Departures (2008–…): Season 3, Episode 1 - Russia: Comrades and Capitals - full transcript

Anything is possible in Russia. Scott and Justin meet up with their friend Bogdan and visit the last man living in the radioactive zone in Chernobyl. They visit St. Petersburg for some homemade vodka and to celebrate Bogdan's birthday, before hopping on an overnight train to Moscow. The adventures in Moscow are diverse: An awkward visit to a Russian bath, a wild night out in an exhilarating dance club and a chance to drive a cold-war military tank. Next, they fly to Siberia and meet a vodka-slamming shaman, who puts them all to shame on the dance floor.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
(logo whooshing)

(upbeat music)

- [Scott] Russia is the
biggest country in the world.

It's going through a lot of transition.

Some of the tough years are over.

Some of the tough years
are still continuing

and there's a lot of country to explore.

(upbeat music)

I think now it's time to really get in

and see what Russia is, what
it was and what it will be.

(upbeat music)

Every step of this world trip
has taken us further away

from home, to places we
never expected to see.

Two years ago, I would never
have understood how much

this journey would change me.

This is why we travel.

This is the reason that we're out here.

(upbeat music)

(bright upbeat music)

Overlooking downtown Kiev,
Capitol city of Ukraine.

This is a great stopping off
point for us to be able to move

into Russia.

- The thing is that we could've
entered Russia at any point.

Borders in 13 other countries.

We decided to enter
Russia through the Ukraine

and see a little bit of Chernobyl.

- Coming through the Ukraine,

it's a pretty necessary stop, you know.

It not only affected
Chernobyl, the Ukraine, Europe,

but I mean, indirectly the entire world.

Russia is gonna be an
amazing place to see.

But before we get there,
we get a pretty good flavor

of far Eastern Europe.

- Looking forward to it, Scott.

Cheer up.

(bright upbeat music)

(upbeat music)

We're looking for two
really important people.

One will take us through
Russia, which is Bogdan.

And the other is Sasha.

And he's gonna take us through Chernobyl.

- Man we're lucky enough that,

a, Bogdan has come across the
border from Russia to Ukraine,

to meet us.

And, b, that we've been
able to, through Bogdan,

hookup with this guy,
Sasha, who apparently

has unprecedented access
to areas of Chernobyl

that most people don't
usually get access to.

(upbeat music)

I think these are our guys here.

(upbeat music)

Bogdan is a kind of an
interesting connection for us.

When we got in Antarctica,
we met some Russians there

and they said if you ever go
to Russia, you gotta go see it.

You gotta check it out.

You gotta call this guy up.

- Hello.

- I'm Justin.
- How are you?

I'm Bogdan.

Bogdan, nice to meet you.

- [Andre] I'm Andre.

- Hello Andre, Bogdan.

- Hello.
- He's our camera man.

- Today's the gig.

We are gonna go to Chernobyl.

- These are going to
be handy to have on us.

It's measuring the amount of radiation,

currently in the air around us.

So right now it's 0.14 units.

- And everything's normal,

which is not more than 0.25.

(upbeat music)

- In 1986, they were
conducting experiments

on one of the reactors at Chernobyl.

Horrible chain of events led
to this massive explosion.

More than 20 years later, the
effects can still be seen.

This is the first of
probably a few checkpoints.

Even locals who are trying
to come through this area

would have to stop and show paperwork.

Obviously it's not the kind
of place you just stroll into

and stroll out of.

It's pretty well-protected
for safety reasons.

- It's the last chance to
turn back, at this point.

(upbeat music)


Well, we are going off.

We just got out of the van.

This is where we're going to be changing,

inside charming little
Teddy bear behind us.


It is at 40.

(speaking in foreign language)


- Just raising the
level of this up to 3.3.

- When this goes off
again, this is 20 times-

- [Bogdan] More than normal.

- More than normal.

- Before we suit up

and get this deep into the exclusion zone

of Chernobyl, we've now got Yuri on board.

Thank you.

- (laughs) Thank you for coming.

