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tv   Morgan Spurlock Inside Man  CNN  May 17, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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♪ beautiful, right? we can already indulge ourselves into something special, such a beautiful day. >> pony ride. >> absolutely. now we are coming to your most beautiful fascination side of russian legacy. the birches. >> ah. the forest of birch. >> ah, what a place. ♪
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>> all hail, the maximum leader. now let's dance. ♪ >> okay. thank you. >> well. ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha la la la la ♪ sha la la la la la ♪ sha la la la la ♪ sha la la la la la la whatever you think of this guy, his dead, affectless eyes, his smooth pulled tight like a snare drum face, he ain't going
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anywhere. look at him. he's the russian superman, the kgb middle manager desk jockey turned expression of greater russia's hopes and dreams. he lets no opportunity to take his shirt off pass him by. pose with a large gun? he's there. and no matter how transparently autocratic, vengeful, oblivious to even a thin veneer of democracy, russians love him. they seem to feel about him like new yorkers used to feel about giuliani. he may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch. it's february 2014, and the sochi olympics are just coming up when i arrive in moscow. it's a different moscow every time i come here. the '80s-style go-go capitalist conspicuous consumption see who can spend the most money disco-techno thing i encountered when i first came here in 2001, it's still going strong.
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in fact, these days moscow has one of the highest concentrations of billionaires in the world. but as never before, it's imperial russia now, a one-man rule. all power emanates, every decision must consider this guy. ♪ russia is full of characters with murky pasts and shadowy connections. one of them i've called a friend for more than a decade.
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>> tony! wow. >> i guess i'm switching to vodka. zamir. how are you, brother? >> now, my concern is back in the day, this place was famous for all of the rooms were bugged. >> not anymore, i'm sorry. >> oh, really? i'm really sorry about that. >> times change. >> poor zamir, my long-time crony. he tries to be at least diplomatic about these things. i mean, he's got to live here, right? he doesn't want prussic acid on his blintzes. >> given the forward-thinking russia, they've removed the surveillance devices? >> listen, as a born muscovite i'm trying to be a good patron. i really want you to tell me frankly a week from now, zamir, now i understand why stereotypes sometimes send a bad message about russia. >> i have an open mind. everything's great. russia does anything they want. >> listen. why don't we just taste the awesome? >> let's get [ muted ] up.
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>> spasibo. thank you. the most gorgeous women are in russia. welcome to russia. na zdorovye. ♪ i'm trying to be kind of sober. united we stand. >> i prepared the special for you. russian tapas. specially for vodka drinking. with small pancakes like blinis then caviar. this looks like winter. salted cucumber with honey. this is baltic sprouts smoked one with beet root. and this is a muksun. this is a whitefish. whitefish frozen and you can eat it raw. >> thank you. i'm hitting the caviar and the blini. >> maybe some more vodka. >> thank you. >> what do you think? what is the perception of mr. putin these days? after 14 years he's in power.
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>> my perception? you really want to hear it? >> i'm not sure, but let's see. >> a former midlevel manager in a large corporation, short, i think that's very important. short. who has found himself master of the universe. and like a lot of short people, if you piss them off bad things happen to you. he likes to take his shirt off a lot. >> let's be serious. i mean -- >> he strikes me as a businessman. >> he is. >> a businessman with an ego. okay. so he's like donald trump but shorter. >> i think my friend needs some kind of booze. to you, comrade. like this, you know.
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>> you can have that one. i'll get the other two. >> ooh. mm. i'm serious about your one-week stay in russia. i want you to enjoy every minute of it. i hope you'll get something new, positive to learn and share around the world. that's my mission. ♪ ♪ >> okay, tony, so a new experience. right? being part of the opposition rally. ♪ >> okay, tony, so a new experience.
