This chapter links the Russian case to existing analysis of the relationship between television and nationhood in other parts of the world. In this chapter the author set out the context, both historical and contemporary, for the subsequent analysis of Russian television broadcasts. The rise of television coincided with the decline of the great European empires, and with the flows of post-imperial migration which so changed the 'look' of European nations in the latter half of the twentieth century. The first decade of the twenty-first century was a time in which new media communication platforms achieved pre-eminence. Russia has three main national television broadcasters: Channel 1, Rossiia and Nezavisimoe Televidenie (NTV). The concept of a democratic political nation of Russia's citizens has been consistently promoted only by a few public figures. Politicians recognize the role of intellectual discourses in nation-building and politicians instrumentally utilize particular intellectual constructs, depending on the requirement of the moment.