- [Justin] Hello?
- Hello.

Right now we will go to the Western trace

of where the activity's spreading.

'Cause those days after the explosion,

wind was blowing to the West.

- So if we're going this
deep in, at this point,

I'll throw the suit on.

- Is anybody else putting the suits on or?

- I'll definitely take one, yeah.

- We are in the uniform.

- Well, yeah.

- This is the local uniform.

- Do you want the hood up?

- Yeah, why not?

- This is a purchase first reactive suits.

My mom is gonna kill me.

(breathing heavily)

That can't be good.

- Let's leave him.

He might be poisoned.

We're gonna leave you.

- Well get cancer at the back of my calf.

- I don't know what to tell ya.

(upbeat music)

- [Scott] We going in these zones

and we're gonna go 100 times, 1000 times

more radiation than
we've ever experienced.

We've been told it's fairly safe.

It's not like we're gonna walk in there

and we're going to lose like
three years of our life.

We just stepped out of the car
and we're pulling up 41, 42,

in some cases, close to 50 units.

That's 3,000 times more than normal.


(gentle music)

They are saying we gotta get going.

I am not gonna argue with them.

These boot protectors here, we'll take off

and leave them here.

Just because we are kinda
walking through that soil

with high readings.

- Justin, you are having
problems, as always.

What's the matter?

(upbeat music)

- Here's reactor four and
this is where it all happened.

- Reactor number four here
that is partially encased

with this sarcophagus has these
weak points breaking down.

So they have to figure out a
new way to encase this problem.

So that hopefully in the future,

when we figure out what
the proper way and safe way

of getting rid of the
reactor, we can do it.

But until then, it's like
just trying to cover up

and contain this problem.

- Activity in some places inside

about 3,000 radians per hour.

Keilin is 500.

This is the most dangerous
place in the world.

I don't know where it's
possible to find so

high levels of radiation.

(upbeat music)

- [Scott] We're gonna head
deeper into the exclusion zone

to meet up with a man who refused to leave

after the accident happened.

(upbeat music)

- [Justin] It's so eerie
because as you're driving in

you see all these houses
that people used to live in

and they're all abandoned.

Everything's just gloomy.

The whole atmosphere was
just Ella Twilight zone

or something.

You just know you're
going into a place that

something messed up has happened.

(speaking in foreign language)

- His wife told him that
I'm not going anywhere.

I wanna die right here, on my land.

And he agreed, okay, let's stay.

(speaking in foreign language)

- They never cared about
anything that was happening.

Wars, world crisis and whatever.

They've got their animals.

They've got each other.

And, well, that's it.

- [Scott] This is a farm that
didn't even have electricity,

when the explosion happened.

It was a pretty big disconnect

for their generation to
the nuclear generation.

And yet they're directly
affected by all of that.

(speaking in foreign language)

- Military people never let
a focus bill off the co.

So that's why almost through her life

she never felt any men loved him.

- She's heartbroken?

- No, she's just...

Never felt it.

- [Justin] Felt what?

- Men's love.(chuckles)

(speaking in foreign language)

- I think he's probably pretty lonely.

He seems to enjoy the company right now.

(speaking in foreign language)

- His nonstop talking.(chuckles)

(speaking in foreign language)

- He's saying that he's
having kind of health problems

and maybe he got something
during the explosion.

All of his neighbors that
left are already dead for now.

(speaking in foreign language)

- He never stops talking, actually.

(speaking in foreign language)

- He shows himself to hundreds of doctors

but they never helped.

(speaking in foreign language)

- They usually are getting this small help

from the government,
like wood for chopping

and for getting heat and fire.

And this winter, nobody came
and nobody brought anything.

(dogs barking)

- What's your name?

Name's Neutron.

Yeah, Neutron.

Hi, Neutron.

He's double the normal, but that's okay.

(dogs barking)

- It's a weird place to
be despite the fact that

we're wearing a suit and we can calculate

what's going on around here.

And this guy here, I mean,

he doesn't have this kinda stuff.

