The video was made available recently by 5TV, a Russian television channel formerly known as Leningrad Television.
Fans can now watch the film in its entirety in two parts, for a total duration of about an hour and 50 minutes.
The movie, whose title translates to Keepers, was released in 1991 – 10 years before the first instalment of Peter Jackson’s trilogy. It was directed by Natalya Serebryakova.
According to 5TV, it’s based on The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume of J R R Tolkien’s epic high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings (released in three parts between 1954 and 1955).
The film’s first part has been watched more than 400,000 times on YouTube since 5TV re-released it on the platform. The second part currently has more than 100,000 views.
According to The Guardian, the movie is believed to have aired only once at the time of its original release, remaining unavalaible to most for years afterwards.
Meanwhile, a new adaptation of The Lord of the Rings is in the works at Amazon. The studio teased details in a synopsis earlier this year, saying the series will act as a prequel set before Jackson’s trilogy, and will feature some “familiar” characters.