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right? being part of the opposition rally. >> this is nothing new for me. blows against the empire. street fighting man. i go way back with this. i marched on the pentagon with my dad when i was a kid. >> if you do see a demonstration like this one, it is with permission, along a planned route, carefully managed, and the cops and security tend to outnumber the demonstrators. >> metal stuff goes up. the main topic of this rally is to support the political prisoners. last may when they came to protest against putin's re-election, which allegedly was a little bit rigged -- >> the election results were,
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shall we say, dubious. >> some of them were arrested and put in prison and some of them are still there. >> divide and conquer? well, look who showed up today. everybody from human rights activists to ultra right-wing nationalists who think putin has been too soft. putin is not right wing enough for them. >> no. he's like a liberal to them. he doesn't refuse immigrant workers. >> right. >> i'm kind of shocked these guys are at the same demonstration. >> russians are not united against one political agenda. >> it's general unhappiness with putin. >> that's it. ♪ >> bad things seem to happen to critics of vladimir putin.
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journalists, activists, even powerful oligarchs once seemingly untouchable are now fair game if they displease the leader. so we were supposed to be dining at another restaurant this evening and when they heard that you would be joining me, we were uninvited. should i be concerned about having dinner with you? >> this is a country of corruption. and if you have business, you are in a very unsafe situation. everybody can press you and destroy your business. that's it. this is a system. >> meet boris nemtsov. he was deputy prime minister under yeltsin and today is one of putin's most vocal critics. this restaurant was kind enough to take us in, but the chef is a brit, so maybe he has less reason to worry. >> first course, gentlemen? >> ah. >> at yornik restaurant they are serving their own versions of dino-era russian classics. a modern riff on borscht. typically a chunky hearty beet and cabbage broth with chunks of
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meat, here it's a puree with a more elegant, shall we say, deconstructed presentation. critics of the government, critics of putin, bad things seem to happen to them. >> yes. unfortunately, existing power represent let i say russia of 19th century. not of 21st. >> critics of putin, beware. oligarch mikhail khodorkovsky accused putin of corruption and wound up spending ten years in prison and labor camps. alexander litvinenko accused state security services of organizing a coup to put putin in power. he was poisoned by a lethal dose of radioactive polonium. and viktor yushchenko the former ukrainian president poisoned, disfigured, and nearly killed by a toxic dose of dioxin. i'm not saying official russian bodies had anything to do with it, but it's mighty suspicious.
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>> i don't think you need to be a conspiracy theorist to say whoever did this very much wanted everyone to know who done it. >> everybody understands. >> of course. >> everybody is meant to understand. >> yeah, everybody understands. everybody understands everything in this country. >> when you're talking classic conspiracy theories and classically russian-style paranoia, you want some classic russian food to go along with it. pelmini, minced meat dumplings served on a pillow of cabbage with sour cream. >> mm. >> it's very good. maybe the most extreme and visible example of how things seem to work here is the sochi olympics. >> if you look at the map of russian federation, it's difficult to find a spot without knowing guys at all. but putin did. >> it seems like a pretty obvious question. if you want to hold a winter olympics in miami, presumably
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somebody would say isn't it a little warm there? >> this is absolutely personal putin project. they spent more than 50 billion of dollars, which is the most expensive games in the history of mankind. >> $26,000 a seat for the curling stadium? to build. >> per feet. >> the road is 30 miles. price for that, 9 billion u.s. dollars. this is a road, right? it's three times expensive than american program flying to mars. >> and who got many of those contracts for the roads and stadiums and infrastructure? well, there's these guys. putin's childhood friends and judo partners the rottenberg brothers, whose companies received contracts worth upwards of $7 billion. and putin's associate of 20 years, vladimir yakunin, who owns the state railroads. his company received $10 billion worth of contracts. >> it's very easy to imagine what's happened with this money. >> right.
