Vitaly Buzuev was born in December 1960 – on the 21st, the winter solstice, a birthday he shares with Joseph Stalin. Despite that, Vitaly has never been a fan.
Vitaly’s mother was the St Petersburg artist, Galina Buzueva, and his father, Arkadiy Buzuev was a polar explorer, geography professor and head of the North Pole-13 station.
In 1978 Vitaly moved from Leningrad (now St Petersburg) to Moscow where he lived with his grandfather, artist Leonid Karataev. Vitaly's great grandfather, Ippolit Karataev, was a general in Poland's gendarmerie. Vitaly remembers his early childhood through his grandfather's stories. Once, in the Crimea, Leonid took his grandson for a stroll, as an artist, his grandfather was always distracted by the sights around him. On this occasion, he was so struck by the view from the top of a hill that he let go of the pram, which rolled down some steps into a peacock cage where it flipped over. Luckily, young Vitaly was unharmed and opened his eyes to see a peacock fanning its tail at him.
As a child, Vitaly also wanted to be an artist. He was sent to the Hermitage Museum's extra-curricular school for gifted children. He was awarded a gold medal in New York for his work based on the fairy-tale "The Emperor's New Clothes".
After that victory, Vitaly put down his paintbrush and graduated from high school and decided to become a journalist joining Moscow State University's faculty of journalism in 1978. He went on to work for various newspapers, magazines and radio stations. In 1996 he moved to London to work for the BBC's Russian Service, hosting a show called "The View From London".
He then returned to Moscow and was offered a job at NTV, where he was initially responsible for press reviews, then he became a reporter and presented the "Profession – Journalist" programme. He also hosted a morning show called "Today". In 2001 he moved to Ren-TV.
He considers his films about female suicide-bombers in Sri Lanka and Nepalese Maoists to be his best of this period. Vitaly is happy to explain to anyone the meaning of "exotic separatism"!
From 2008 to 2011 he oversaw the creation of Ren-TV's press centre in Kiev.
Vitaly has been at RT since 2012. He won a major prize for his film "Children of the Tundra" in the national "Country" awards in 2013.
While in 2014 his documentary "Sky Rescue" was awarded first prize in the All-Russian journalistic contest "SMIrotvorets" in the category "Television: Federal and Regional Mass Media".
Of all the films he's made for RT, he is especially proud of "Butterfly People", "Agafia", and, of course, his film about rescue helicopters on the Yamal peninsula.