Pokémon in Russia

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Pokémon in Russia
Pokémon logo Cyrillic Netflix.png
Russia Flag.png
Flag of Russia
Language Russian
Continent Europe and Asia
Original anime airdates
EP001 December 18, 2000
AG001 May 18, 2015
DP001 September 20, 2008
BW001 November 6, 2012
XY001 September 20, 2014
SM001 August 20, 2017
JN001 October 16, 2020
Old logo

The Pokémon franchise first reached Russia in December 2000, when Покемон! Я выбираю тебя! premiered. In Cyrillic script, Pokémon is written as Покемон and its plural is Покемоны Pokemony and is fully inflected.

Pokémon anime

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Which seasons were dubbed by Pilot Studio and which ones by SDI Media, and if there is any consistency between them or not

First wave of Pokémon

The Pokémon anime was originally brought to Russia by Sargona Ltd., which sold English-language cards from the Pokémon Trading Card Game. The anime was first shown on ORT (now known as Channel One), which is the main television station in Russia.

ORT (Channel One) logo

The rights to the series were purchased in early 2000 and episodes began to appear by December of the same year. The Russian translation of the anime, which was conducted by the Kievian Pilot Studio, is based on the English dub. The Russian version of the anime retains all of the English character names to match the Pokémon TCG cards that had been already released.

While the translation quality of the Russian dub is considered to be high by most fans, a few changes had been made. For example, some locations had slightly different names, such as Dark City being retitled Мрачный Город Mrachnyy Gorod. However, the lyrics to Pokémon Theme were later retranslated and used in the last episodes of Indigo League. Any episodes of the anime which were banned in the United States were also banned in Russia.

In an interview with Afisha magazine, the management director of children's programming on ORT, Sergey Suponev, assured viewers in the harmlessness of Pokémon:

«Our plan to broadcast this show can be called madness by someone. There was a lot of noise around this series all over the world. In fact, it is a pretty harmless thing. A sweet story about a boy who saves animals and teaches them to fight for justice. And there are bad guys who want to send them to the zoo for lots of money - that's all there is to be scandalous.»

Within a day of the anime's television premiere, the management of public relations of ORT had invited journalists and children from an Otradnoye shelter to a Rolan cinema for a presentation of the series. The children received the presentation well, and then took a quiz organized by ORT.

The last episode shown on ORT: Charizard Chills

From December 18, 2000 to January 25, 2001, the anime was broadcasted by ORT. In February 5, 2001 they began to show the series again until August 2001. The last episode to air on ORT was Charizard Chills. 104 episodes of the original series were shown.

After this, the Pokémon anime was not aired in Russia for seven years. Many fans wrote to TV channels asking them to air the anime, but the only appearance of Pokémon on Russian TV was the airing of The Power of One and Pokémon 4Ever on ORT at 6:00 am.

Many rumors have circulated in speculation of why ORT stopped airing the anime, including:

  • A Japanese channel may have shown an offensive video about Russia. This has been unproven.
  • Others believe that Russian newspapers and the yellow press pressured the station to cancel the show. Some reported that Pokémon was causing epileptic seizures, others wrote that Pokémon "brainwashes children" with subliminal stimuli. ORT didn't want its reputation to fall, so they stopped airing Pokémon.
  • ORT and the Japanese creators of the anime couldn't make an agreement on the price of licensing the anime.

The return of Pokémon

TNT logo

On September 20, 2008, TNT, another Russian channel, premiered the first episode of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl. The tenth season was shown fully.

Pokémon has also aired on Jetix. Unlike TNT, both the tenth season and Battle Dimension have been aired fully.

On August 10, 2010, when Jetix Russia was replaced by the Disney Channel, the airing of Pokémon was finished for the second time. However, the Russian version of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles had been aired on Disney Channel Ukraine.

On February 3, 2012, the Russian version of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles started on TNT. By the end of 2012, the twelfth and thirteenth seasons of the anime were shown fully.

On November 6, 2012, simultaneously with two last, the Russian version of the 14th season, Pokémon: Black & White, started on TNT and has been aired fully.

As of 2013, there were no plans for airing the two remaining seasons of the series on TNT or any other Russian channel, creating a hiatus in airings of the anime.

