The Power of Putin – Documentary 2018, BBC Documentary

Winston Churchill famously said of Russia it is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma Prime Minister Churchill meet Vladimir Putin he is really very much about leader he’s been a leader far more than our president has been a little he was a KGB agent I definition he doesn’t have a soul Vladimir Putin is a thug and a murderer and a killer he’s the richest man in the world hundreds of billions of dollars well what does he want from Donald Trump Putin is going to eat him like a sandwich he’d rather have a puppet as president and not just how powerful is he who has an untrammeled Authority I don’t in Jackson power so powerful he rigged the American election of course Putin one Hillary Clinton to lose see the five till recently whom would you like better hopefully more while Russia celebrates the reviews understand Americans ask what does he want and if he will the most powerful man in the world December 5th 1989 it was a cold night in Dresden East Germany and it would change the course of Vladimir Putin’s life the Berlin Wall had just fallen all over East Germany angry crowds roamed the sweep lashing out its symbols of communist rule that night in Dresden they found a target the local KGB headquarters a mob surrounded the building as the hour grew later the crowd grew larger inside peering through the curtains was a young KGB lieutenant colonel named Vladimir Putin he was terrified but there was Angela building Putin was a junior officer but the boss was away he was in charge the Berlin Wall had come down police weren’t going to help and he’s called for instructions desperate for help Putin dialed KGB headquarters in Moscow over and over again finally one official told him simply Moscow is silent and I think it’s all I could keep the trail to Vladimir Putin was on his own he went down into the bowels of the building and fired up the furnace he finds himself in the basement at a furnace shoveling documents as he hears demonstrations out on the street they are burning the secret fires so fast that the proponents is blown Booton torch thousands of pages of KGB documents and secrets as the crowd closed with the fire still raging who he went outside and faced them all by himself there are armed guards inside he told them they will shoot you and he’s able to block his way Oscar and tell the cried begged right here you’re going to get hurt Putin’s threat worked the mob dispersed this is the drama that stays with Putin all the time the fear of popular class [Music] Vladimir Putin quelled that fear with absolute control this is what control looks like in one of the world’s busiest city the streets are empty for Vladimir Putin’s motorcade 12 million people simply disappear on Putin’s inauguration day beginner beginner a rich Putin [Music] the event was perfectly produced for Russian television every detail flawlessly planned [Music] almost every detail a few Russians did not follow the script literally a block away from his inauguration was a cafe called jean-jacques where the opposition liked to gather and drink wine and drink coffee and the riot police descend on the cafe arresting people sitting at their tables outside turning over tables breaking cups and plates [Music] [Applause] [Music] Oh [Music] the crackdown was not shown on Russian television for 94 percent of Russians their main source of use of television if it didn’t happen on television it didn’t happen Putin controls television there’s absolutely no critical words about Vladimir Putin on the Russian Air Lines none not one word Putin controls everything in Russia Putin has an untrammeled authority I don’t see any checks on his pal Duhamel jigna he is able to make singular rapid decisions we have salute ISM there is unlike anything I’ve seen in Russia all that power is propped up by an astonishing approval rating over 80% and that’s according to American pollsters [Music] [Applause] Donald Trump wins the presidency but when the United States elected a new president only long-term it looked like in Russia had fallen for a new leader but unit run would practically emotionalism they were toast all over Moscow at the Parliament known as the Duma on tourism animal is free and at bars you create a liberal but one man seemed utterly unsurprised by Trump’s victory you need to kneel criminal swimmer to infinity you have to take credit and that means but he won the US election the man who is simultaneously president of Russia and in charge of the United States if a podium drum impersonators are everywhere in Russia a literacy not teeny Schiavoni Turkish if I yes I define but it could be an American TV program that best describes the Putin Trump relationship I think Putin views front as an apprentice at the heart of all this are some deadly serious questions does Vladimir Putin have some kind of hold over Donald Trump did he tamper with the American elections I tried to ask him mr. Putin did not agree to answer my questions but his closest aide Dmitry Peskov did the answer is very simple now you’re humiliating yourself saying that a country can intervene in your election process America a huge country country number were the most powerful country in the world this is simply impossible we will get at the truth of all this but to do that we need to go back to the final days of the country Vladimir Putin love I think that down deep in Putin there is this sense of extraordinary humiliation over the collapse of the Soviet Union because it wasn’t just the Soviet Union it was the Russian Empire Putin returned home from his KGB posting in 1992 a country he did not recognize the USSR had been transformed by Mikhail Gorbachev and his policy of openness known as glass knows a lot of things happen very quickly like monkeys big much coca-cola coca-cola