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Eye on Russia

Eye on Russia: Opportunity and Influence

  • Story Highlights
  • CNN launches week-long series of special programming on modern Russia
  • Moscow Correspondent Matthew Chance rides train from Arctic to Black Sea
  • Series also features hockey star Alexander Ovechkin, conductor Valery Gergiev
  • Tell CNN what you think about Russia's role in the international community
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(CNN) -- CNN wants to hear from viewers in both English and Russian for its weeklong focus on modern Russia.

Russian ice hockey star Alexander Ovechkin is currently the highest paid player in the NHL.

CNN Moscow Correspondent at Star City, the Russian cosmonaut training facility.

Reflecting on Dmitry Medvedev's first year as president, and looking ahead to President Obama's first trip to the Kremlin in July, CNN delves beyond politics to profile the many facets of this vast land through an ambitious bi-lingual audience initiative and a wide-ranging week of programming.

The audience initiative -- CNN's first with a Russian-language component -- complements an energetic mix of live reporting and interviews, feature and documentary programming, and cultural despatches running the gamut of sports to space travel, fashion to music, business to farming, as CNN travels the length of the country to bring viewers the Russia of today.

CNN wants to hear from both Russian residents and worldwide viewers, in English or in Russian, what they think about Russia's role in the international community.

Send us your comments via Sound Off below. or send your videos and pictures via iReport or to

The best will be posted online to be read and watched by Youtube audiences around the world, while English language contributions have the additional opportunity to feature on air in CNN's programming output.

"Russia is making its voice heard far beyond its borders at a time when the global community has never been more interdependent," said Mike McCarthy, CNN International's vice president of coverage and feature programming.

"We want our compelling interviews and reports to stand alongside the very best in audience commentary to provide a really lively insight into what contemporary Russia looks like at a time when its impact is being felt not just in politics but in a diverse array of other fields. We're also excited to offer an online outlet for the first time for Russian language audience feedback as well."

The week of programming kicks off with a special travelogue documentary Eye on Russia: Moving Forward where CNN's Moscow-based Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance rides the train from the Arctic north of Murmansk down to the southern climes of Sochi by way of St Petersburg and Moscow, to offer a diverse range of reports.

He visits a Russian farm to look at the country's ambitions to be an agricultural superpower, checks out the Star City astronaut training center, meets with seven-foot boxing world champion-turned-movie star Nikolai Valuev and talks along the way with entrepreneurs and environmentalists working to make the city of Sochi home to green Olympics in 2014.

CNN also catches up with famous faces like NHL hockey star Alexander Ovechkin, Russian Vogue editor in chief Aliona Doletskaya, A list model Natalia Vodianova, acclaimed conductor Valery Gergiev, the "Russian Madonna" singer Valeriya, and London-based Russian art collector Nonna Materkova to bring together an eclectic mix of Russians who have made it on the world stage.

Additionally, there are reports on Russian communities around the world that have sprung up in places as different as Ashdod, Israel and Brighton Beach, New York.

CNN is also live every night from a range of iconic Moscow locations as Chance gives his topical insights into a country increasingly at the center of international headlines, to complement a range of interviews with top Russian CEOs and industry leaders airing throughout CNN's prime time evening programming.

From St Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin, Christ the Saviour Cathedral and Manej Square, Chance gives us the latest on what makes the Russia of today, from domestic and foreign policy, to business, to culture.

The Eye on series has travelled around the world visiting France, Russia, India, South Korea, China, South Africa, Brazil, Beirut and Poland.

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