Launched 13 May 1991
Network VGTRK
Owned by Russian Government [1]
Picture format 576i 4:3 (SDTV)
1080i 16:9 (HDTV)
Country  Russia
Broadcast area Russia and Worldwide
Headquarters Moscow, Russia [1]
Formerly called 1965–1967: Program Three
1967–1971: Program Two
1972–1984: USSR Television All-Union Program Two
1984–1991: All-Union Channel 2
1991: Russian Television
1991–1997, 1998–2002: RTR
1997–1998: RTR1
2002–2010: Russia
Sister channel(s) Russia-2 (closed), Carousel, Russia-K, Russia-24, Sport, RTR-Planeta
Analogue Channel 3 (1965–1967)
Channel 2 (Since 1967)
Natsionalnye Kabelnye Seti Channel 1

Russia-1 (Russian: Россия-1) is a state-owned Russian television channel[1] founded in 1991. It belongs to the All-Russia State Television and Radio Company (VGTRK).[2] Russia Channel was previously known as RTR (Russian: РТР). Russia-1 has the second largest audience in Russian television. In a typical week, it is viewed by 75% of urban Russians, compared to 83% for the leading channel, Channel One. The two channels are similar in their politics, and they compete directly in entertainment.[2] Russia-1 has many regional variations and broadcasts in many languages.


Soviet period

Russia-1 had started in 1965 as Program 3 in the Soviet Union and moved to Channel 2 in 1967 when a new channel, Program 4 (now known as NTV), was officially launched and the Moscow Program, which started in 1956, was transferred to Channel 3. From the very start, it only hosted programs produced by the Ministry of Education of the Soviet Union, as well as children's programming, in monochrome. The move to a new channel frequency resulted in it being renamed Program 2 and becoming the second home of the national newscast Vremya since 1968.

Program 2 officially renamed itself All-Union Program 2 in 1972 and converted to color in 1975, and two years later became a nationwide station, being broadcast all over the Soviet Union. On January 1, 1982 AUP2 officially began to broadcast, not just educational and children's programming but also culture and arts programming and sports, as it was officially permitted to take greater account of the needs and tastes of spectators in a changing era. In addition, it broadcast also documentaries, music videos and programming, and movies.

Starting New Year's Day 1984, All Union Program 2 was renamed All-Union Channel 2, and it pioneered the first ever rhythmic gymnastics broadcast the following year. By 1987, it was also the first channel to adopt sign language interpretation in the USSR and later supplemented by subtitles for the hard of hearing, all for its Vremya broadcast.

The official identification package for the channel was the star of the second antenna on a blue background with moving rings, symbolizing the radio waves, and the signature at the bottom of "II program", which then changed to "TV USSR." Around February 1988, a new ident replaced it: circles were fixed, disappeared inscription "TV USSR", and the background was light blue with a white gradient.

Since 1989, the RSFSR hatched the idea of the organization of the Russian national TV channel. By this time in all the Union republics, with the exception of Russia, had its own republican TV channels. In 1990, the creator of the program "The Fifth Wheel", People's Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR Bella Kurkova requested the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, a separate Russian television station for the RSFSR, due to the fact that the central television channels reflect the views of the federal authorities. At that time, the country experienced a confrontation between the union and republican authorities.[3]

On July 13, 1990 a decision of the Supreme Soviet of Russia ended the national monopoly on radio and television broadcasting in the Russian SFSR, clearing the way for it to launch its own TV and radio stations. Prior to September 15, 1990, according to the decree, the Cabinet of Ministers of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and the CM Committee on the media, communications with public organizations, mass movements of citizens and public opinion research should address the issue of the ownership of the material-technical base of AUC2. On July 14, 1990 decree № 107-1 of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR officially established the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR Ivan Silaev helped acquire the building and the equipment for the future station.[4]

Thus, Russia-1 is the successor to the Soviet Second Channel launched in 1963. As of 2008, it is headed by Oleg Dobrodeev, who was a founder of the original NTV.[2]

Russian Federation


After 27 years, the All-Union State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company turned over the operations of AUC2 on March 6, 1991 to the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, with Oleg Poptsov as its founding chairman. At the same time, the leadership of the company had been promised at least a 6-hour broadcast day, including a brand-new 20-minute newscast to be aired twice daily on the new channel. Due to the opposition views of the Republican team, the new management staff, led by the new GM for the soon to be re-branded Russian Television, Sergei Podgorbunsky, faced difficulties ranging from an inability to rent a studio in the telecentre "Ostankino" to failure to provide the promised before air time for new programs.[5]

