Channel 4 announces Putin: A Russian Spy Story
James R | On 12, Mar 2020
This year Vladimir Putin marks 20 years in office with a dramatic overhaul of the Russian constitution, which could allow him to retain power after his presidential term expires in 2024. At the same time, Channel 4 has announced Putin: A Russian Spy Story exploring the man behind the Bond-villain image.
The three-part series tells the story of the teenage tearaway who was so taken by the Russian version of James Bond he became a spy, a president who has been accused of employing exotic poisons against his enemies and who is blamed for bringing Brexit and Trump to the West. Told in his own words with an extraordinary range of archive footage, it charts Putin’s rise to power, his personal life, control and his global expansion.
Putin: A Russian Spy Story tracks and dissects the conflict between Putin and his many enemies, hearing the stories of those who have opposed him. Vladimir Kara-Murza – a protégé of murdered Putin rival Boris Nemtsov and an opposition politician in his own right – suffered two near-fatal poisonings in Moscow, which he believes were “retribution for my political activity in the Russian opposition”.
Through first-hand testimonials of those closest to him, the series pieces together what has made the man who rules Russia today, with interviews from Tatyana Yumasheva, daughter of former President Boris Yeltsin – talking on UK television for the first time – the team of advisers who set out to create the “Cult of Putin”, Marina Litvinenko, the wife of Alexander Litvinenko, and Kara-Murza.
As Putin makes himself the most formidable president Russia has ever seen, will he ever be able to step away from power?
Putin: A Russian Spy Story starts Monday 23rd March at 9pm on Channel 4.