The other Russia: Crisscrossing the country on the Trans Siberian Railway
Jean-François Bélanger and Alexey Sergeev, CBC News/Radio-Canada Last Updated: Jan. 31, 2014
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi don't begin until Feb. 6, but they've already cast global attention on Russia.
The country spent a reported $50 billion US to convert the Black Sea resort area into a world-class sports hub.
President Vladimir Putin is hoping it will unite Russians at a time when many see his government as authoritarian and corrupt - not least Islamic militants in the Caucasus region, who have threatened to launch attacks in Sochi.
To gain a better understanding of "the other Russia" - far from its modern, urbane capital - CBC/Radio-Canada reporter Jean-François Bélanger spent a month travelling the Trans Siberian Railway. He met people of all stripes, and also learned about the special place the railway holds in the Russian imagination.
Explore the chapters using the links below or the menu icon on the top left of the interactive screen. Scroll through each chapter to see images and read about the railway and the people Bélanger encountered.