but romance with things Western [Music] freedom came fast and it exposed the rot at the heart of Soviet Communism across the Soviet Union hundreds of thousands of people began demanding democracy and national independence it was once again what Putin feared most the people rising up and finally the people one tonight in Moscow and the Kremlin the red flag of the failed Soviet Union at last came down and the flag of Russia thrown 300 years of history erase Soviet institutions like the KGB simply cease to exist Vladimir Putin views the breakup of the Soviet Union as he said himself to be the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century it was a traumatic time and it sparked a profound change in Vladimir Putin he became a politician deputy mayor in his hometown of st. Petersburg it was not a big job but Putin clearly had big dreams the perceptual he commissioned this rarely-seen documentary about himself presenting Vladimir Putin the credits read in power weirdly the soundtrack is from the Broadway show cats the ambitious Putin may already have been looking toward Moscow because the Russian people were desperate for strong leadership under president Boris Yeltsin the new democracy was a mess the entire Soviet system it just collapsed the oligarchs the men who profited on the spoils of communism they came fantastically rich selling more of its top-line cars in Russia than in all the rest of Europe but ordinary Russians was sinking into desperate poverty they would die of food shortages even starvation I don’t know how to feed my kids without a bill when you raise it I just don’t know what we’re going to do president Boris Yeltsin was in charge but he seemed increasingly unstable [Music] he’s drinking he’s barely being propped up Russians began calling for a new leader they were tired of the embarrassment of Yelton waiting in the wings was Vladimir Putin he had taken a job in Moscow in the Kremlin hierarchy and he had risen through the ranks with lightning speed he had just become Acting Prime Minister when it became blindingly clear the country needed a new president so when Yeltsin was ready to topple over and they settled on Putin because they knew that the Yeltsin could retire and not be put in jail Boris Yeltsin was notoriously corrupt but Kremlin power brokers wanted to protect him so the deal was made the deal was made [Music] [Applause] December 31st 1999 the surprise announcement from Boris Yeltsin that he is resigning as president and turning over power to his Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the very first moments of the 21st century Vladimir Putin became president of Russia his first words the ocean as Oscar concluded neighbor Reba we live in a competitive world and we are not among its leaders and right away Putin began to change his country he joined soldiers on the front lines of the war in Chechnya he reassured Russians that better times were ahead yeah there was a cycle I think we’ll get paid and we’ll have work the country quickly fell in love with Vladimir Putin [Music] the number one song in Russia was called a man like Putin he’s just very oh she’s beautiful man you see but the biggest surprise America also loved Vladimir Putin President George W Bush thought he’d found a kindred spirit I looked a man in the eye I finally be very straightforward and trustworthy I was able to get a sense of his soul even Hollywood fell for the new Russian president [Music] he bonded with stars at a charity dinner [Applause] [Music] but the honeymoon would soon come to a crashing halt [Music] he was a KGB agent by definition he doesn’t have a soul next when Vladimir met Kilauea it’s important to remember how much he despised Hillary Clinton [Music] how many times will she leave her mark how many ways Ruchi light up the world is the woman at the heart of the hacking scandal that rocked the 2016 presidential election ladies and gentlemen was an old grudge my mother my hero and our next president Hillary Clinton it went beyond ideology it was personal Vladimir Putin was not a fan of Hillary Clinton of course Putin wanted Hillary Clinton to lose he hated Hillary Clinton Prime Minister we have a lot of problems the tension between the leaders had been brewing for years in 2001 another American leader George W Bush vouched for Putin I was able to get a sense of his soul but on the campaign trail in 2008 Hillary had a different take I could have told him he was a KGB agent by definition he doesn’t have a soul I mean this is a waste of time right you darling this was a glutton recently mr. Clinton said that you as a former KGB agent by detonation can have no soul really Putin’s reply statesman shouldn’t be guided by their hearts they should use their heads Clinton had a lot of tough words for Putin over the years he’s a very arrogant person to deal with we have to stand up to his bullying he is somebody who will take as much as he possibly can but it was what happened in 2011 that marked a point of no return it began with the Arab Spring protests early that year the kind of popular uprising the food and bread he begins to see himself through the eyes of Hosni Mubarak Mubarak of Egypt was facing prosecution Syria’s Bashar al-assad was on the ropes Libya’s strong and warmer Gaddafi had a particularly gruesome cake brutally killed after begging for his life Putin may have feared the same bloody fate for himself just a few weeks later rebellion arrived in Russia tens of thousands rallied in the streets of Moscow the biggest protest there since the fall of the Soviet Union people were hanging off lamppost people were in the streets she’s really shocking Putin was now living the same nightmare he had endured as a KGB officer in East Germany in 1989 this time in his own backyard and he wasn’t even president at the time he was Prime Minister