QR Recommendations: Ushanka Show

In a search for quick and easy content that doesn’t take a lot of thought and gets clicks we present: The Quarter Rat Video Creator Recommendations. Independent creators producing original quality content for the web. If you’re a fan of obscure or lesser known YOUTUBERS you may want to check some of these out.

Sergei Sputnikoff was born in the former U.S.S.R. (now a part of Ukraine) in 1971 and moved to the U.S. in 1999. He has a catalog of hundred of videos covering his childhood in the final days of the Soviet Union, the opening up and change that happened over the course of less than a decade. He shares many fond childhood memories that dispel or at least explain many of our western impressions of the Soviets. At times he discusses life in his new home Michigan, USA. For the channel’s 52,000 subscribers, he puts out regular well produced videos. A playlist of five videos devoted just to being 15 years old in 1986 in Kiev during the Chernobyl disaster.

Observations both positive and negative, and first impressions of the West. I enjoy his recollections about life in the Ukraine. Playlists covering all aspects, Soviet autos, housing, currency, humor, leadership and many others. On a rare occasion, he will inject his own political views. I’ve watched videos of other Tubers who were from the former Communist block countries who speak very bitterly of their experiences, denouncing it all and sounding like a Regan Republican.

Sergei has a much softer view of the period. For him and his family, it sounds more like a depression-era story from the United States’ past. His childhood sounded happy. He speaks of his friends and the simple fun and pleasures they shared. Occasionally, he comes out with a point of view that would fall on the socialist side of the spectrum. Coming from him, I will listen with an open mind and try to see the ideals. I won’t even pay attention to an American college student talk about something that they have no experience in.


I thought this video to share would perfect coming from The Quarter Rat. In the 1980s, Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev created his Glasnost policy (openness) allowing the press to print articles with limited state censorship. In 1986, two newspaper editors thought that they would test the policy. The newspaper Moskovskij Komsomolets reported on foreign money prostitution in Moscow. I can imagine those editorial meetings. A serious doubt about how open is too open for the reformed Soviet leadership. About that time Chernobyl was the top story around the world. For a publisher to tests the limits of a newly installed freedom, prostitution was probably the safer bet. The newspaper ran a series of stories, all sold out.

It’s an interesting insight to the final days of the Soviet Union. If you dig his style you can check out hundreds of his other videos.