He doesn't even seem to
care about this kinda stuff.

I don't necessarily agree with
the thought that, you know,

oh, well in the end, he's
got a pretty good life

by staying around here.

He doesn't.

And that's why everyone
told him to get out of here.

And that's why everyone else left.

The little that we seem
to know about radiation

and its effects, say that
these are above normal.

And, you know, anything
above normal accumulates

in your body.

I respect his decision, but at the same ,

I would not have done the same.

(upbeat music)

- This used to be his grandfather's house.

So he feels more comfortable
living here than any

of the other houses on his property.

The cool thing is he has a
letter here from the president,

who came here and visited him.

And he said 18 cars showed
up and the president

was the first one to walk in.

And he said it was a really
amazing moment of his life.

And I guess the president
felt pretty touched

about the story here in his life.

And he granted him electricity.

And so they ran a wire
all the way out here

just to his house.

- [Scott] As a gift from the government,

they gave them electricity.

And I just thought that was
a such a bizarre coincidence.

They didn't even use
electricity of the power plant

that ultimately changed
their lives forever.

And as some sort of gift or
payment for enduring that

they get electricity.

(speaking in foreign language)

- Please thank him for
allowing us into his home,

his kingdom.

(speaking in foreign language)

- Come again.

If you can make it, he'll be
very, very glad to see us.

(speaking in foreign language)

With the new administration,

It's pretty hard to get to his place

because he can say something not correct.

That's why administration
tries not to allow it.

(speaking in foreign language)

- [Scott] This couple
have managed to survive.

It's hard to understand
when you can't see,

taste or smell the danger,

to know the harm it can be doing to you.

It's just such a bizarre scenario.

Maybe a miracle, who knows.

(sad music)

- [Scott] This is the
former town of Pripyat.

Once home to 50,000 people,
families and workers

of the Chernobyl Power Plant,
now left completely vacant.

And it's a very eerie sight.

(slow music)

This Ferris wheel is probably
the most iconic image

of Chernobyl.

Certainly of Pripyat.

It was supposed to open in May of 1986.

And of course the explosion happened

just a few weeks earlier in April.

So this little amusement park
never even really saw action.

(upbeat music)

(speaking in foreign language)

Every Thursday from
first until third grade.

And he was learning how to swim, here.

(speaking in foreign language)

He loved it.

Pure loved it.

He was analyzing all his
memories about the town

and he couldn't find even one
bad memory about this place.

(speaking in foreign language)

This city comes in his dreams.

That's why he needs to be here.

He was happy here.

(speaking in foreign language)

He can understand that

that was the happiest years of his life.

He believes that this city lives still.

(upbeat music)

- [Bogdan] We are finally in Russia.

- Back home, again.

- This is my city.

I would love to come here from everywhere.

And this is the only place I would live.

I've got a bunch of friends,
just from this place.

Every white peer.

So that's why it is good to be home.

- [Scott] I bet.

- Saint Petersburg is called
the cultural capital of Russia.

It's not only about this
old bridges and building.

I think the main thing
is people who live here.

- One thing I do notice is the cold.

- It's because we've got this wet climate,

'cause Saint Petersburg is a harbor city.

Always windy and always like
freezing up to your balls.

Up to your bones. (chuckles)

- [Justin] Either one.

- Either one.

- Today's a special day for you.

Today is a very special day.

- What do you wanna do for your birthday?

What are we gonna do?

- There will be a nice place

in the center of Saint Petersburg,

which is in our studio.

We're gonna see my sister.

It's gonna be like a little home party.

- We need to get some supplies,
maybe something to eat

and something to drink.

- I've got a friend of mine.

He's a crazy chemist.

He's making best homemade
vodka in the area.

(upbeat music)

- [Scott] This is a very famous market

in the center of Saint Petersburg,

fresh fruit, fresh meat,
pastries and some of that.

- What's important is
we need to find pickles.

- [Scott] Because you eat
when you're doing shots.

You'll do a shot of whatever vodka it is.