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>> and you know who cares in russia? just about no one. >> here's -- this is a case of the litvinenko case. a known enemy of putin stricken with a bout of radioactive polonium. aren't you concerned? >> me, about myself? >> yeah. you're a pain in the ass. >> tony, i was born here 54 years ago. this is my country. the russian people are in trouble. russian court doesn't work. russian education decline every year. and i believe that russia has a chance to be free. has a chance. it's difficult, but we must do it. ♪ ♪ ♪ america
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♪ ♪ america ♪ yeah all of russia's eyes are upon you. bring honor to your clan. >> you know what, america? i will break you. i will break you. [ singing in russian ] >> [ speaking foreign language ]. forget about it. i'll bury you. i'll rip up your visa! no! russia doesn't surrender! ♪ oh the land of the free
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>> just missed it, buddy. that was pretty close. >> i was actually out here all last night practicing. >> you must be kidding me. >> while zamir contemplates a suddenly grimmer future thanks to me, i head out to rublevka, a compound of luxury homes outside moscow, to meet alexander lebedev. at one time alexander was doing great.
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former officer of the intelligence services like putin, turned billionaire. he owned pieces of russia's most powerful energy companies, airlines and banks, and still publishes the "novaya gazeta," one of the only opposition newspapers left in russia. but running a newspaper that's been harshly critical of the ruler has cost him. he's been stripped of nearly everything. it can be a dangerous thing to do investigative journalism in this country. your own paper, five journalists, six lost their lives? >> yeah. probably the biggest number because there was no war in this country. so in peaceful times to lose six journalists killed is quite a lot.
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>> six journalists murdered, one paper. presumably for their reporting on political corruption or human rights abuse. though pointing a finger directly at the government is impossible, one can say that the climate here is such that what you say can certainly get you killed. you have at various stages made life difficult for yourself. business was very good for you, and then you had to have an opinion. >> when you interact with the local bureaucracies and judicial system, it still leaves a lot to be desired, let's put it this way. >> lebedev is now a potato farmer. >> that's my production. that's my potato. >> the biggest producer in russia, true, but his billions are gone. he now lives the life of a mere millionaire. >> let's see how you like this one. >> very good. some freshly made potato chips
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that lebedev is very proud of. and his personal chef prepares scottish salmon, smoked on cherry tree sawdust served with avocado. mm. very good. lately, lebedev is getting into slow food. >> this is cold pressed cedar tree in siberia. >> cedar oil? >> from corn. from the cedar corn. >> but he has not slowed down his profile or kept his mouth shut. recently, in a russian talk show, he got in an argument over the financial crisis with another guest. a heated argument. he ended up smacking the guy. i saw the incident on television that got you in trouble. i found it very refreshing, actually, something that political discourse could use more of. the government took the opportunity to charge him with politically motivated hooliganism, a charge that could have resulted in a penalty of five years in prison.
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he is instead been convicted of battery. he is working off his sentence painting fences and shoveling snow. >> i mean, sitting on a bench and expecting to spend the next five years in prison with two small kids, it's not always, you know, very nice, but the guy said something very bad. he said those who don't have a billion go [ muted ] yourself. >> though his victim did not register an official complaint, the message i think was clear. >> the charges were pressed by the russian state, which is pretty funny because this is a private accusation. sfx: bing. >>who's got two hooves and just got a claim status update from geico? this guy, that's who. sfx: bing. and i just got a...oh no, that's mom. sorry. claim status updates. just a tap away on the geico app.