Bulbanews has an article related to this subject:

The hiatus was broken on March 12, 2014, when 2×2, the Russian channel, which specializes on teenager-oriented animated series signed a five-year contract with Pokémon Company International to broadcast the anime. The series started with airing Pokémon: Black & White on May 1 to 11, 2014. On May 12, 2014, Pokémon Black & White: Rival Destinies began to run on 2×2. This season marks the total localization of the anime. The season logo, the episode title card, and the name of the eyecatch Pokémon are all written in Russian.

The sixteenth season of the anime Pokémon Black & White: Adventures in Unova, premiered on July 18, 2014.

The seventeenth season of the anime, Pokémon the Series: XY, premiered on Saturday, September 20, 2014.

On May 17, 2015, the eighteenth season, Pokémon the Series: XY Kalos Quest, aired on 2×2. Besides, the channel introduced Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire airing the first episode on May 18, 2015.

The nineteenth season, Pokémon the Series: XYZ, aired on 2×2 on July 3, 2016.

In Russia, the anime is available on Netflix, except in Crimea due to U.S. sanctions prohibiting Netflix from operating in Crimea.

On August 20, 2017, the twentieth season, Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, aired on 2x2.

On September 15, 2018, the first five episodes of the twenty-first season, Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Adventures, were released on Russian Pokémon TV, but for some reason, 2x2 didn't air them on television. The season was aired completely on Pokémon TV.

Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Legends began to air on Russian Netflix on April 1, 2020 after the year long pause.

Pokémon movies

Aside for the anime, the movies were translated too, but they were dubbed by different studios. Mewtwo Strikes Back, The Power of One, The Spell of Unown: Entei, as well as their respective Pikachu shorts were dubbed; later, dubs were made of Celebi: The Voice of the Forest, Jirachi: Wish Maker, and Destiny Deoxys. All those movies were officially released on DVD and VHS.

Giratina and the Sky Warrior was aired on Jetix. The Russian dub of Zoroark: Master of Illusions was released on the Polish DVD release of the movie.[1]

2×2 got the airing license for movies connected to Pokémon the Series: Black & White. Black—Victini and Reshiram was shown on June 12, 2014. However, White—Victini and Zekrom was not aired. Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice and Genesect and the Legend Awakened were broadcast on September 20, 2014. Lucario and the Mystery of Mew first premiered in Russian during Nintendo Level Up Day on November 27, 2014.[2]

Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction aired on May 17, 2015.

Hoopa and the Clash of Ages aired on 2×2 on July 3, 2016.

Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel aired on 2×2 on August 19, 2017.

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu was shown in cinemas on May 16, 2019.

Cast and crew

Pilot Studio dub

The Pilot Studio dub was produced in Kyiv, Ukraine. It covered EP001 through EP105.

Ash Ketchum had been voiced by Anna Leshchenko (Анна Лещенко). Tatiana Zinovenko (Татьяна Зиновенко) had given her voice to Misty and Jessie. Anatolii Zinovenko (Анатолий Зиновенко) was the voice of James, Professor Oak, Giovanni, and the narrator. Dmitrii Zavadskii (Дмитрий Завадский) was the voice of Gary Oak, Meowth, Brock, and Tracey.

TNT dub

Jetix dub

SDI Media/Arc-TV dub

From 2010 to 2013, then-recent series and movies have been dubbed by Arc-TV Studio by the order of SDI Media Group. Since 2014, they are dubbed on the founded SDI Media Russia studio.

Larisa Nekipelova (Лариса Некипелова) has been voicing Ash and Cynthia. Dawn had been voiced by Olga Shorohova (Ольга Шорохова). She has also given her voice to Kenny, Bianca, and Burgundy. Alexander Kovrizhnih (Александр Коврижных) was the voice of Brock. Zhanna Nikonova (Жанна Никонова) is the voice of Iris and Professor Juniper. Cilan and Volkner are voiced by Diomid Vinogradov (Диомид Виноградов). Darja Frolova (Дарья Фролова) has given her voice to Jessie, Delia Ketchum, Georgia, and the Sinnoh Pokédex. Unova Pokédex, James, Barry, and Nando have been voiced by Evgenii Valtz (Евгений Вальц). Later on, the role of James has been taken by Sergey Smirnov (Сергей Смирнов). Dmitrii Filimonov (Дмитрий Филимонов) has given his voice to Meowth and Looker. Andrei Simanov (Андрей Симанов) had been voicing Professor Oak, Paul, and the narrator. Later on, his roles were taken by Peter 'Glanz' Ivashenko (Пётр 'Гланц' Иващенко). Peter has also given his voice to Giovanni and Stephan. Natalia Tereshkova (Наталья Терешкова) voices Bonnie (later this role was taken by Anastasia Lapina (Анастасия Лапина)), Alexandr Dasevich (Александр Дасевич) takes on Clemont, and Maria Ivaschenko (Мария Иващенко) lends her voice to Serena.