At the same time, there were problems with the recruitment of new employees, program presenters and staff for the new station. Many presenters left the Union STRC free from TV censorship. As a result, the station management started to brainstorm and conceptualize its programming from scratch, including news and current affairs. Thus, "Vesti", the news program of RTV, was born, with airing time being at 18:00 and 20:00, twice nightly on weekdays (The 2nd edition was to be aired before its simulcast of Vremya). Most of the staff of "Vesti" on "Russian Television" were former presenters and staff of Central Television program "Television News Service", which ended the year before. Four studios - "News" for newscast, "Republic" for current affairs, art - "Lad" and "Artel" for entertainment and lifestyle were created.[6]

On May 13, 1991 recently appointed to the post of deputy general manager of the State Television and Radio Valentin Lazutkin officially launched the brand new ARSTV Channel 2 with air times from 11.35 to 13.35, from 17.00 to 19.00 and from 21.45 to 23.45, weekdays and weekends, with AUC2 filling the rest of the schedule. It was given a new corporate logo and a new brand name: "Russian Television".

At 17.00 "Vesti" made its premiere telecast, with Svetlana Sorokina hosting. From this time on Russian Television aired programming not only from the All-Union State Television and Radio but also from the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. Compared with "Vremya", "Vesti" became the acute, short, specific and operational newscast Russians watched, without any censorship or bias. In the first week of broadcasting, "Good night, kids!" And Odessa "Gentleman show" made their premiere telecasts. Two weeks later, "RTR" ("Russian Television and Radio") became the new name of the channel, and a new logo debuted.

In August 1991, RTR stopped broadcasting in Latvia and was replaced by LTV2 (now LTV7).

During the August coup, on August 19, 1991 the Emergency Committee stopped the broadcast of RTR, and AUC2 officially returned in the evening slots, with its planned programs including the great ballet "Swan Lake". Unknown to the coup leaders, RTR secretly organized a broadcast to the United States and other countries, as well as all over the USSR, so that all Soviets saw a special edition of "Vesti" with the latest events in Moscow during the coup. Studio "Vesti" in the "Ostankino" Center was blocked by AUC2 management, the transfer was recorded on video tape to "Shabolovke" for emergency situations has been prepared by an OB van and outside mobile facilities that the young channel had. The Emergency Committee blocked RTR headquarters on Yamskov field. In less than a few days, RTR had Clandestine broadcasts nationwide till the coup had failed. After the August Coup "RTR" by order of Valentin Lazutkin, its deputy GM for operations, officially resumed broadcasting this time from 19.00 to 00.00 (instead of 17.00 to 19.00 and 21.45 to 23.45).

On September 16, 1991 AUC2 ended its operations and RTR absorbed several of its staff and programs, therefore beginning the next day it began to broadcast from the very morning till late at midnight. On 30 December 1991 the program "Vesti" began to appear three times a day, and from 20 January 1992 to four times a day. In 1993, the channel changed its logo 2 times.

In February 1992, on the basis of the frequencies of RTR in Ukraine, channel UT-2 (now 1 +1) was launched.

During the political crisis of 1993 RTR aired interviews from the different sides of the spectrum, from politicians to ordinary people. During the shooting of the White House, the director of the channel had violated the order to conduct the bombing broadcast live on that point, as long as the line of fire to avoid civilian casualties among the citizens of Moscow. After the police pushed the townspeople, "RTR" started broadcasting "CNN". At that time the building was shelled, which housed the studio of "Vesti". In a hole punched in the building of a grenade launcher, armed men broke into the studios and began shelling the building on fire.

The director of the program "Vesti" Irina Vinogradova was able to save the footage. Technical Director Stanislav Bunevich able to carry TV broadcasts control of the country in building the All-Russian STRC on Yamskov field. Broadcasting channel was restored, "RTR" was the only television channel, remaining on the air and which showed the events. Broadcasting was done in a hurry equipped studio in the basement with the lights off. Later, in a building opposite were found maturation snipers. For coverage of the 1993 First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Shumeyko "Vesti" were donated to the mantel clock.

Showing important events, "Vesti" become the most influential program on RTR. In the same year, Yuri Rostov, Vladislav Flyarkovsky and Alexander Gurnov started their jobs as field reporters for the channel and the editor in chief for news and current affairs programs then was Alexander Nekhoroshev.

Since 1994, the program began to leave a comment, "Details", which became a leading political commentator Nikolai Svanidze news. In October 1995, the RTR with ORT program went "Ivanov, Petrov, Sidorov."