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it's the kgb. they're blocking your signal. i'm sure that they are, believe it or not. i'm quite sure you've had someone on your tail the entire time you've been here. >> what's rock and roll supposed to be about other than cars and girls and aggression? about dissent. about rebellion, right? in russia, where everything is supposed to be just fine, that can be a dangerous position. travis link is an ex-pat american who manages this band, luna. ruben kazarian is luna's guitarist and songwriter. >> what we have now here is very nice. we have elections, democracy, and courts. but all this doesn't work as it should. so that prevents right now in
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russia to speak freely. formally nothing but in reality a lot of things. >> let's talk about mtv. so rebel music as i understand it was an mtv television series whose fundamental principle was to celebrate bands who say difficult things in environments where there might be repercussions. and as i understand it, your band was chosen for one of seven episodes. >> correct. >> and in fact, one of your songs was used as the title track for the series. >> so i get a letter from the producer and essentially it says because of political pressure the russia episode has been removed from the rebel music series. >> according to the producer, mtv russia pushed back on the content, she presumes because of the negative impact it would have on them and their ability to do business on a day-to-day basis in russia. mtv's official reason for removing louna from the series
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is that they simply did not have enough time to air all the stories they filmed. >> this was a documentary series about musicians standing up and risking their lives in some cases to stand up against government abuse of power, government corruption, and yet, a foreign government was able to editorially control what american viewers see on their tv screens. that to me is a scandal of epic proportion. this entire documentary's gone. >> louna's song is the title track to the series, but their episode never happened. the rest of russia is very, very different than moscow. here you drive around it's like bentley, ferrari, maserati. you know, you go to buy a pair of shoes, you pick up a bentley on the way out. you tour a lot in russia. what do you see? >> we see a lot of problems. we see the level of believing is very low. there is something in rock music that unites everybody. it's something beyond politics. it's certain energy. and this energy's the same in
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every country, in every city. we have rock music, we are common people. we're like you. ♪ >> we are going to the home town of president putin. st. petersburg. he was born there, started his career. >> the night train to st. petersburg is one of the great fun things to do in russia. roll on great steel wheels through the night, through dark forests of birch and snow. out there in the dark, visible for a second or two at a time, the real russia, the one most
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russians live in. >> so tony, time to enjoy life. >> ooh, the gentle chicken meat. >> i need something gentle, tony. >> the seat cushion and ratatu. may i propose a toast? to gentle chicken meats. >> pro tip. if the word "gentle" is used on a menu, avoid those items and stick to the classics. like blini with caviar and cold pickled herring and potatoes and solyanka, a soup of sturgeon, salmon, olives, and lemon. is health care free anymore in this country? >> well, officially they say it's free. but if you want to get operation within a month and you can't wait, you won't get it because there's a long line of those. >> how about education? >> up to the high school, it's still free. the quality's not best as it used to be. people used to get a lot of things for free. now it's coming to an end. >> you asked for capitalism, you got it, buddy.
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according to reaganomics, it's the trickle-down theory. okay? >> yeah. >> so that means that if i make lots and lots and lots and lots of money that money will somehow trickle down to you. you know, my masseur, my garage attendant, my aromatherapist. they of course will be making money. i will be buying more things for various wives and prostitutes. in this way i don't exactly share the wealth but i trickle it down and if you don't like your job -- >> what can you do then? >> mopping my feces-spattered walls and cleaning up for my dead prostitutes, you can leave your job at walmart and become a billionaire like me. or you make a porn film and go on a reality show and you become really, really rich. doing nothing. it's fantastic. >> tony, i'm convinced. i think you know what you are doing in life, man. ♪
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>> did you put on your jammies? >> uh-huh. >> i just want to state for the record, just because you're in the top bunk, that's no indication of any relationship that we may or may not have. >> you and me have to be very careful in public. if we bring up subject like this, there could be some different repercussions. tolerance never existed in russia. that's why when just recently people started to come out in russia, like lesbians and gays, they were either fired from their jobs or were given like hard time to exist. >> what about tchaikovsky? >> they try not to acknowledge it by saying he was a great musician, so -- >> he was a great musician who liked to have sex with other men. >> that's what people are not meant to learn in school.
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♪ that's the former winter palace? >> you remember what happened in
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october of 1917? >> everybody came charging through, charged up the steps and looted the winter palace. >> and the one in charge of the interim government had to put on his female outfit to es contain revolutionary peasants. >> that wouldn't go over well these days. >> right. not anymore. >> recently in the run-up to the sochi olympics, attention has been drawn to a wave of rabidly homophobic remarks by public officials. images of gay and lesbian activists being beaten and harassed in the street, often with official or semi-official consent. and a new law which claims to forbid promoting homosexual propaganda to minors but which can be interpreted any way the authorities choose. what's happening here? what's going on? >> oh, my god. i don't know what's going on. every day i ask myself what's going on, what's going on.
