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Top-5 documentaries about Russia

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The world's biggest country is definitely one worth exploring. You could spend days travelling from one end to the other, and months learning about its history, culture and achievements. RT Doc's selection of the 5 best documentaries covering various aspects of Russia: from a Siberian hermit to the world's best artistic gymnasts.

Winner Takes it All

Russian rhythmic gymnasts are among the best in the world. RT Doc takes you behind the scenes of this demanding sport to meet world famous Alina Kabaeva, her legendary coach Irina Viner and today's young hopefuls. The film also explores the real price of success.

Kalashnikov TM

What do liberation armies, terrorists and Mozambique’s flag all have in common? The central character of this film is the iconic Russian made Kalashnikov automatic assault rifle. Designed decades ago, the weapon remains one of the best ever to be made. This film explores the Kalashnikov's origins, production and asks, who uses it today?

Dance of the Little Swans

Inside the walls of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, one of the country's leading ballet academies. The film looks at the process of recruiting future prima ballerinas where only 10 out of 100 young dancers will be accepted. For the lucky ones though, life will become more grueling than ever.

Russia in Miniature: The Largest Model Railway of Russia

A huge 800 square meter model of the country, with everything from long railroads and the nation's signature buildings to tiny human dolls. There're even 20 thousand hand placed artificial sunflowers! A team of intrepid engineers and designers also works hard to depict life as it really is. For example, in the model of the taiga there are tourists running across a bear...

Agafia

Agafia Lykova is a 72-year old hermit from Siberia. She lives deep in the taiga without any modern conveniences, not even matches. Her family left civilization centuries ago and were only found in 1978 by geologists. Agafia is now the only surviving member and her only occasional company is Erofey Sedov, her neighbor and a former geologist who chose to move into the forest as well.

Related: Agafia's Letter to Old Believers