"Kharkovchanka" - The Colossal Soviet Antarctic Cruisers

"The Kharkovchanka" - Russia's Colossal Antarctic Cruisers which have been continuously operating in some of the most extreme environments on Earth for over 50 years. Produced in Kharkiv, Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic and originally operated by USSR, the 'Харьковчанка' (literally 'Kharkiv Women'), these amazing Snow Cruisers were built in the late 1950s and featured everything a polar explorer could need in the field. In their half-century mission, they have crossed thousands of miles on Antarctic Ice, visited the South Pole, the pole of inaccessibility as well the dozens of outposts and research stations on the continent.
0:00 - Introduction & early Exploration
2:49 - Early Soviet Antarctic Expeditions
5:12 - Introduction & Successes of the 'ATT' Tractor
8:14 - Building The Kharkovchanka
12:08 - Layout & Features
15:48 - The Kharkovchanka in Antarctica
21:10 - Design Issues & Possible Replacements
22:55 - The Kharkovchanka-II
26:00 - Where are they now?
30:22 - Conclusion
31:30 - Outro
See my 'Kharkovchanka' work on Redbubble:
Full list of references and sources:
Twitter......................► calumraasay
Instagram................► calumraasay


  1. Calum

    CalumMånad sedan

    New video! You’ve seen the biggest tracked Antarctic vehicle... what about the smallest? 👉 setoos.info/name/ypC7tJ-ErI-vpXw/video

  2. Y B

    Y B21 dag sedan

    While he does make it sound like some delicious Indian food, rather than a Ukrainian vehicle, it's hard to be mad at someone for bringing your story to the world if you are not gonna do that yourself.

  3. Yohanes Wi

    Yohanes WiMånad sedan

    yo awesome documentary !

  4. WhiteAndProudRuss

    WhiteAndProudRuss10 timmar sedan

    От Чарковчанки у меня кровь пошла из ушей :) А в остальном отличное видео

  5. John Phelan

    John PhelanDag sedan

    Great video - well done ✅ I am a russian speaker and it's more Hhatkov than Charkov - sort of a prolonged or even say a, double H

  6. Stuart Lee

    Stuart Lee2 dagar sedan

    The long-term calculus presumably guess because pocket ordinarily reflect near a amused list. unwritten, pumped enemy

  7. magnetmannenbannanen

    magnetmannenbannanen3 dagar sedan

    haha i just thought about it, someone might find it in the future and be like "wtf is this???"

  8. Amp Amp

    Amp Amp5 dagar sedan

    Excellent video! I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times now, but Kharkov is pronounced "Karkov". It is a Russian city, famous from the 2nd World War, where a huge battle took place.

  9. Calum

    Calum3 dagar sedan

    Lovely city! got a few books on it, just not an audiobook it seems..

  10. fourierrocket

    fourierrocket10 dagar sedan

    Take one to Tatooine, and the Jawas will know what to do with it.

  11. LunchroomRumble

    LunchroomRumble11 dagar sedan

    Take a shot of vodka every time he says "Kharkovchanka" 😂

  12. Сингония Кубическая

    Сингония Кубическая12 dagar sedan

    I just cant stop rewathing this wonderful masterpiece

  13. Mikael Reichel

    Mikael Reichel12 dagar sedan

    Thanks, very interesting and appreciated.

  14. vjeran vlahovic

    vjeran vlahovic13 dagar sedan

    wow...i have seen it many times on tv but this is great video explaining how it came to be. Now to explain what Čarkovčanka means(Charkovchanka)....the resident of New York would say for himself as New Yorker. Female resident would say it too. In "slavic" languages there are male and female form to say it....male resident would say that he is Čarkovčanin and female resident as Čarkovčanka. I hope the name is more clearer to you now.Cheers from warm Croatia

  15. Paul RupRai

    Paul RupRai13 dagar sedan

    So the Americans and the Russians never heard of planes for dropping off fuel and supplies. .... Lol ... The daft leading the dafter???? Disgraceful!! Unintelligent!!!

