Russia on Four Wheels

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Published on 15th August 2017 by

A two part 2014 BBC documentary in which Anita Rani and Justin Rowlatt embark on an epic three week road trip across Russia, the worlds largest country. The country is a former superpower turned struggling giant, Russia actually has the largest automobile market on the planet and with its vast natural resources has the potential to rise again to become one of the richest countries on earth. The pair seek to explore how far Russia has progressed towards leaving behind its Cold War past and what direction the country is now taking.

Anita and Rowlatt both begin their journeys in Sochi, the Black Sea resort which was due to host the most expensive Winter Olympic in history. The city is full of futuristic architecture and the Olympics was supposed to be Russia’s showcase to the world, but just a few miles away is Joseph Stalin’s old dacha – a reminder that New Russia and Old Russia remain very close. Anita sets out in a luxury Russian built armour plated Kombat vehicle to discover the ‘New Russia’ whilst Justin sets out in a battered old Soviet-built UAZ ‘jeep’ style vehicle to explore the ‘Old Russia’. Along the way he visits the Lada factory.

This series is one of several that Anita Rani and Justin Rowlatt have presented which follow a similar theme, preceding this series was India on Four Wheels (2011) and China on Four Wheels (2012). Each series follows a similar theme of comparing old with new and exploring the income inequality which exists in all three of these superpowers.

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