“T-34”: one of the highest grossing films in the entire history of Russia

If you are a fan of independent cinema, you cannot miss T-34: World of Tanks, the most recent production by director Aleksey Sidorov, which swept the Russian box office. Its success escalated in such a way that just months after its release it became one of the most watched films in Russian history. While the plot lacks depth, the action in the film makes up for it.

Before starting to describe the film in depth, it should be noted that it is not a story with an intrepid plot, so if you expect a deep film, full of unexpected twists, this may not be the best option for you. However, if your desire is to enjoy shooting for an hour and a half, you should search the internet where you can see or download it.


Some soldiers of the Soviet forces fight desperately using a T-34 tank. After intense fighting, they are defeated and mostly die. But Nikolay Ivushkin (Alexander Petrov) barely survives and joins a concentration camp.

Once there, he will meet an old acquaintance, Klaus Jäger, played by Vinzenz Kiefer, who is a member of the SS, but decides to make a proposal that will change the course of history: become the hunting rabbit for the new recruits of the Wehrmacht.


In this section Aleksey Sidorov’s film stands out by staging a wide cast of actors that can be considered the best. The critics of the interpreters were mostly good, especially the main character Nikolay Ivushkin, taking the nomination for Best Actor in the 2020 edition of the Golden Eagle. The cast is completed by:

  • Vinzenz Kiefer as SS-Standartenführer Klaus Jäger
  • Irina Starshenbaum as Yartseva, translator
  • Viktor Dobronravov as Stepan Vasilyonok
  • Yuriy Borisov as Serafim Ionov, tank-artillery
  • Anton Bogdanov as Demyan Volchok, tank-machine gunner
  • Pyotr Skvortsov as Lykov
  • Semyon Treskunov as Vasiliy Teterya
  • Guram Bablishvili as Gabuliya, commander of the infantry
  • Danila Rassomakhin as Vasechkin
  • Joshua Grothe as Thielicke
  • Wolfang Cerny as Hein

Criticism against box office

The public welcomed the film in a way, filling the cinemas, since its premiere in 2019, becoming, already at the end of 2020, in the second most watched Russian production in the nation’s history, only behind Going Vertical. It raised 2,200 million rubles which is equivalent to 32 million dollars and with only a budget of 600 million rubles, the critics were not very kind with the result put on screen.

Among so many critics of Russian cinema, one can cite Anton Dolin, one of the most prestigious in the country who shows an ambiguous position. “The creators do not pretend that T-34 is an image of real events (…) It is pure fantasy adapted for adolescents.”

Some publications highlight its similarity in history to the plot of the old film The Lark, from 1965, however, they point out that it cannot be considered a remake, because the general scheme of the narrative develops differently and the endings are very different.

For his part, the critic Valery Kichin writes for Rossiyskaya Gazeta an article in which he highlights the similarity of some scenes to modern shooting games. “They use game techniques that are well known to the viewer, and the wonderful feeling that the characters have multiple lives in stock runs through the whole movie,” he argues.


As it was expected, the film earned multiple Golden Eagle Award nominations, a ceremony similar to the Golden Globe, but directed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Russia, where the best of the seventh art of that country is awarded with 20 categories.

In total there were 13 nominations, rising the winner in 3: Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Alexsey Sidorov and Best Visual Effects for Agus Studios. However, it is surprising that it did not sweep and that the great performance of Alexander Petrov was not awarded as Best Leading Actor. The ceremony was held on January 24.

The T-34 as a symbol of victory against the Nazis

Many do not know the importance of the T-34 tank, an icon of the Soviet Union’s triumph over Nazi Germany. Considered the best tank created in Russia 80 years ago, it was also used in various military conflicts that took place in Egypt, Cuba and Angola.

This machine had its peak during World War II in 1941, when it was used to stop the Nazi onslaught outside Moscow and, later, in 1945 when “the nut”, as the crew called it, entered Berlin together with the Soviet army.

Although it was thought that this turret would cease to be used with the end of the great conflict, it continued to be occupied, even by other countries, as was to be expected after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Despite some modifications, it is still part of the arsenal of some European nations.

Ideology put aside

It is important to note that, despite the fact that the film is set in World War II, shows a great difference with respect to the rest of Russian war productions. And it is that contrary to what one may think, it does not emphasize the role of the USSR in the conflict.

The story focuses on action, without slow moments which undoubtedly caught the Russian public who forgot patriotism and ideologies to devote themselves to watching a movie that in some scenes borders on the fantastic, if not the absurd. The lack of logic in the plot earned it some mediocre ratings. However, it is compensated with a good photography job.


Many are carried away by the ratings of the pages that are dedicated to cinema, but if you are a fan of the action genre and independent productions you should run to see T-34 regardless of that, in some cases, you find a bad review. Now, if you want to see a movie with a deep plot, this may not be the best option for you.

Keep reading about the best children’s movies.

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