  16. Calum

    Calum12 dagar sedan

    They did, but it’s a) the Antarctic and b) expensive and complex

  17. Katarina Love

    Katarina Love13 dagar sedan

    Talk about new swabia

  18. John Gordon

    John Gordon14 dagar sedan

    You didn’t reference the British top gear vehicular journey to the South Pole!

  19. Calum

    Calum12 dagar sedan

    *North pole!

  20. john martin

    john martin16 dagar sedan

    Doesn’t compare to the SHERP

  21. Koteki

    Koteki17 dagar sedan

    Chonky Sharky

  22. sled necks

    sled necks18 dagar sedan

    America should’ve asked Germany to help them design their behemoth

  23. Robert Anderson

    Robert Anderson19 dagar sedan

    Remarkably high quality content and production. I love the chapter setup, perfect for videos like this. I subscribed and am now about to go into your backlog.

  24. Calum

    Calum18 dagar sedan

    Thank you! TBH I mix things up so not much of my content is alike- keen to be making more wee documentaries like this though!

  25. Wyatt Keys

    Wyatt Keys20 dagar sedan

    Take a shot every time he says kharkovchanka.

  26. Calum

    Calum18 dagar sedan

    Wyatt Keys dead of alcohol poisoning after watching 7 minutes of youtube video.

  27. James Von Blitza

    James Von Blitza23 dagar sedan

    I love land trains all types kinds

  28. Calum

    Calum23 dagar sedan

    That should be my tinder bio

  29. Eric Payne

    Eric Payne23 dagar sedan

    loved this great work

  30. Darth nataS

    Darth nataS23 dagar sedan

    They had better be careful driving around down there, they are in danger of falling off the edge.

  31. Ray Ceeya

    Ray Ceeya23 dagar sedan

    Great video! Now I want to see a reaction video from a flat-earther.

  32. Calum

    Calum18 dagar sedan

    haha well I have to delete like 5 or 6 comments by them a day so i've heard plenty!

  33. Charlie Brenton

    Charlie Brenton24 dagar sedan

    Fantastically interesting video!! Thank you for this!!

  34. Arthur wellington clah

    Arthur wellington clah24 dagar sedan

    My belarus tractor is a beast , luv it .

  35. Handy Man

    Handy Man24 dagar sedan

    I just this fascinating video. Well done. I was drinking Russian potato vodka

  36. Filip II Makedonski

    Filip II Makedonski25 dagar sedan

    "Harkovchanka" please! Remove the ridiculous "K" in front.

  37. Windows 9

    Windows 926 dagar sedan


  38. Christofer Sears

    Christofer Sears26 dagar sedan

    GREAT STUFF! super cool, thanks for doing the work!

  39. Derek aka Derek

    Derek aka Derek27 dagar sedan

    Apparently the American antarctic vehicle drove better in reverse, and did it's longest trek.... all in reverse.

  40. БойБорг690_

    БойБорг690_27 dagar sedan

    Where did that old Soviet guy go?

  41. Lizard Skizard

    Lizard Skizard29 dagar sedan

    Look into some accounts from admiral Byrd. Bizarre and interesting.

  42. Calum

    Calum29 dagar sedan

    Haha yes interesting man and also somewhat a complete fruitcake

  43. Spookis Ghostly

    Spookis Ghostly29 dagar sedan

    Man I gotta watch “The Thing” again

  44. Sandra Carson

    Sandra CarsonMånad sedan

    Antarrtica sure is quite a distance from Siberia. Not enough freezing regions for Russions

  45. bturgf bturgf

    bturgf bturgfMånad sedan

    6:50 nice lol

  46. Dan Koning

    Dan KoningMånad sedan

    In the end this merely proved that it's really cold there. The only benefit that sites like this yield once they're reached e.g. space exploration etc. are minimal. The only value in these missions are the products invented that allow the missions to proceed; products such as "dustbusters/freeze dried foods/memory foam/LASIK etc. but the literal trillion$ spent to discover "whatever" for "pole/moon" exploration, has never returned any tangible riches from any site. Nothing has ever been "harvested" for either "pole" or the moon.

  47. Dan Koning

    Dan KoningMånad sedan

    @Calum // Don't be so hard on yourself.

  48. Calum

    CalumMånad sedan

    What an uninformed comment.