having handed the presidency over to his associate to meet three Medvedev as the winter went longer and longer and got colder and colder to protest got bigger and bigger as putin’s or people turning against him hillary clinton wade in the russian people like people everywhere deserves the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted when Putin hears something like that I imagine he hears was talking about Saddam Hussein he hears that as they’re coming for me [Applause] they’re kind of drive me from power what the hell do you know about my people and whether they deserve to have their voices heard like I’ll tell you if they should have their voices heard Russians had a lot of reasons to be angry like even a Putin now those like freedoms of chronic that fault it was announced that Hooton would run for president again for a third time that meant he could potentially rule Russia until 2024 some people said oh my god I’m gonna die with this guy in power a few months later he was ranting about yes the elections for Russia Parliament were a farce it’s impossible if I hope we do have serious concerns about the conduct of the election number was that Hillary Clinton called out the election rigging I don’t think she will has quite had badly that was going to go down with his back against the wall Putin’s turned the tables he blamed the protests on Hillary Clinton Fujin are claiming that she was the one who incited them with her complaints about the election there are growing restrictions on the exercise of fundamental right quote unquote she sent a signal that was his words Putin’s strategy propelled him to victory [Applause] em weirdo beardo in March 2012 he won re-election handily fighting back tears after a tense fight to maintain his power my bakas alia stop nambeesa vigil and you Toni Chauhan Yamada ladies like he may have won the day but bladder Putin never forgot about the woman who had kicked him when he was down do you think he’d resolved you interfered with my elections to complete this game I think that that’s the line of thinking that led him to the intervention I mean I’m totally convinced the Russians were meddling and intervening covertly US intelligence concluded that Putin personally ordered a campaign to influence the American election in part because he holds a grudge for Clinton’s comments in 2011 the other accusation Putin has denied that Russia was hacking the Democrats which I’ll share what some changes like I don’t know anything about that you know how many hackers there are today it’s a it’s an extremely difficult thing to challenge the Russians allegedly focused their attack on a particularly weak target the Democratic National Committee you could have broken into the DNC with a can opener this took less and work to get into the DNC’s computer systems then it took the Watergate burglars to get into the DMC offices back during the next campaign for the 1900 a male’s relief in the middle of a tight race the league revealed transcription embarrassing emails mysteriously leased from the Clinton campaign were all over the news WikiLeaks has released a new batch another round of stolen emails a Cleveland campaign knows this could be a top latest leak pretty much the Trump’s dream come true Donald Trump was delighted by Clinton’s misfortunes Russia if you’re listening I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing Donald J Trump will become the 45th President of the United States defeated in the end America’s election went Putin’s win I just received a call from Secretary Clinton Hillary Clinton was quite negative about our country and your attitude it wouldn’t be bad to get along with Russia right would be bad and to the contrary the other candidate Donald Trump for saying that we have to find some understanding what people like me I like them even group home would you like better this is not the outcome we wanted Hillary Clinton suffered one of the most shocking defeats in American history I know how disappointed you feel because I feel it too at least in part some observers say because of the alleged hacking operation this is painful and it will be for a long time butin had apparently avenged his old grudge so help me God congratulations mr. president and he may have achieved even more the 45th President of the United States if Donald Trump is in some way compromised if the Russian government has something that it feels has on him in terms of leverage that’s a very serious I don’t suggest for a second that I have the answer to this question but we can’t just let this matter drop up next a prominent Russian opposition figure has been shot and killed before the shots even in the back right out in the open just block from the Kremlin the story Vladimir Putin might want the world to forget [Music] February 27 2015 nearly midnight a man and woman walk across the Bolshoi moscow gretzky bridge right next to the kremlin a highly monitor Larry littered with surveillance cameras all those cameras but amazingly this grainy far away video is the only footage that exists of a critical moment in recent Russian history inside the circle of what a Moscow TV station purports to be Boris Nemtsov and his girlfriend Nemtsov was of course the well-known Russian opposition leader who led the protest in 2011 the station says that while this snow plow hides the – from cameras view themselves was killed shot four times in the back a prominent Russian opposition figure has been shot and killed in four of the shots hit him in the back right out in the open just blocks from the Kremlin so who murdered Boris Nemtsov the pozzolana Union during each stage a pozzolan man Vladimir Putin condemned the killer calling it shameful and impotent five Chechens are currently on trial for murder but the court case floods along in the meantime doubts remain