Leonid Parfyonov

Leonid Gennadyevich Parfyonov (Russian: Леонид Геннадьевич Парфёнов, born January 26, 1960, in Cherepovets, Vologda Oblast) is a Russian journalist, news presenter, TV producer and author of many documentary TV shows. Parfyonov is known for his studio work and productions for the NTV (of which he was Producer General between 1997 and 1999). From December 3, 2004, until December 20, 2007, he was an editor-in-chief of Russky Newsweek, Russian edition of Newsweek. From 2012 until 2018, Parfyonov was a member of Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights.

Leonid Parfyonov
Леонид Парфёнов
Moscow, VDNKh, Leonid Parfyonov on stage (10656358313) (cropped).jpg
Parfyonov in September 2013
Leonid Gennadyevich Parfyonov

(1960-01-26) January 26, 1960 (age 62)
EducationLeningrad State University
(Journalism, 1982)
Years active1986–present
Spouse(s)Yelena Chekalova

As the author and narrator of the daily culture news TV show Namedni on NTV, Parfyonov produced the line of popular history TV documentaries which he narrated and hosted on-site of almost each event portrayed. The series achieved great success and were repeatedly broadcast for years after premiere.


Selected filmography as narrator and producerEdit

  • Namedni 1961–1991: Nasha Era (1997) (Russian: "Намедни 1961-1991: Наша Эра", literally "Recently: Our Era") and 2003 sequel Namedni 1961–2003: Novaya Era (Russian: "Намедни 1961-2003: Новая Эра", literally ("Recently: New Era") are TV series recapping the History of the Soviet Union and modern Russia since 1961[1] in 42 year-part manner.
  • Rossiyskaya Imperiya (Russian: "Российская Империя", literally "Russian Empire") (2000–2003) is a similar, but larger-span project dedicated to the History of Russian Empire starting with the Peter the Great rule. The series also used animation and additional narration by famous stage actress Alla Demidova.
  • Noveyshaya Istoriya. Semnadtsat mgnoveniy 25 let spustia (Russian: Новейшая история. Семнадцать мгновений весны 25 лет спустя) (1998) and Noveyshaya Istoriya. Mesto vstrechi, 20 let spustia (Russian: Место встречи. 20 лет спустя) are commemorative documentaries on the two iconic Soviet TV series:
  • Russia in Bloom (2013) (Russian: "Цвет нации") – a documentary about Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, a pioneer in color photography of early 20th-century Russia. Available for public viewing with English subtitles on Vimeo.

2010 political censorship escapadeEdit

In November 2010 Parfyonov became the first recipient of the Listyev Prize, in honour of Vladislav Listyev, a Russian TV journalist who was murdered in 1995. On the live-broadcast ceremony for the prize, Parfyonov made an unexpected and emotional speech damning Russian TV community for dependence on the authorities, saying “journalists are not journalists at all but bureaucrats, following the logic of service and submission”.[2] This became a contradiction to the past, when Parfyonov had refrained from making political statements, saying "I am a professional journalist, not a professional revolutionary. My job is to report, not to climb the barricades".[3]

Presence on YouTubeEdit

In February 2018, Parfyonov created a YouTube channel named Parfenon, where he publishes his documentaries and runs a weekly blog on "what has happened [to Parfyonov] during the week, what [he] saw, and what [he] thought about" as written in his channel's description. He later revived his TV show Namedni and started discussing the latest news. As of April 2020, his channel has 760 thousand subscribers and almost 50 million views.[4]


  • TEFI award and also a special prize in 2004 – for the "Namedni 1961–2003"
  • 4 more TEFI awards


  1. ^ year of the Yuri Gagarin's space flight and Khruschev Thaw beginning
  2. ^ "Russian TV Host Slams Media in Award Speech". The Other Russia. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  3. ^ Eastern Approaches (29 November 2010). "Parfyonov's magic touch". The Economist. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  4. ^ "Parfenon". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-04-23.

External linksEdit