  49. Kesek Ld

    Kesek LdMånad sedan

    Great video! Big thumb up from my!

  50. chelar estelar

    chelar estelarMånad sedan

    Great video. Who would've thought that cooling would be a problem over there, lmao And im real petty, but you kept refering to them as "charkovchanka"'s, when the first letter is like the "h" in "hard". "harkovchanka, basically

  51. /

    /Månad sedan

    I've just finished reading about it in a blog of Russian Antarctic worker. Some of them are still used today thank to their reliability. Russian Antarctic explorers refuse to buy any foreign equipment since it's not enough resistant to cold compared to Russian analogies.

  52. Larry Norsworthy

    Larry NorsworthyMånad sedan

    Why even go there?

  53. Dan Pavel Doghi

    Dan Pavel DoghiMånad sedan

    very interesting and nicely done! thank you

  54. ilmarinen79

    ilmarinen79Månad sedan

    I feel like I've been deprived of antarctican adventure history until now! Everything I've heard is Shackleton/Amundsen stuff, which are great of course but these machines are so fascinating...I have to see the movie now. This documentary was amazing, a gift for the people, truly. Sadly it seems the best source books of the voyages are in Russian only?

  55. timonoj

    timonojMånad sedan

    Please add subtitles... As a non Russian I have no idea how much you might have butchered the pronunciation, but I can tell you Google voice to text algorithm made some horrifying gore out of it. A real subtitle base would allow for easy automatic translation to other languages (when the original source is accurate, it works surprisingly well). All about this is, thinking about non-English speaking relatives. Thanks!

  56. Robbobshiskabob Robboboscarpete

    Robbobshiskabob RobboboscarpeteMånad sedan

    Shitty that it got demonetized

  57. ilmarinen79

    ilmarinen79Månad sedan

    "Oof" :D

  58. A0111

    A0111Månad sedan

    Thank you for introducing me a fascinating part of my country's history that I've never heard of.👍

  59. Scar

    ScarMånad sedan

    Badass equipment.

  60. Danger Bear

    Danger BearMånad sedan

    1939. Amazing.

  61. IL FER

    IL FERMånad sedan

    Очень круто, спасибо за видео!

  62. Tomsta12jr

    Tomsta12jrMånad sedan

    Off topic, but you and the youtuber Mike Boyd have a very similar voice and way of talking.

  63. Calum

    CalumMånad sedan

    Haha I’ve heard that before, funny since he’s from the other end of country!

  64. Azathoth Hastur

    Azathoth HasturMånad sedan

    diesel engine!!! I haerd new improve deisel engines are cleaner and more awesome than ever!

  65. Azathoth Hastur

    Azathoth HasturMånad sedan

    is technology worse now? AWESOME stuff for 1950s! saw video of automated burger n fried chick shaes fries fast food 1950s we had the technology now all real engineering is de emphasiszed to our discredit

  66. M R

    M RMånad sedan

    I would like one of these to drive around London in peak hours traffic

  67. MrOlegrom

    MrOlegromMånad sedan

    Thank you for the video! I live in Kharkiv - the city where "Kharkovchanka" was made. Yea, you mispronounced the name! But that's ok! Great video, thank you!

  68. MrOlegrom

    MrOlegromMånad sedan

    @Calum Welcome!

  69. Calum

    CalumMånad sedan

    Thanks for that! Hope to visit your fine country one day!

  70. charles evans

    charles evansMånad sedan

    Very interesting and your english was fine

  71. Ulle Sativus

    Ulle SativusMånad sedan

    Харковчанка means a woman from Kharkov (Харьков) - city in Ukraine

  72. Bryant Ross

    Bryant RossMånad sedan

    I want to buy one

  73. david mainord

    david mainordMånad sedan

    Biden will buy some of these to take guns from people in Alaska

  74. Robert Panetta

    Robert PanettaMånad sedan

    This guy speaks 100 miles a hour

  75. Calum

    CalumMånad sedan

    Busy guy, got a lot to do! Gotta go fast!

  76. Lucien Ritorto

    Lucien RitortoMånad sedan

    Russian #1: “Commander, our brigade tanks are having trouble in the snow!” Russian #2: “Eh, just put a turbo on it.”