In Sun and Moon series, the voices of Ash, Team Rocket and the narrator return. Vasilisa Voronina (Василиса Воронина) voices Mallow, Maria Ivaschenko (Мария Иващенко) takes on Lillie, Alena Sozinova (Алёна Созинова) is the voice of Lana, Kiawe is voiced by Ivan Kalinin (Иван Калинин), Tatiana Shitova (Татьяна Шитова) takes on Sophocles, Daniil Eldarov (Даниил Эльдаров) voices Professor Kukui, Andrey Barhudarov (Андрей Бархударов) takes on Samson Oak, and Prohor Chekhovskoy (Прохор Чеховской) is the voice of Rotom Pokédex.

Some episodic roles at Arc-TV were voiced by Alexei Kostrichkin (Алексей Костричкин), Natalya Kaznacheeva (Наталья Казначеева), Daniil Eldarov (Даниил Эльдаров), Alexander Voronov (Александр Воронов), Alexander Gavrilin (Александр Гаврилин), Mikhail Tikhonov (Михаил Тихонов) and others. At SDI Media Russia, roles are frequently voiced by Andrey Grinevich (Андрей Гриневич), Ilya Hvostikov (Илья Хвостиков), Olga Zubkova (Ольга Зубкова), Oleg Kucenko (Олег Куценко), Vladimir Antonik (Владимир Антоник), Alexander Gruzdev (Александр Груздев), Olga Zvereva (Ольга Зверева), Tatiana Veselkina (Татьяна Весёлкина), Denis Nekrasov (Денис Некрасов) and others.

Pokémon games

In 2000, "Noviy Disc" got authorization from Nintendo to officially sell their products in Russia, starting with Nintendo 64 and Game Boy[3]. In the early 2000s, handheld consoles were not common, but the most popular from them on the Russian market was Game Boy Color. The market was very unstable at the time, dominated by pirate Famicom and Mega Drive consoles (bootleg of Pokemon games for these systems were also sold in Russia) and first PlayStation (which discs were also pirated)[4]. GBC was affected too with bootleg carts (mostly compilations) and unlicensed accessories seen on the market. Another problem was grey import so official distributor had competition in form of the same products imported from other countries. After release of Game Boy Advance, handheld gaming began to be more popular in Russia with the piracy for this system rampted on very high level, resulting the console being the most popular handel system in mid-2000s[5]. The Russian distributors sold illegal translations of GBA games and movies in self custom-made packages (also Pokemon ones). Its own versions were released by companies like New Game[6], Simba's Video Games[7], Vector[8] and K&S[9].

Despite difficulties, "Noviy Disc" got new contract with Nintendo in 2006. The piracy and grey imports began to slowly disappear from the market and distributor learned from mistakes and began officially translate games into Russian. In 2010, Nintendo selected second distributor called Gametec (also refered as "Igrovyye tekhnologii") and in 2012 the third one called OCS Distribution, which with Nintendo of Europe opened N office in Russia[10]. 3DS games were then available for sale on the official store Mir Nintendo, though they may also be found elsewhere. That same year, the Russian government fully enforced Federal law no. 436-FZ of 2010-12-23, which caused the creation of the Russian Age Rating System, based on the film rating system used by the country's Ministry of Culture replacing the use of the PEGI rating in that region. Pokémon Rumble U became the first Pokémon game to be rated by Russian authorities. Pokémon X and Y were the first Pokémon games to be released in Russia at the same time as the rest of the world due to the introduction of the Nintendo online store. Pokémon video games are not localized in Russian; however, there have been a few fan translations of the GBA games circulating among Russian fans and pirate translations mentioned earlier.