And then on top of that you'll
do like a pickle in between.

Just bring down the tastes a little bit.

(upbeat music)

- Is everything pickled?
- Yeah.

- Is this pickle?
- Yeah.

- And that's pickle?
- Yeah, yeah.

All these pickle.

We have a whole culture
of this because in winter,

nothing grows in the snow.

(speaking in foreign language)

$17 for this whole bag of pickle stuff.

Oh me.

- Oh my God.

Guys, that's pretty heavy.

Can you tell her that all of these

is just for drinking vodka.

(speaking in foreign language)

(upbeat music)

- I think Bogdan is pretty
lucky to have a friend like Ivan

because having a chemist as a
friend has serious benefits,

when it comes to the life of the party.

Ivan's able to actually
make his own vodka.

This is legal, correct, in Russia?

- Yeah, for your personal consumption.

Yeah, definitely legal.

- [Scott] And then if you sell it,

then you could get in trouble?

- Yeah, yeah.

But you can give it as a gift.

- [Scott] Oh, okay.

- And receive some money, as
a gift, no problem.(chuckles)

- As long as it's not for the same thing,

then that's-
- [Ivan] Yeah, yeah yeah.

- Perfect.

- He's the best chemist I've ever met.

He's also keen on weapons.

He's also keen on martial arts.

He gave me a magnificent present.

The Porsche of pipes.

- So this Porsche of pipes was a gift

from Ivan to you, for your birthday?

- Yes, actually one of his actual hobbies

is also pipe smoking.
- [Ivan] Pipe Smoking, yeah.

- [Scott] Okay, and did you get
into pipe smoking from Ivan?

- From him.(chuckles)

- Did you guys make the vodka?

I'm starving.

- Sugar plus yeast plus thyme plus heat.

Applying on our cylinder.

Now, close it.


- We're not getting radioactive vodka.

- That's probably a good thing.

At least it's lower than downtown Kiev.

- The same.

- Okay, good.

Do you find that any little
thing can affect the flavor

or the quality?

- Yeah, yeah, 100%.

Vodka is made of grain and
with some addition of yeast

and pure water, nothing more.

But if you can take pure alcohol
and dilute it with water,

you will never get vodka.

Because the smell and the taste
depend on very small amounts

of some impurities.

I do not drink vodka, which
one can buy in the shop.

Only my personal.

Merging heat exchanger, connecting water.

- So what happens when it starts dripping

and the cat comes over and
starts drinking from it?

Can it get drunk?

- Yeah, definitely.


- Here comes the vodka.

- Getting some test amount.

I'm trying to burn it up

That's it.

It's at least 100 (indistinct).

- It's a beautiful thing.

- This is maybe just a little bit

not of what you're expected

what you're getting off the bottle.

It has this little taste of bread.

- I like that taste.
- It's good.

- Truly Russian to have a
pickle after you make a shot.

I don't know why.

- Alcohol removes salt from human body.

So you need to replace it.

- What is the best way to cure a hangover?

- You get drunk.

- [Justin] Again?
- Again, yeah.


- Can you be my doctor?

So cheers to new friends
and to your birthday, dude.

- Cheers.
(glasses clinking)

- [Ivan] For my friend's birthday.

(upbeat music)

- Please.

- Thank you.

- This is the type of a party

that is traditionally Saint Petersburg.

Someone's getting born tonight.

- (chuckles) Re-born, maybe.

- This lift is the older
than this house, I think.


- So tight in here, huh?

- [Scott] What do you mean?

- [Justin] Are we even moving?

(speaking in foreign language)

- Hello

- [Bogdan] Get out.
- Okay.

(elevator door clanks)

- Oh yeah, that's okay.

- Its 'cause we were to heavy?

- Well, I think, yeah.


(elevator door bangs)


- Wow, its cool.

- This is my wife, Sveta.

- Hi.

- This is my crew.

(speaking in foreign language)

- [Man] Don't forget about your brother.

- Oh, yeah.

- She's my younger sister and
we never made friends actually

because until I left my parents' home.