  77. Derek aka Derek

    Derek aka Derek27 dagar sedan

    rUsSiAn #3: the turbos were for compressing oxygen, because high elevation means thinner atmosphere. Not because of any snow complication.

  78. Kilo

    KiloMånad sedan

    sooo.... they combined a plane with a tank.

  79. Cyrille Clément

    Cyrille ClémentMånad sedan

    Your list of references and sources shows how carefully you work. Yes, you are not used with slavic languages but, apart from this point, your documentary effort is valuable.

  80. black shuck the 3rd

    black shuck the 3rdMånad sedan

    Can I have one please .👍

  81. haugstule

    haugstuleMånad sedan

    18:39 changing a 600kg gearbox in minus 55C = Fuck my life level infinite

  82. haugstule

    haugstuleMånad sedan

    @Calum they might have been, but i can tell with confidence there was some cursing necessitated before it could roll again ;)

  83. Calum

    CalumMånad sedan

    Those were some tough lads

  84. IAT1964

    IAT1964Månad sedan

    In general, Soviet and Russian technology is frowned upon by the west. However the "rules of engagement" in Russia are totally different to most other places. Their focus is on simple-robust-practical, and not focusing solely on high-tech. You can see this in many areas of manufacturing such as aviation, cars, and also heavy industry. In many cases they come up with brilliant designs.

  85. Buck Alley

    Buck AlleyMånad sedan


  86. Riga T.

    Riga T.Månad sedan

    The Russians are gonna get to Mars in the future, find out they need a vehicle to haul supplies there, and they'll probably drop one of these down lmao.

  87. Fish 101

    Fish 101Månad sedan

    Thoroughly enjoyed this. Well done.

  88. Eric Fox

    Eric FoxMånad sedan

    Thank you, well done...

  89. smokinC5

    smokinC5Månad sedan

    For the zombie apocolypse, this is what you want lol

  90. valius sabas

    valius sabasMånad sedan

    shame that narator is not capiple to pronounce name of town and name of this machine.

  91. Calum

    CalumMånad sedan

    Damn shame 😔

  92. Ollie Reed

    Ollie ReedMånad sedan

    Did the Americans realise that slick rubber tyres are not that good in snow? Otherwise Indycar would be way more interesting!

  93. Jarmo Verriet

    Jarmo VerrietMånad sedan

    I got this randomly in my reccommendations and i'm verg happy about it. Super interesting video of something i've never heard of before!

  94. Calum

    CalumMånad sedan

    Thank you! This is part of whats become a bit of an 'antarctic vehicle' series, so check out the channel for the others!

  95. Anya Metten

    Anya MettenMånad sedan

    Why is it that while listening to this show I'm suddenly in the mood to watch a Gerard Butler or James McAvoy movies?! 🤔 🤪

  96. Calum

    CalumMånad sedan

    Maybe the first 20 minutes of National Treasure too

  97. Are You Really Correct?

    Are You Really Correct?Månad sedan

    1:19 I don’t think that guy on top was having much fun

  98. Sweet Autumn

    Sweet AutumnMånad sedan

    why americans didn't use tractor wheels or smth that has more grip... this is so dumb, like getting wheels that have almost no grip at all and then expecting it to work on ice and snow?

  99. cccpredarmy

    cccpredarmyMånad sedan

    The facepalm for a russian native speaker comes more from not understanding how english speakers when seeing "Kh" turn it into "Ch" like in "cheetah". "Kh" is more like "H" in laughing "HaHaHa" or "(H)orus (H)eresy". Cmon bro I know you can laugh!

  100. Sean

    SeanMånad sedan

    Kharkovchanka sounds like what the Russian Lightning McQueen would say

  101. Cyrus

    CyrusMånad sedan

    Enjoyed that, but disturbed by the cans, bottles and MASSIVE glue container! ;D

  102. Kohdok

    KohdokMånad sedan

    "We need a vehicle capable of navigating a snow-torn icy hellscape with temperatures near zero kelvin!" Soviet Engineer: "So like Kiev in summertime?"

