Meet the Team

Team Members

Oksana O'Neill Oksana O’Neill Oksana O’Neill has always been involved with languages, being the bilingual daughter of international parents. A native Russian and Ukrainian speaker, Oksana went to high school in Japan and continued her Asian experience by studying at Beijing Normal University for 5 years, majoring in Chinese language and Sinology. A speaker of five languages, Oksana has developed a vast knowledge on linguistics and language acquisition. She is happy to share her experience and help others in their language studies being a part of a wonderful team on!
Elena Elena Korobova I’m a native Russian speaker. I was born in Moscow but now I live in the French Alps, right near the Italian border. My greatest passion is learning and teaching languages, and I have long experience of teaching both English and Russian, in real life and on-line. I started giving one-to-one lessons of English when I was still at university, and I fell in love with teaching. As soon as I graduated, I did a TEFL course and went on to teach English in a language school near Moscow. On I work as a Russian teacher, a content developer and a community liason. Besides that, I’m a professional Russian tutor (I give one-to-one lessons of Russian via Skype). I’m also the owner of a web site for Russian learners where you can test your level and get a lot of free learning material. I like learning languages almost as much as I like teaching them so I know what being a student is like! I’m fluent in English and French, and I’m learning Italian at the moment. My other interests include literature, music and vegetarianism.
Eddie Johnston Eddie Johnston Eddie is originally from the UK, but has been living in Japan since 2001. He is currently a high school teacher in the Tokyo area. He did his degree in Russian, and lived in Moscow for a year. He has also lived in several countries in the Middle East. He enjoys playing 5-a-side football, taking photos, and a game of chess. He is really looking forward to being in the Russianpod101 team and learning from as well as along with the listeners.
Erik Fritz Erik Fritz Erik Fritz is currently a university lecturer in the Tokyo area. He has lived abroad in four countries, including the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan where he studied Russian for over two years. He enjoys playing tennis, mountain biking and a good game of Scrabble. He is excited to be a part of the RussianPod101 team and eager for the opportunity to learn from, and along with, the listeners!
Anna Lemeshkina Anna Lemeshkina Anna was born and raised in a Russian family in Uzbekistan, as her parents moved from Russia to Uzbekistan during the Soviet Union. After graduating from the University, where she studied International Economic Relations, Anna worked as a Loan officer at a commercial bank. As she was always interested in Japanese culture and language, she decided to study in Japan for her graduate degree. Currently, she is an MBA student of the Hitotsubashi ICS School in Tokyo and apart from studying enjoys traveling, singing and clubbing. She thinks that the opportunity to teach the Russian language in English while living in Tokyo is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and hopes to make it an unforgettable experience for the listeners and herself.
Alexander Alexander Semayev Hello to everyone!
I’m Alex. I’m a native Russian speaker. I have lived for a longtime in Ukraine, Poland and then in France. I love languages and I will do my best to teach the language that I love - Russian!
Troitskaya Natalia Troitskaya Natalia Natalia is a graduate of Khabarovsk Pedagogical University, where she earned the title of teacher of English and Japanese. She thinks of her work on as a unique opportunity to teach her native tongue and to share the richness of Russian culture. Natalia believes that, through teaching and learning languages, people can discover and re-discover their own culture, beliefs, and identities. She currently lives in Tokyo, and is working on a Ph.D. thesis about multilingualism.
Yura Yefymenko Yura Yefymenko Yura Yefymenko was born in Germany. Before age 10, he was lucky enough to have traveled most of Russia and to many eastern European countries. At age 14, he moved to New York, where he was able to perfect his English-language ability. He is currently living in Tokyo, Japan, where he enjoys learning about different aspects of Japanese language and culture. He also enjoys philosophy and loves to talk about social and political issues. Yura prides himself on his knowledge of cuisine and is always eager to try something new — at least once. He is very glad to be working with the team, and hopes that the listeners will enjoy his work as well.
svetlana Svetlana Polikarpova Svetlana is a native Russian speaker. Though she was born and grew up in Russia, her family roots trace back to South Korea, where some of her close relatives still live. Already having an international background, Svetlana decided to go ahead and learn some other languages. She is really enjoying being in an international environment so now she wants to work in an international field. So now Svetlana is doing a Master’s degree specializing in International Business with a focus on Global Marketing..
Elena Maliarenko Elena Maliarenko Elena was born in Murmansk, Russia, but is now living and working in Tokyo. She likes traveling and meeting new people. Her hobby is horse riding, and she has participated in various horse jumping competitions. While studying Japanese, Elena started to help other students learn Russian. Soon after, she joined Innovative Language, a company that creates products for studying different languages. Elena’s areas of specialization also include business Russian, as she has a strong and diverse legal background.