Right now, we're the best friends.

- [Woman] What are you talking
about your sister, there?

- I'm just telling that I love you.

- Okay, so, we gonna
play a couple of songs.

(gentle piano music)

- They making music right there.

(bright upbeat music)

- The library.

(bright upbeat music)

(crowd applauding)

(upbeat music)

Our train from Saint
Petersburg to Moscow pulled

in this morning about eight
o'clock in the morning.

And it was under perfect conditions.

You know, there was some snow
coming down at the window

and there's a huge mix of old and new.

But there is still something
that just feels Russian.

Saint Petersburg was beautiful

but wasn't what I expected of Russia.

It felt still European.

You flip to Moscow, 600 kilometers away.

A city that I'm getting the sense has

this underground bitter rivalry

between Saint Petersburg and Moscow.

I think there are a few images
on earth that speak louder

than that image right there.

In any part of the world,

seeing this image just screams Moscow.

So much history here,

from Lenin to Stalin, to
World War I, to Napoleon.

A lot of things have
happened behind these walls.

I'm really happy to be here.

It really feels like I'm
in Russia officially, now.

- (lips smacking) Not bad, not bad.

- What should I say?

I am from Saint Petersburg.

I've seen it a couple of times.

So it's not that amazing for me

because of the history of this place,

and because of everything.

It's just getting this gloomy
feeling for me, personal,

not for the thousands of
tourists who come to this place.

We recently had this...

All these freedoms.

Freedom to make business,
freedom to do whatever you want.

Whenever freedom do you have the mentality

of the people changes much
slowlier than everything.

So the city looks different.


I don't know, the money looks different.

The cars look outside, it looks different.

But the mentality of the people

still remains almost the same.

Like 50 years ago.

It will be like several generations,

when the mentality of Russian
people will change total.

We just need some more time.

(upbeat music)

- Bogdan is taking us into these baths.

This is a very traditional,
this is like one

of the oldest ones in Moscow.

And it'd be used with reeds or something?

- Actually, we were just invited here

from our Moscow friends.

So lets go and meet them
and I'll show you how

to get some steam.


- I hate...

Actually, I hate all
these kinds of things.

I hate going in massages.

I hate getting all that crap done,

where they just do stuff to you.

And they all, they wash his fat.

I know how to wash myself.

I feel like a stupid dog.

(Justin barks)

(upbeat music)

- This is my Canadian friends.

- Justin.
- Alex.

- Hello.
- Justin.

- Vladimir.

- [Justin] Hello.

- Vladimir.
- [Scott] Hi, Scott.

- So welcome to Moscow.

Welcome to a traditional Russian sauna.

(upbeat music)

- Not gonna say anything.

(upbeat music)

- Wow.

It's like some like
wood cabin or something.

- First of all, you have
to undress, take shower.

Yeah, then we go to the sauna.

- Are you gonna film like, undressing?

Is that part of it now too?

So how does this...

How does this go around?

Like this?

- No, goes like...

I think goes something like this.

And you are Julio Cesar in sauna.

- (chuckles) Let's go to
commercial or something.

Like, just get out of here.

- Hello.
(door bangs)

We're waiting just for
one person to join us

because she's of different sex.

This is the most close you're seeing.

We think going to go in the sauna

with you gonna go in the
hot water was this long.

- [Scott] I hadn't thought that far ahead.

- You can think you can take
a shower with this thing, huh?

- I feel ashamed that, you know,

any one of us should associate this

with any sort of like
weirdness or something.

'Cause this is just how it is,

but it's not how it is for us.

So it's just weird.

They're all like, okay,
cool, yeah, whatever,

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And all right.

I'll just keep drinking my drink

and putting off the inevitable, you know,

getting into a thin towel
in front of strangers.

(suspenseful music)


- This is a special water with some-

(speaking in foreign language)

- Flavorings.

- With some flavorings, yes.

And it's gonna be very
tasty for your nose.

- [Bogdan] With some curves inside.

- [Alex] Yeah.