  103. Lilak Monoke

    Lilak MonokeMånad sedan

    exactly what the world needs so more idiots can bulldozer their way through pristine nature in areas where nobody should be anyways. good post.

  104. Calum

    CalumMånad sedan

    @Lilak Monoke if not for Antarctic science and observation we’d not have discovered the hole in the ozone layer nor much of the current climate change knowledge. It could have been catastrophic, it’s a necessity of Antarctic study but it’s improving all the time. I think the US bases even ship away sewage so it isn’t dumped there.

  105. Lilak Monoke

    Lilak MonokeMånad sedan

    whats wrong with staying the fuck out of some areas at all? of if you have to walk there. 8 billion idiotic homo sapiens leave their shit everywhere they can get to. thats the reality of car travel, if there is a road there will be shit. that vehicle expands that problem considerably.

  106. Calum

    CalumMånad sedan

    It might look quite disruptive, but by traversing these landscapes we can better understand and protect them. On a continental scale human activity in Antarctica is minuscule and many expeditions go to great lengths to minimise impact. That said a lot of cleanup from bases built in the 50s and 60s has had to take place to remove old fuel supplies etc.

  107. Peter

    PeterMånad sedan

    Well made

  108. Jon Judge

    Jon JudgeMånad sedan

    You know, give it 20 to 30 years and I can imagine something similar existing on Mars.

  109. High Roller

    High RollerMånad sedan

    Outer reaches of the dome

  110. 🙋🏼‍♂️

    🙋🏼‍♂️Månad sedan

    Har'kov (Харьков), hence Harkovchanka.

  111. Chris Moffatt

    Chris MoffattMånad sedan

    Great DOC. Lets face it, the Russians can build good reliable stuff that lasts a lifetime. These things are a beast, there noisy, mechanical with now frills and the fact there still used proves the point.

  112. Lee B

    Lee BMånad sedan

    Dude awesome video, thank you so much for you hard work in producing it.

  113. Ilia Penchev

    Ilia PenchevMånad sedan

    Great movie, thank you! I enjoyed it.

  114. luke codere

    luke codereMånad sedan

    Those are so badass

  115. Computer Freak CH

    Computer Freak CHMånad sedan

    Very educating indeed! I just wnoder if the mentions of turbine superchargers are accurate - While mechanical super chargers were common in IIWW aircraft engines - turbochargers could have been difficult to manufacture in the 1950s in soviet Russia.

  116. Денис Барка

    Денис БаркаMånad sedan

    Excuse me, but there is no K in pronouncing Kharkov it is sounds like Xapкiв But you - great!

  117. nkt1

    nkt1Månad sedan

    You'd think the Russians knew a thing or two about insulation against the cold. Strange, then, that instead of losing one or two degrees celsius of heat in 24 hours, it lost 47 overnight.

  118. Alex Dalthorp

    Alex DalthorpMånad sedan

    These dudes pulled what is basically a tank transmission out in -57 degree F weather. I hate going out to check my oil if its below like 30 degrees F

  119. Philip Baca

    Philip BacaMånad sedan

    Oh this is bullshit I bet it's not so bad they just want to scare the masses from goin there c'mon man

  120. Yury Skrip

    Yury SkripMånad sedan

    It's an interesting presentation of that unique vehicle. Though I wonder why he pronounces 'Kharkovchanka' in such a funny way. It's pronounces like 'Harkovchanka' (too bad I cannot use transcription signs here)' 'Charkovchanka' sounds real funny.

  121. emilie choquette

    emilie choquetteMånad sedan

    the fact you did the imperial conversions on screen made me instantly subscribe

  122. Swagging With Ben

    Swagging With BenMånad sedan

    Excellent video, really well done! I'm impressed with the time and effort you went to in researching and producing this. Keep up the great work, you're obviously making videos which you're passionate about. +1 subscriber from me! Stay safe :)

  123. arkanbarable

    arkanbarableMånad sedan

    lovely video, thanks a bunch!

  124. By Demons Be Driven

    By Demons Be DrivenMånad sedan

    -57 outside today and it still overheats

  125. Adi Tvrtkovic

    Adi TvrtkovicMånad sedan

    Fantastic video, very well put together. Thank you for sharing.