Pokémon Trading Card Game Online was the first Pokémon game translated into Russian, with only some older and some cards not yet released in Russia being left in English. The second game translated to Russian was Pokémon GO, with the translation based on the translation of seasons 21-23 of anime.

On March 10, 2022, Pokémon GO was removed and deactivated in Russia and Belarus because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and, in the case of Belarus, strong ties between it and Russia.[11]On May 31, 2023, Nintendo shut down the e-Shop in Russia, thus preventing people there from buying new games, including Pokémon and any DLC.[12] In November 2022, the CEO of Nintendo Russia, created a new company called Achivka, to bypass sanctions[13] and import games straight from Europe. However, Nintendo has claimed that it had no involvement with the distributor and began winding down its Russian operations as a result. However, they will still work with Achivka for repairs to fulfill contractual obligations.[14]

Pokémon Trading Card Game

Bulbanews has an article related to this subject:

The Pokémon Trading Card Game were distributed by Noviy Disc from 2000, promoted on official site pokemon.ru. On October 28, 2001 company organised first national tournament[15]. Cards obtained "the same cult status" as it did in Britain.[16] The Russian government attempted to ban or, in the least, censor the game in late 2001-2002, but it seems that this was not carried through.

The Trading Card Game was evidently released in English, as the government wanted the cards to be translated into Russian as part of the censorship.

When the anime stopped airing, the Pokémon Trading Cards stopped releasing as well.

The Pokémon Trading Card Game returned to Russia when they were distributed along with toys in Happy Meals in Russian McDonald's in January 2012.

The Pokémon Trading Card Game: XY went on sale in Russia on October 6, 2014. It was the first Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion in Russia since the original Base Set.

The TCG has since been translated under the name Покемон ККИ Pokémon KKI, though released later than in the west. The expansion Steam Siege (TCG) was the last expansion to be translated. All of the Sun & Moon expansions until Forbidden Light and Ultra Prism were distributed untranslated.

On September 3, 2018, Nintendo Russia CEO Yasha Haddaji created a post in the official group "Мир Pokémon", that stated the end of TCG's distribution in Russia. The reasoning is that increased tariffs due to trade disputes involving the US and Europe made it no longer profitable to sell Pokémon cards in Russia.[17]

Pokémon and grammar

The word покемон Pokémon as well as the names for each Pokémon are fully inflected in Russian. Покемон is written in lowercase when referring to the species and is written in uppercase or uses Pokémon when referring to the series as a whole. Individual Pokémon and character names are often the English name transcribed into the Cyrillic alphabet or derived closely from their English name; for example, Bulbasaur becomes Бульбазавр Bul'bazavr. For more information on these localized names for Pokémon, see List of Russian Pokémon names.

Singular Plural
Nominative покемо́н покемо́ны
Genitive покемо́на покемо́нов
Dative покемо́ну покемо́нам
Accusative покемо́на покемо́нов
Instrumental покемо́ном покемо́нами
Prepositional покемо́не покемо́нах

Pokémon merchandise

There is a lot of Pokémon merchandise, which used to be especially popular during the airing of the anime on ORT. Toys, playing cards (not Trading Card Game ones), official magazines, pogs, clothes, and other merchandise found a quick sale. In 2001, PepsiCo had released its drinks with stereoscopic screenshots of the anime placed on the bottles' caps — these caps are highly valued as collectibles among Russian fans. The Official Pokémon Handbook and The Official Pokémon Handbook 2 by Maria Barbo were translated and released under the name "The Manual of the Pokémon Champion" and "The Manual of the Pokémon Champion II" respectively.


  • Some episodes dubbed by Pilot Studio were based on the Polish version instead of the English dub. This is why Pallet Town and Viridian City are called "Alabastia" and "Vertania". Also, there was a dub error in EP003 where Polish words can be heard.[18][dead link]
  • Anastasiya Fomicheva, the actress who voiced Dawn in S10, is registered at the Russian Pokémon League.[19]
  • Pilot Studio also dubbed the Pokémon anime in Ukrainian with the same actors.
  • This is the only country that aired two different series back-to-back and not in chronological order. Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire did not debut until a day after the premiere of the eighteenth season, Pokémon the Series: XY Kalos Quest, on the same channel.

External links

See also


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