Gotta be hot.

- Actually, there's one
thing for you to know

if you get a little bit of
radiation or normal now,

like not like death,

you can get rid of it
like doing burning things

and sauna things.

- And so sweating it out
will get rid of radiation?

- Yeah, because all the toxic
things just gets out of you.

- After what we absorbed
we need to stay here

for like another like hour
and a half or something.

- Six days.
- Yeah.

- Maybe even a week.

(gentle music)

(breathing heavily)

I'm all liquid in there.

First, you gonna just take the-

- [Scott] Back off?

- [Bogdan] The back off.
- [Scott] Mmmh.


Where is that?


Oh, this, what is it?

Something in here?

- No.

- Oh, the brain.

All of this?

- Mmmh.
- [Vladimir] Yes, yes.

- (smacks lips) It's
another day in the office.

(speaking in foreign language)

- What?

- [Scott] Yeah, I guess it's okay.(laughs)

- Now, to have I think something special.

We're going to the club.

- So what's the dress code?

I can still wear this?

- Yeah, I think it's perfect.


(upbeat music)

- We were at a night out in Russia.

And we definitely wanted
a night out in Moscow.

It didn't disappoint.

(upbeat music)

Bogdan friends really hooked us up.

The table that we got was
a couple thousand dollars.

I don't even remember what the bill was

but it was all taken care of.

Vodka, whiskey, drink after
drink, shot after shot.

(upbeat music)

Because of the fall of communism,

it's opened up this new generation.

A lot of young people are
spending lots of money.

This is unbelievable.

What a great setting.

(upbeat music)

(pop music)

When they smell the alcohol on the table,

all is what you would have made

like 20 years ago, the whole year.

So that just goes to show
you how things have changed.

(upbeat music)

- There are the super rich
and there are freedoms

but a lot of people seem to be speaking

about the fact that they
don't really have it right.

And yet at the same time,
nobody seems to care.

(upbeat music)

(gentle music)

- Everything about Russia
is just so complex.

So many things have changed.

So many polar opposites of
coming in and out of this place.

(upbeat music)

This park here, nestled
in the middle of Moscow,

is one of the only places that
we can still see these images

of Stalin.

Why do people wanna forget?

- Most of the people can
have their own opinion

about this Stalin stuff.

But for example, I consider
him as most of the people do

in Russia, for now.

Like the only thing that he was doing

was making a god out of his personality.

Everyone who was against this,

he just either murder
or just send to Siberia.

My mother's mother, my granny,

her first husband was German half.

And she was blamed that she
was the enemy of the nation

and sent to Siberia for 15 years,

just for being married to a
German who is already dead.

And he was a Russian-German.

(upbeat music)

- [Scott] I'm assuming that
this is supposed to represent

all the people that
were forced to Siberia,

to work in the camps?

- [Bogdan] Communism started
here and then it fell here.

Within Stalin's time,

28 million people gave their
lives for this country.

(upbeat music)

(bright upbeat music)

- We're in the middle of the woods here.

This is an actual military base.

We're not even allowed
to tell you where it is.

That's part of the agreement.

I've got some friends in the military.

- [Justin] Cool.

- I'll let us drive something off road.

- You're pretty hooked up, dude.

- Here he comes.


- Were you in the military?

Like you have some training military?

Or it's just connections with you?

- I've just got my rank of a Lieutenant

at the Military Faculty in my university.

- So should we be saluting you at all?

- Just go for it.

- Sir.

- You gotta wear these.


- [Bogdan] Wear these.
- Just in case.

- That last guy got shot
in the ass, running away.

- That's what you get as a
deserter in the military.

- The vehicle is the
armored personnel carrier,

used since early '70s.

- All right, sir.

- Ready to go.

- You don't look like soldier.

- [Andre] You never looked like one.

- You have no idea.

He's climbed mountains in these jeans.

He's tried to go caving in these jeans.

- Right, let's go then.

- You're gonna show us
how to do this then?

- Yeah.

- Do you know how to do this?

- No.


