertainment. YouTube in particular is highly popular among the intelligentsia, middle class and youth, with a wide variety of vloggers and independent opposition figures who use the platform to showcase their views.
Here’s a look at the videos, documentaries and shows that Russians tuned in to this year:
“The Fix-Its and the Great Secret”
A snarky riff on the famous Russian cartoon “The Fix-its,” this animated video has over 25 million views and 609,000 likes. The parody follows two small repairmen as they fix a clueless man’s household appliances and attempt to fix his brain so he learns how to properly use them. When they find out that the man has been using them for his electronic repair company and making money off of their hard labor, the fix-its take control of his brain and accidentally break the fourth wall.
Popular YouTuber Yury Dud’s documentary about the deadliest terrorist attack in Russian history has garnered more than 18 million views and almost 1 million likes. The video was released to mark the 15th anniversary of the 2004 school siege in the city of Beslan in southern Russia, during which over 1,000 people were taken hostage by terrorists in an explosives-rigged gym. State forces stormed the school after three days, resulting in the deaths of 334 people, 186 of whom were children. The documentary focuses on the aftermath of the attack and the residents of the city who continue to live with the lingering effects of the atrocity.
Billie Eilish visits “Evening Urgant”
In third place is a video clip from American pop star Billie Eilish’s appearance on late-night host Ivan Urgant’s show “Evening Urgant.” During her first visit to Russia this summer — where she played sold-out shows in Moscow and St. Petersburg — the 17-year-old Generation Z icon performed a Russian remix of her hit “Bad Guy” with traditional Russian folk instruments. The video received over 15 million views and 765,000 likes.
“About Real Women”
Russian comedian Pavel Volya hosts this taped comedy show that racked up over 17 million views and 254,000 likes. Volya riffs on about modern Russian women, particularly Moscow girls, as he jokes: “Women always talk about wondering where their true love is….while on Instagram they’re either in their underwear, in Dubai, or in Dubai in their underwear.”
In fifth place is the children's cartoon “The Fix-Its,” with 20 million views and 80,000 likes. The animated show follows a group of small magical creatures, called “fix-its,” as they help a young boy solve his everyday problems, whether it be a costume for a masquerade or fixing a broken toy. The cartoon was parodied by the No. 1 video on this list.