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>> do you have to be afraid? >> no. i have nothing to lose. so i can be myself. i am nobody in social system. and i understand it. >> artist and filmmaker xena robrek is a brave young woman. she's openly gay. lately, the actual hunting of gay people has been documented. violent skinhead gangs who ed contact gay men and women online, arrange meetings under false pretenses, then violently ambush them. there have been very few prosecutions. >> you can get killed for this. >> our local fixer, dasha, helps translate. >> xenia had a situation once when the skinheads attacked her on the street. not only once. >> this new law prohibits propaganda? >> amongst minors. >> [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> it's like about anti-soviet propaganda -- >> right. it means whatever -- >> you can go to jail for anything. >> it means whatever they want it to mean. >> yes. we look how many gay families we have with kids, and those people are in maximum stress right now because their families might be ruined. >> we rightly see this as outrageous. the russian public, however, it's very likely a vote getter. a cynical pandering to a powerful and enduring vein of deep-seated homophobia that goes way, way back. what do you think the source of this hatred is? >> it's not about russian orthodox church. it's about political structure. it's about power. we have two russias. >> okay. what are they? >> big, like a big bear.
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not very sophisticated and based on instincts country. >> okay. >> and the other side is the country of intelligent people, thoughtful people. >> a lot of these political leaders, are they using the issue of gay rights to appeal to a larger audience? >> they try to play with bear. >> because usually what happens when you play with the bear is tomorrow or the next day or the next day the bear eats you. >> yeah. >> are you hopeful? >> it's about responsibility. we should never give up. ♪ >> farm to table, in russia? organic? local? why, yes.
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there are those who are trying. sergei shnurov is a very popular musician and leader of the band leningrad. leningrad was banned in moscow, purportedly for promoting alcoholism. >> cheers. >> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> this is sergei's wife, matilda. together they have opened this restaurant, cococo, with the mission to bring genuinely local, quality russian food to diners. >> we opened this restaurant one year ago which will work only with local seasonal farmers' food, and we are the first who did it. >> in all of russia. >> yes, in all of russia. >> traditional combination, rye bread and russian fish. >> chef igor grushekin's version of sushi. instead of rice, more traditional russian black bread with sprats, mackerel, cod liver, and salmon caviar. old school, but looks new school. >> mm.
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good. when i first came here 2001, the best restaurant in moscow was a nightmare of french, japanese ingredients, recipes from nowhere. >> everyone hated russia, wanted to be someone else. >> second course. >> wow. >> pearl barley, lightly smoked raw beef, topped with quail egg. >> very interesting combination. >> mm. >> very nice. what's the most popular thing? what do people want? >> the most popular is italian and japanese cuisine. and karaoke. >> karaoke. >> sounds like a nightmare. >> that's the word. >> cheers. >> ah, that was good. ♪
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♪ before putin, before gorbachev, khruschev, stalin and lenin, there was this. imperial russia. mighty palaces spread across the empire where the very, very few lived in unimaginable luxury. while their people worked and
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starved. didn't work out so well for paul, did it? >> not really. >> they choked the dude to death, right? >> actually, he was strangled with a piece of cord. >> the czars of previous centuries were certainly living the good life. money no object when it came to personal comfort or luxurious lodgings. and today's imperial powers seem not far behind. putin allegedly had a billion-dollar palace built for him. we couldn't license the actual smuggled photo, but our artist rendering looks like this. a putin spokesman dismissed all this, telling the "new york times" we have congress halls built for the kremlin but if you call all of them putin's palace, it is nothing but absurd. >> vodka. haven't tasted that before. so what would i be doing on my outing if i were a czar, looking
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for some kulaks to oppress? >> hunting. enjoying life. >> picking up some good speed here. >> oh, okay. >> some have suggested that russia is, after all this time, coming full circle. a tiny, tiny minority in possession of nearly unlimited power and wealth. the idea of running up the steps and disemboweling royals, i can easily imagine myself doing that. it would not take much convincing. >> wow. that's a pleasant surprise. >> i would hurl them all into the sea tomorrow. after the revolution, in a blunt force strategy designed to even things out, the government seized private residences, dividing them into little pieces and portioning them out to the masses who were swarming in from the countryside to serve the new, industrialized soviet union. i never had any dreams of growing up in socialist
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wonderland. there was a brief period when i was a hippie. the idea of living in a commune, not attractive to me. >> i was born in a communal flat with three other families, sharing one john, one kitchen. >> no way. >> they would feed me when i had no food. >> no way. i share my toilet with no man. >> take the first left, please. >> meet yuri, human rights activist, professor of journalism, one of 26 tenants living together in this communal apartment, an arrangement basically unchanged since soviet times. >> just in case you change your mind and -- >> and it's here that i see for the first time a glimpse of my friends in the years' mysterious past, growing up in a home just like this one. >> in russia normally people dip your bread into this canned -- like this. >> this was normal for you growing up?