- And away we go.

- I don't even know where to sit.

- We're being taken out to an area

where we can safely try this thing out.

Pretty cool.(chuckles)

(upbeat music)

- You wanna try to drive this thing?

- Yes I do.

- [Bogdan] Pretty comfortable?

- Yeah.

Right now I just feel like
I'm at the wheel of a bus

or something, except a bus
I could take grenade fires.

- It's actually a school bus for soldiers.

- (chuckles) Yeah, essentially.

- Right.

(engine revving)

(gear jerking)

- Okay.

- Scott's driving.

- You need to turn to
the right in the woods.

Make it right.

- Turn right here?

- This is a military vehicle
so don't worry about this.

- Holy shit!

- Yeah, don't worry about this.

Just smooth, smooth.


- This is the closest I'm gonna get

to being in the military.

There's no way I gonna cut my hair.

(gentle music)
(engine roaring)

Nice driving.

- Nice directions.

- Okay, I'll show you
in another direction.

Got a surprise for you.

- [Justin] What are we
getting ourselves into?

(sniper rifle firing)

- This is a sniper rifle.

- Sniper rifle.

- Good.

- Ready?

- Yeah.

(sniper rifle firing)

- [Soldier] Try not to blink.

(sniper rifle firing)

- Good.

(sniper rifle loading)

- Good.

(sniper rifle firing)

- Did I get 'em?

Scared about at least.

(sniper rifle firing)
There you go.

Got 'em.

(sniper rifle firing)

- Good.

Super good.


- We're not exactly that far
away right now from the target

but it's tougher than it looks.

Except for--
- This guy.

- For a guy who's always shooting.

- This guy's first shot,
knocks down the guy.

- The guy helping us out,

he's like, "I think your
friend is a secret agent."


- That's your trophy.

- That's the trophy.


So how did we do?

We do okay or?

- Might have souvenir in his head.


- Here you go, captain.

- Thank you, my friend.


Thank you.

- In 1942 to 1944 in this
Russian forest was more fight

between Russian and the Germany Armies.

And as you know, the Russian
army was the winner.(chuckles)

(engine revving)

- Within our lifetime, like 25 years ago,

the propaganda was that
this was the enemy.

Like if you saw this tank coming,

the cold war was in full swing.

And now we're sitting
here driving it ourselves

on their territory.

We're starting to see how
cruel and unpredictable

Siberia can be already.

Even though it's a beautiful day here.

Supposed to be going to Ulan-Ude.

And currently they're getting

a heck of a snow storm right now.

So much so that we couldn't
safely land the plane there.

So we're about an hour flight away

from our ultimate destination of Ulan-Ude.


Keeping everyone else in the
airport awake with the snoring.


(birds chirping)

(gentle music)

It's been almost exactly three hours

but they've just called
us to reboard the plane.

So hopefully this means we're
gonna get into Ulan-Ude.

- I don't think Scott slept the night.

Probably two days now,
possibly three days.

- Since nightclub,

I've been sleeping for like
four, five hours, altogether.

- You should get some rest

'cause you don't look too healthy.

- [Bogdan] You're the only
guy managed to get some sleep.

- I'm really running out of steam.

I can't wait for bed.

(upbeat music)

(speaking in foreign language)

- We finally arrived in Ulan-Ude.

And we've met up with Anatoly,

who's a friend of Bogdan's.

(speaking in foreign language)


- This is local vodka.

Even after almost two days
of completely no resting,

we cannot refuse.


- He's used to it too.

Every time you meet someone
new, it's vodka, vodka, vodka.

It's their stuff, you can't avoid it.


- Yeah vodka, I remember that.

- You're tired, get some vodka.

Pain at all, that's a shot of vodka.

Oh look, he's crossed a dog's
path that's a shot of vodka.

Oh, you got alcohol poisoning.

Well, the cure for that,
guess what, is vodka.

- That's how I drained all mine already.

- You're screwing everything.

First thing that this guy did

when he entered this tiny little cafe,

there's like smaller bowls
of mustard or something.

