With all the talk these past several months (years) about Russian President Vladimir Putin, we get snippets of information about this leader; words of warning, rolled eyes and the letters KGB get bandied about quite a lot, but very little in the way of in-depth reporting.
The BBC World Service in 2005 put together this 2-part Radio documentary on the occasional of his re-election in 2005. It’s a look at the man, his background and his then-recent dealings with Georgia and The Ukraine – names that keep creeping up in the news as well.
Because our recent history is going by at such a frantic pace, it’s hard to spend any more than 30 seconds on one current news story before being distracted by another, seemingly more horrific episode than the previous one.
So at a little over 40 minutes, there is a lot of information to be had in a short amount of time – done in concise fashion which is so representative of a BBC documentary. We know of Putin the Master Manipulator from early-on – his attempts at annexing The Ukraine and the violent backlashes against Georgia; the hostage dramas, the bombings.
And the propaganda. The carefully crafted image of Vladimir Putin as a “man of the people” – his promises of wiping out corruption (sound familiar?) – his landslide victory and questions about the legitimacy of it, as well as elections in The Ukraine and Georgia. His supporters call him “the national savior”; all figure in to the complex nature of this Russian President.
Fascinating stuff- from eyewitness accounts to interviews, it’s a very interesting look at an individual we are coming to know very well now – who was something of an enigma 23 years ago and who is something of an enigma in 2018.
Have a listen.