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>> yeah. i wouldn't drink booze until probably 22. but i'll show you how it worked. >> so who decided who moved into these places? >> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> those who were in charge of the specific communal services and residential department would assign x amount to this plan, to that plan. >> you got to choose your neighbors though? no. >> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> in the soviet union and the present-day russia there's never been a reason to create infrastructure to make people's lives better. no one really cared about the people and they should have decent toilet or shower. >> so how's it going lately? better? worse? >> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> so vladimir putin changed the whole landscaping in the country. first of all, he started to clamp down on the human rights, on the democratic rights.
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the most recent laws and changes in the constitution bring up the old soviet union type of structure in the country. >> so what happens next? >> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> a year before the soviet union collapsed you would never believe in any wildest dreams that it could happen. nowadays he thinks it's a similar situation, it looks like a stable -- you know, people are busy, money being made, rich cars. but it can't go on like this for too long. so yuri predicts it could be in a similar overnight collapsing situation. so there is some hope -- >> you're due for some major renovations. just another crisp morning in st. petersburg.
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just another crisp morning in st. petersburg. ♪ >> neva river. ice fishing paradise. >> i wouldn't go out on that, not for a million dollars, man. not now. it's total unstable. ♪
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>> lessons of history. >> where are we? >> peter and paul's fortress, which used to be a burial place for the romanovs, who were a little bit executed in 1917 -- >> a little bit. they were very executed. >> originally built to defend against the marauding swedes -- god, i hate the marauding swedes. the peter and paul fortress was overrun by the bolsheviks during the revolution. so the 100-year anniversary of what is coming up? >> great october socialist revolution in three years from now. >> in three years. >> so i smell with the disparity gap in the society, very rich and very poor, that someone might bring up the masses back to the winter palace and storm it again, like 100 years,
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nothing changed. >> every day at noon without fail this d-30 122-millimeter howitzer is fired to commemorate the revolution. >> ready to load. loaded. very solemn moment. moment of truth, tony, for you. ♪ [ chiming bell ] >> come up. attention. one, two. four. >> sweet. >> enemy is destructed. congratulations, you are the hero of russia now. >> sweet. >> you can't take it on the plane, though. they won't understand.
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>> not even carry-on? >> since the filming of this show a number of things have happened. putin's sochi olympics, a blatant exercise of political muscle and a financial boondoggle of a size unheard of in history, went off as planned. russia won many gold medals, the most of any country in competition, which was really all that mattered. a few journalists complained about the bathrooms, but that is all but forgotten. more than $50 billion of mostly public money gone. ukraine rose up and their despotic pro-putin president ran away. as if a foregone conclusion, russia in broad daylight has recently annexed the crimea. and as i'm writing this, is massing tens of thousands of troops on the border of ukraine. the world has done nothing. it will do nothing, as vladimir well knew.
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