Putin's Way - premieres 9pm, Thursday 7 April on Sky 534 & Virgin Media 243
With the Russian economy in free-fall, all eyes are on President Vladimir Putin as he tries to steer his country through yet another crisis.
Putin’s Way goes behind the latest headlines to investigate the Russian leader— his remarkable ascent from unemployed spy to modern-day czar, and the persistent accusations of criminality and corruption that have accompanied that rise. FRONTLINE traces Putin’s career back two decades to his political start in St. Petersburg, where allegations of corruption began almost immediately. Drawing on firsthand accounts from exiled Russian business tycoons, writers, and politicians, as well as the exhaustive research of scholar and best-selling author Karen Dawisha (Putin’s Kleptocracy), the film examines troubling episodes in Putin’s past, from alleged money laundering activities and ties to organised crime, to a secret personal fortune said to be in the billions. The film chronicles Putin’s ascent as Boris Yeltsin’s chosen successor, examines his controversial ties to former German Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder, and revisits the horrific 1999 Moscow apartment bombings— which continue to haunt the country with unanswered questions about the role of Russian security services and Putin’s complicity. From a senior police officer who tried to arrest Putin on corruption charges, to an investigator who tried to examine the apartment bombings, to former writers and documentarians hired to burnish his reputation, Putin’s Way offers accounts of some of the unsettled questions surrounding the Russian leader and traces his complicated relationship with the West.