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Simon Reeve embarks on the first leg of a three-part journey across Russia. He sets out amongst the volcanoes of Kamchatka and meets indigenous reindeer herders.

A hundred years after the Russian Revolution, Simon Reeve embarks on the first leg of an extraordinary three-part journey across Russia.

Setting out amongst the active, snow-capped volcanoes of Kamchatka, over 4,000 miles from Moscow, Simon explores one of the remotest regions of the country. The population of Russia's far east has fallen dramatically in recent years, but travelling by chopper and skidoo, Simon finds indigenous reindeer herders who are still eking out a fragile existence in this spectacular but inhospitable wilderness.

Despite an exodus of Russians moving west, the government is trying to maintain a grip on its eastern territories. In the port city of Vladivostok, Simon visits a newly built mega casino, designed to attract high rollers and tourists from neighbouring China. Russia's far east is full of natural resources, including huge amounts of timber from the vast Boreal Forest. Deep in the forest, Simon meets the inspirational conservationist who has created a sanctuary for the country's most iconic predator, the giant Amur tiger. Their habitat is threatened by illegal logging. It is a sensitive story involving political corruption, and throughout his stay Simon is followed and harassed by the authorities, finally being forced to leave the area. It is a powerful reminder of Russia's authoritarian and corrupt system.

Simon heads north, travelling on treacherous ice roads to Yakutsk, a city south of the Arctic Circle that is built entirely on permafrost. This vast layer of frozen earth is melting and Simon ends his journey on the rim of a giant crater that has emerged in the Siberian landscape - chilling evidence of the impact of global climate change.

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59 minutes

Audio described

Last on

Sun 23 Feb 2020 19:00

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:08

    Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble


  • 00:09



  • 00:15


    Flute Song

  • 00:33



  • 00:46


    Heal It

  • 00:50

    DJ Kappa

    Intro: Hra Sa Zacina

  • 00:55

    Sevara Nazarkhan

    Adolat Tanovari

  • 00:18

    Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble

    Geese Fly

  • 00:28

    Terem Quartet

    The Legend of The Old Mountain Man


Role Contributor
Presenter Simon Reeve
Producer Eric Macfarland
Director Eric Macfarland
Series Producer Chris Mitchell
Executive Producer Sam Bagnall


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Simon Reeve around the world

Simon Reeve around the world

Follow Simon as he explores the world and meets amazing people.