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Starring See Presenters below
Country of origin Soviet Union (1968-1991)
Russia (1994-present)
No. of episodes No official figures
Running time 30 minutes per bulletin (may sometimes be extended, see below)
Original network Channel One Russia and its predecessors
Picture format 4:3 (1968-2011)
16:9 (2011-present)
Original release January 1, 1968 (the programme was on a hiatus from August 1991 to December 1994)- present

Vremya (Russian: Вре́мя, lit. "Time") is the main evening newscast in Russia, airing on Channel One Russia (Russian: Первый канал, Pervy kanal) and previously on the First Programme of the Central Television of the USSR (CT USSR, Russian: Центральное телевидение СССР, ЦТ СССР). The program has been on the air since January 1, 1968 (there were no broadcasts from August 1991 to December 1994) and was broadcast in color since 1974.

Editorial line[edit]

In the Soviet days of Vremya, the programme had a pro-government bias and typically did not report on news that could potentially fuel anti-government sentiment. The programme presented reports that promoted socialism and portrayed the West in a negative manner. The newsroom was tied to the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee. This situation changed after Glasnost, when a director of news was introduced alongside the news being sourced from official outlets. This made CT USSR report accurately on the collapse of the Soviet Union's satellite communist countries in Eastern Europe in 1989. This also made Vremya to be shown uncensored and critical, triggering the protests that hastened the end of the Soviet Union.

Schedule and popularity[edit]

Vremya's main edition is scheduled, since its inception, at 21:00 (GMT +11, +9, +7, +5 and +3). It is recorded live five times due to Russia's large size (the country stretches across nine time zones). During the Soviet era, the programme was also carried simultaneously on the primary channel of each republican station (Channel 1 of the Kiev Telecentre, LTV1, Kazakhstan-1, Eesti Televisioon, Lithuanian National Radio and Television, Belarus 1, Uzbekistan 1, Georgian Public Broadcasting, Azeri Television etc.) The broadcast lasts 30 minutes, but in special circumstances (more especially during the Soviet era), the broadcast is extended beyond the 30 minutes allotted when necessary (such as the Red Square state ceremonies and parades, CPSU Party Congress telecasts together with other CPSU-led activities, plenary sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and deaths of Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko). Even highlights of the celebrations of the Union-wide holidays were also broadcast.

Starting in the mid-1970s, another 30-minute edition was presented on the All-Union Programme (launched in 1956) around 11:00pm.(This was in the form of a live simulcast of Vremya in the next Orbita transmission zone, occasionally a repeat of the 9:00pm programme, especially in the European USSR.) Prior to that, both channels aired Vremya simultaneously at 9:00pm, then repeated the next morning when the First Programme signed on around 7:30am (later 6:30am) after the exercise programme, before airing children's programming and schools and colleges programmes, all produced together with the USSR Ministry of Education and were also seen on Programme 4. Later, a live morning edition was shown at 6:30am, before the breakfast programme 120 minut (which continues today on Channel One Russia as Dobroye Utro, Russian:Доброе утро).

News summaries were added as the transmissions increased during the day. There was a bulletin at the end of the morning and midday programmes (i.e. around 1:00pm) and another at 6:30pm on the first channel. From 1989, the latter bulletin began to use the two presenter format of Vremya, as well as the Vremya moniker, and its corresponding studio and graphics (including the title sequence), looking as it was the program's first edition (the 6:30 am program was the morning news edition while the one at 1PM was the midday update), with the 9:00 pm telecast as the second edition and the one at 11:00 pm as the third or late edition or the late night replay. The All-Union Programme's daytime schedule always began with the news at around 15:00. Midnight newscasts did not appear until the 1980s, when the First Programme screened a headline update preceding the closedown sequence, usually after midnight. All of these bulletins were known as Novosti (Russian:Новости, "The News"). From 1989, the 15:00 news round-up on the All-Union Programme and the midnight news round-up on the First Programme were known as TSN: Television News Service (Russian:TCH:Телевизионная служба новостей, TSN:Televizionnaya sluzhba novostey). Today the news on Channel One Russia follows a similar schedule to this one, with Vremya, TSN and the all-Russian and regional news updates.

The majority of Russians rely on Vremya as a trusted news source.

From 1986 until the present, Vremya has used the theme song from Time, Forward! as its signature tune and opening sequence. This was formerly used from 1981 to 1983.

