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There are almost 200 official countries in the world. But there are dozens more unrecognised nations determined to be independent. Simon Reeve set out to visit several of these lesser-known places.
|S01E01||Somaliland||04/05/2005||In comparison to the anarchic, gun-filled streets of the Somali capital, Simon travels to the relative safety of the breakaway neighbour, Somaliland. Here he finds mass graves, a foreign minister who delivers babies and some of the oldest cave paintings in the world.|
|S01E02||Trans-Dniester||11/05/2005||Simon Reeve travels to Moldova where he goes on a drunken fishing trip with the president, before meeting a village so poor that 32 men there sold their kidneys. He then crosses over to the breakaway state of Trans-Dniester to find a region where Lenin statues still take pride of place and "independence day" is celebrated with a show of force by thousands of troops. He also gets arrested for trying to film a secret Soviet base.|
|S01E03||Taiwan||18/05/2005||Despite its wealth, the United Nations still insist Taiwan is officially part of China. Simon meets the Taiwanese army preparing to defend itself against Chinese attack and is invited to a concert by Taiwan's equivalent of Take That, who sing patriotic pop songs. And finally on the agenda is a trip to the top of the tallest building in the world (although the Chinese have announced their plans to build an even taller one).|
|S01E04||South Ossetia||25/05/2005||Simon Reeve has a disturbing time in two regions that have declared independence from former Soviet state Georgia. First he crosses the frontline past Russian tanks into South Ossetia - where he sees graveyards in a school and drinks with troops, before being chased out by the KGB. Then in Abkhazia, he finds an alarming legacy of Soviet times: a warehouse full of 30,000 shells, protected by a door kept closed with a piece of string.|
|S01E05||Nagorno Karabakh||01/06/2005||Situated in south-western Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh is a richly fertile area of striking beauty scarred by its violent history. Soldiers still face each other in trenches only 100m apart. He goes out with a team of de-miners who fail to convince locals to take a detour around a minefield, before ending his journey at a local wedding.|