Look what he did.

He thought that it was trash.

He puts his gum inside.

Can you believe that?

- Justin's a real stickler for customs.

(upbeat music)

What's the deal with this place here?

The star sign.

I mean, this is a Buddhist community?

- It's a village where monks live.

So all this houses belong to monks.

That's some, is a temple.

So there are several temples here.

(speaking in foreign language)

This is the stone with the
hand print of goddess Tara.

You have to choose the
distance, close your eyes

and use your head.

Not to miss that stone and
your wish will come true.


- Your wife's pregnant.
- [Bogdan] Right.

- Why don't you wish for health?

- [Bogdan] Yeah, okay,
I will give it a try.

- Thank you.

- Maybe this a couple of
shots of vodka will not help.

(upbeat music)

So, hopefully.

(upbeat music)


(upbeat music)

- Going around here
with Anatoly is unique.

He not only believes in Buddhism,
he believes in Shamanism,

which a lot of people
do in the area as well.

And he also believes in like
an Orthodox Catholicism.

I think that just kinda
speaks to the area.

You know, you have all of these people

and all of these religions,
but you know, for him,

he's just a spiritual guy, all in all.

(upbeat music)

- This shaman, he's a weird guy,

but weird from the best side.

(speaking in foreign language)

He just offered us to hang out with him.

- [Justin] Where is he gonna go?

- Let's go, let's go.

- Not more than about
four to six hours ago,

I thought that I was gonna
die from sleep deprivation.

And I'm going into the town again.

Justin has opted out tonight.

He needed to catch up on sleep.

He probably made the wise
choice that I didn't.

(upbeat music)

♪ You know you may not move
so faster than them all ♪

♪ But we could all use
to slow things down ♪

♪ That ocean no longer
lapses outside of your door ♪

♪ But my memories still do ♪

♪ Through your eyes the world
has changed so many times ♪

♪ It seems like it's getting
bigger and smaller everyday ♪

♪ But you kept standing tall ♪

♪ With your head above it all ♪

♪ Despite losing so much along the way ♪

♪ And you kept standing tall ♪

♪ With your head above it all ♪

♪ Despite losing so much along the way ♪

♪ And you kept standing tall ♪

♪ With your head above it all ♪

♪ Despite losing so much along the way ♪

(speaking in foreign language)

- Shaman Anatoly.

This is the man.

50 years old.

He was dancing for like four hours.

(upbeat music)

- [Scott] The shaman wants to bless us.

And we're going up to Lion Rock.

He said that it's a very spiritual place.

We've made it this far with
good health, good luck.

But there's another part of our track.

And we're going further into Siberia.

We're gonna take all the luck we can get.

(upbeat music)

Coming to Russia in the first place,

I tried to be open-minded.

It's turned out to be much
bigger than I expected.

Not just open space and geography.

Big heart, big wealth,
big people, big life.

(speaking in foreign language)

- This is a very old
ritual for the good road,

for safe travel and for luck.

(speaking in foreign language)

- [Scott] The Russia that's
now crawled its way out of

the collapse of communism is mutating

in really bizarre ways,
thanks to what old Russia was.

(gentle music)

With the right people,
the right connections

and certainly the right amount of money,

anything goes in Russia.

- Anatoly is telling us
that we did all we could

to pleasure the spirits.

Everything else is just in our hands.

- Quite a welcome.

- Yeah very.

Feeling it, that's for sure.

- (chuckles) What you feel,
that was a lot of vodka.

- That's a lot of vodka.

(upbeat music)

- [Scott] Certainly, for us,
the biggest lesson learned is

it is who you know and we're
very lucky to know Bogdan.

- [Justin] He's a really
fun guy to be around.

Doors keep on opening
because of his connection.

He's just showing us
all these little things

that we would have skipped past.

- [Scott] There's a lot
more of this country to see,

as big as it is, we've still
only scratched the surface.

And an even bigger and in some ways,

darker side of Russia is Siberia,

which is a small word
for an enormous area.