In a two-week test that lasted from February 12, 1989 to February 26, more than 100 television stations across the United States broadcast Vremya. The test was coordinated by WGBH-TV.[1]

Coverage during the last days of the USSR[edit]

After the introduction of the glasnost and perestroika, Vremya loosened its fidelity to the party line and began presenting fair reports about the events transforming Eastern Europe at the time. On March 15, 1989, 150 million Soviet citizens watched as the station aired a 85-page speech by Gorbachev to an plenum of the CPSU Central Committee criticizing the poor state of agriculture and setting out the case for reforms.[2][3]

In the 1980s, 86% of Soviet adults relied on television coverage as their primary source of news. Yet Vremya was seen as "a joke" by many Soviet citizens due to its poor coverage of news events.[2] The coverage of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, for example, was often relegated to lesser news items during the ongoing coverage of the disaster; in contrast, western news media such as CBS Evening News led with the story for six consecutive weekdays.[2] Following the evacuation of the nuclear workers' closed city of Pripyat, Vremya issued the following brief announcement:

There has been an accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. One of the nuclear reactors was damaged. The effects of the accident are being remedied. Assistance has been provided for any affected people. An investigative commission has been set up.

— Vremya, April 28, 1986, 21:00[4]

In 1987 the program logo appeared for the first time in its studio. 1988 saw a big change for the newscast as its studios featured picture backdrops for the first time, and debuted a new logo, with a styled letter В in a box (this was the year of its 20th anniversary). On August 19, 1991, it showed pictures of the impending coup d'etat in Moscow for the first time, albelt in the new styled studios which opened in 1990.

Vremya covered highlights of the March 1989 elections for the Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union and the sessions of the Congress in Moscow, making interviews with its leadership and deputies.


The last Soviet-era Vremya newscast was broadcast on 27 August 1991 and replaced with another news programme known as TV-Inform (ru: ТВ-Информ) the following day.[5] The closure was due to pressure from RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin claiming that the programme was "too tied to the CPSU", but according to the news anchors themselves it was due to CT USSR being forced to lay off a large number of their staff which were said to be KGB agents. When the USSR dissolved in December that year, the programme changed broadcasters from Soviet Central Television to the new Ostankino Television 1 and 4. It stayed even until after the network's name change to ORT-1 (Public Russian Television-1, Russian: Общественное Российское Телевидение, Obshchestvennoe Rossiyskoe Televidenie) in November 1994, and Ostankino 4's reformatting into NTV that same year.

The name Vremya returned to the program on December 16, 1994, in time to report on the looming conflict in Chechenya. The format was then changed to that of a single-presenter one, but the dual-presenter one was kept for special editions of the program, and was even incorporated into the newscast's 1995-96 opening sequence. Special New Year's Day openers debuted in 1998, in celebration of the program's 30th anniversary.

Sunday Vremya[edit]

On Sundays since the late 1980s, the programme also has a separate Sunday edition, initially called 7 Days (Семь дней, Sem' d'nei), since 2003 known as Sunday Vremya (Воскресное Время, Voskresnoe Vremja, Sunday Time). This programme also airs a roundup of the week's news. Until its launch, Vremya was shown as per Monday-Saturday.


Soviet-era edition[edit]

Russian Federation-era edition[edit]

  • Igor Vykhuholev: 1994-2003
  • Nelly Petkova: 1994-1996
  • Tatiana Komarova: 1994-1995
  • Igor Gmyza: 1995-1999
  • Alexandra Buratayeva: 1995-1999
  • Arina Sharapova: 1996-1998
  • Sergey Dorenko: 1997-1999 (Information-analytic programme "VREMYA with Sergey Dorenko")
  • Kirill Kleimyonov: 1998-2005
  • Ekatherina Andreeva: 1995–2017
  • Zhanna Agalakova: 1998-2007
  • Pavel Sheremet: 1999-2001 (Information-analytic programme "VREMYA", Saturday)
  • Andrey Baturin: 2003-2005: ("VREMYA" at night, literally "Night time")
  • Pyotr Marchenko: 2003-2005
  • Vitaly Eliseev: 2007–present
  • Olga Kokorekina: 2007-2008
  • Pyotr Tolstoy 2005-2012 (Information-analytic programme "Sunday VREMYA")
  • Maxim Sharafutdinov: 2007-present (Summer releases to the Far East and Siberia + CIS and other countries)
  • Dmitry Borisov: 2011-present [6]
  • Irada Zeinalova: 2012– 2016 (Information-analytic programme "Sunday VREMYA")
  • Valery Fadeyev: 2016

Similar newscasts in other socialist countries[edit]


  1. ^ "Soviet news program comes to public TV". Gainesville Sun. 20 February 1990. p. 6A. 
  2. ^ a b c New York Media, LLC (3 April 1989). Lenin Meets Letterman. New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. p. 19. ISSN 0028-7369. 
  3. ^ Dobbs, Michael (March 16, 1989). "GORBACHEV SETS SWEEPING AGRICULTURAL REFORMS". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ Terra Pitta (5 August 2015). Catastrophe: A Guide to World's Worst Industrial Disasters. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd. p. 47. ISBN 978-93-85505-17-1. 
  5. ^ "1991/08/28 — ТВ ИНФОРМ. 1 канал. 28 августа 1991 г. [1/4]". Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Первый канал. Официальный сайт. Лица

External links[edit]