In 1996 Oleg Poptsov, Anatoly Lysenko, Alexander and Alexander Podgorbunsky Nekhoroshev were relieved of their posts. The "Details" was closed. New Chairman of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Company became Eduard Sagalaev, Director-General of the Russian television became Cyril Legat, editor in chief of information programs of Russian Television Boris Forgetful. The channel will have emerged a number of new programs - information-analytical program "Mirror", which became a leading Nikolai Svanidze, the actual interview "VIP", talk show "Open News", which became the leading Edward Sagalaev, Svetlana Sorokina and Oksana Naychuk a manufacturer of private television ATV.

In 1997, the chairman of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Company was Nikolai Svanidze. Programs "VIP" and "Open News" were closed, she was dismissed leading "Vesti" Svetlana Sorokina. On November of that year, "RTR" changed to "RTR-1" has changed the logo. The reason for the name change - the creation of a new TV channel "RTR-2" (now "Russia-Culture").

On May 8, 1998 in the RTR includes regional television and radio. Since then, "RTR" broadcasts in 54 languages of the peoples of Russia, RTR became the largest media group in Europe. The general is not only the design of the channel, but the editorial policy. On 7 September of that year, on the air for the first time block out the morning program "Good Morning, Russia!".

September 8, 1998 "RTR-1" again changed its name to "RTR", changed the logo. At that time there were many Latin American television series production and a lot of new TV shows: Two piano Household chores, Schedule, Purple haze, 50x50, Hakuna matata-.

In 1999, the channel was disbanded edition sports "Arena" and instead was established sports studio, headed by Vladimir Gomelsky. The daily "Vesti" began to be broadcast at 13:00, 17:00, 19:00, 21:00, 23:00.

Up to 1999, the national channel was plagued by broadcasting problems resulting from its dependence on its local state affiliates (GTRKs) for retransmission of its signal. GTRKs had no incentive to consistently broadcast only federal programming on their local frequencies and would often mix in programming they had produced themselves or acquired from other sources, thus hampering the national channel’s ability to control its own programming schedule at the regional level. The first step leading to the solution of this problem was the creation of the state holding company VGTRK, which united 89 state-owned regional studios under the aegis of the Moscow-based Channel 2. In February 2004, the Russian government issued a resolution on the reorganization of VGTRK through affiliation of subsidiaries, including regional GTRK companies. By the end of 2004, the scale of the reorganization became obvious. Local news programmes were organized on network principles and local companies turned into "re-transmitters" of the Moscow-produced content: VGTRK management had decided to cut all types of broadcasting in the regions, except news. This decision caused an inevitable reduction of GTRK broadcasting volume from 900 - 1,200 to 590 hours, the closure of whole subdivisions and departments and the dismissal of hundreds of employees in each of the 89 companies.


In 2013, Russia-1 was estimated to have 117 million daily viewers.[1]


On 23 May 2015, Russia-1 aired Warsaw Pact: Declassified Pages, a documentary that presented the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia as protection against a NATO coup.[7][8][9] Slovakia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the film "attempts to rewrite history and to falsify historical truths about such a dark chapter of our history."[10] Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said that it "grossly distorts" the facts.[9][11]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Shiraev, E. (2013). Russian Government and Politics. Comparative Government and Politics. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 195. ISBN 978-1-137-26960-7. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 Alexei Bessudnov, "Media Map" (183–189), Index on Censorship, Volume 37, Number 1, 2008, p. 184.
  3. Вести". Первые двадцать лет". Документальный фильм, 2011.
  4. Россия HD
  5. Канал «Россия HD» — на «Континент ТВ» и «Телекарте»! | Континент ТВ
  6. Официальная регистрация свидетельства о СМИ телеканал «Россия HD» | Роскомнадзор РФ
  7. "Russian TV doc on 1968 invasion angers Czechs and Slovaks". BBC News. 1 June 2015.
  8. "Russian Documentary On 'Helpful' 1968 Invasion Angers Czechs". Radio Free Europe. 1 June 2015.
  9. 1 2 Mortkowitz Bauerova, Ladka; Ponikelska, Lenka (1 June 2015). "Russian 1968 Prague Spring Invasion Film Angers Czechs, Slovaks".
  10. "Statement of the Speaker of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic on the documentary film of the Russian television about the 1968 invasion". Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. 31 May 2015.
  11. "Ministr Zaorálek si předvolal velvyslance Ruské federace". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic (in Czech). 1 June 2015.

Further reading

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