Yuriy Yermishov Yuriy Yermishov Yuriy was born in Odessa, Ukraine and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Yuriy speaks English, Russian, and Japanese and has a passion for marketing, entrepreneurship and dance, and has been a b-boy/breakdancer for the past 10 years. Yuriy attended Baruch College, City University of New York and Temple University Japan; he majored in Business. Yuriy has been living in Japan for the past 4 years, and works behind the scenes at Innovative Language.
Anastasia Vasilyeva Anastasia Vasilyeva Anastasia was born in Saint Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities in Russia. She’s a Russian native speaker. Anastasia is currently studying the Japanese language in Tokyo. She is happy to help people from all over the world who want to learn Russian at
Anastasia Vasilyeva Yekaterina Yekaterina, or Katya for short, was born in Kiev. Since she was a kid, she has been interested in other languages and how people use them. With this interest in mind, she studied at National University in Kiev, and built up her dream of becoming a translator. She’s currently living in Japan. After work, she enjoys making presents and creating package designs for her presents. She’s happy to join the and meet listeners who want to learn Russian.
Fyodor Gladyshev Fyodor Gladyshev Fyodor was born in Novosibirsk City in Siberia. He speaks Russian, English, and Japanese. He attended Novosibirsk State Technical University and majored in regional study (Japan, Korea, China), and English and Japanese languages. Later, he went to the Japan Institute of Culture and Economics in Naha, Okinawa to study Japanese, before moving to Tokyo and continuing his Japanese studies at the Intercultural Institute of Japan. Fyodor is currently studying photography at Tokyo Visual Arts College, focusing on fashion photography. In the past, he taught Japanese in Moscow for around one year, and taught Russian in Japan for around a year as well. He has also worked as a model in Tokyo for more than two years. His interests include photography and traveling.
Karina Matveeva Karina Matveeva Karina was born on the island of Sakhalin in the Russian Far East. After that, she lived in Rostov-on-Don and Moscow, and she is currently living in Tokyo, Japan. She likes traveling, photography and studying different cultures. She has been interested in different aspects of the Russian language since her school years as well. She is fascinated by how rich, beautiful, and sometimes funny Russian language can be.
Anthony Sokolov Anthony Sokolov Anthony was born and raised in Tula, Russia. He lived in various countries for short periods, where he was inspired and gained experience communicating with people from different cultures and estates. Tony is fond of various kinds of art; painting paintings, writing music and books and making films. He has his own Youtube channel, ‘thetonynuts,’ where he uploads various interesting and entertaining videos. He is planning to write several books and make a couple of short films. He is very happy to be a part of
Dzhuliia Shipina Dzhuliia Shipina Dzhuliia is from Ekaterinburg, Russia — one of the biggest cities in Russia with a long history. Since she is always following her passion, she is traveling around the world and exchanging knowledge with other inquiring minds. She is fluent in English, Russian, and Spanish. As an active language learner herself, she is open to any new experience and eager to share what she knows. She is happy to be a part of the RussianPod101 team.
Julia Thornton Julia Thornton Julia was born and raised in Russia. She started learning English when she was eight years old and developed a passion for languages that she later pursued at a linguistic university. She majored in English and minored in German, and she also studied Latin and French. After college, Julia moved to the U.S., where she earned a master’s degree, adding Hebrew to the host of languages she had studied. Later, her cross-cultural journey continued as her family spent a significant amount of time in Ukraine. After the birth of her children, she discovered a love for teaching, and she has been homeschooling her children for 13 years. Julia is also a certified English to Russian translator.
Julia Thornton Lena Sukhaya Lena is a native Russian speaker. She was born and raised in the small Moscow Oblast town of Klimovsk. She has been living in Melbourne, Australia since 2015. She completed a Ph.D. course in Theoretical Linguistics and had authored 11 scholarly articles on various aspects of language theory. Lena is passionate about e-learning and has established her presence across some online educational platforms. Lena enjoys writing children’s books, painting in the folk art style and reading aloud to her two sons. She also enjoys a Melbourne buzz in January when her home city is hosting one of the world’s biggest tennis events— the Australian Open.
Anton Chivchalov Anton Chivchalov Anton is a native of Moscow but lived in different parts of Russia and Belarus. He has been passionate about the Russian language and literature since his childhood, and he created or wrote for a few high-profile Russian blogs and publications and translated a number of books on history and philosophy. His other interests include piano, digital photography, and the Bible.