the assassination was extremely professional Russian born journalist julia yaki says that only one group could be that professional i’m sauce go friend who he was walking with didn’t realize he had been shot until the car was already driving off it was quick and professional and nobody has that kind of training outside the government Senator John McCain takes it one step further Vladimir Putin is a thug and a murderer and a killer and a KGB agent he had Boris Nemtsov murdered in the shadow of the Kremlin this is personal insult this is a lousy behavior from a politician that is Putin’s top aide and spokesman Dmitry Peskov it’s nonsense it’s nonsense there is nothing to comment on over the course of Putin’s time in power his regime has been accused of involvement in the deaths of many of its critics including the journalist Anna Politkovskaya and the former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko the scholar of Russian studies Stephen Cohen response is not a shred of evidence isn’t a single plaque to sustain these allegations but they take on a kind of folkloric reality see a beautiful judge Gesell the allegations that Putin might have played a role in Boris nemtsov’s murder may stem in part from the evidence that Nemtsov had been accumulating against the president Nemtsov was about to reveal information that would prove Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine that Ukraine report was released a few months after nemtsov’s murder but there was an earlier Nemtsov report published in 2012 that also was embarrassing for Putin it claimed the president had 43 planes 15 helicopters and 4 yachts at his disposal including one super yacht then there are the palaces themselves report says there were 20 presidential palaces available to Putin at any time one of the palaces known in the press simply as Putin’s palace was said to be worth 1 billion dollars this is not true this is actually perverted the commanding of reality Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says every world leader especially the leader of a nuclear power like Russia or the United States has access to state-owned homes and planes and helicopters that are safe and have secure communications of course he he uses this vehicles displaying this residences but it’s not his property the rumors about his wealth of the rumors about the palaces has nothing to do with reality just it’s just lies the rumors of putin’s wealth well some of them are simply staggering and some people including myself believe that he’s the richest man in the world or one of the richest men in the world bill Browder was once the largest foreign investor in russia now he’s one of vladimir putin’s toughest critics we talked in 2015 you really think Putin is the richest man in the world I really think that and I’m not just saying that crazily gain an estimated net worth 200 billion really I believe that it’s 200 billion that would make Putin almost two and a half times wealthier than the man who Forbes says is the world’s wealthiest Bill Gates all these rumors all these accusations about billions and billions of dollars as his fortune this is not true don’t believe in them he’s got nothing you’ve got what he writes in his personal financial declaration every year putin’s most recent financial declaration says that he personally owns less than half an acre of land a roughly 900 square foot apartment and a 200 square foot garage into which maybe he puts the vehicles listed in that document a vintage russian sedan a russian 4×4 and a trailer like this one the document does not say how much Putin has in the bank or in investments top US Treasury official Adam Zubin talked to the BBC I’m not in a position to give you figures but what I can say is that he supposedly draws a state salary of something like 110 thousand dollars a year that is not an accurate statement of the man’s wealth but if Putin was getting rich he surely wasn’t the only one in Russia take this statistic in 1996 when Putin had just moved to Moscow and began his climb to the top there were no billionaires in all of Russia by 2014 Russia had 111 billionaires according to Forbes and while Moscow now has multiple Bentley dealerships to satisfy its bevy of billionaires the average wage in Russia is less than 450 dollars a month that’s lower than the average wage in China according to fretful [Music] but despite all the allegations despite all the accusations the fact remains Latimer Putin is remarkably popular in Russia why will tell you when we come back the most powerful man in the world is also the most popular Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings has soared as high as eighty six percent in recent years consider that American presidents are happy when they break the 50% mark [Music] how has he done it partly it’s the cult of Putin he has mastered the art of the manly photo-op he rides forced back there Chester finds ancient treasures underwater he rides a submarine to the bottom of the Black Sea flies planes likes far spires something ridiculous about a middle-aged world leader riding around shirtless on a horse like Conan the Barbarian after a dozen donuts who thinks this looks good everything that we find ridiculous but that latter theory is very appealing in a media universe that he controls absolutely perhaps the foundation of the Putin juggernaut is a political truism no matter where you live it’s the economy stupid after the chaotic years of Boris Yeltsin Putin stepped in and stabilized the country and he rode the wave of ever rising oil prices which in Russia’s resource-rich economy translated into rising wages and storing stock indices then in late 2014 the party stock oil prices slumped and soon after came Western economic sanctions Vladimir Putin has navigated hard times well he has slashed social spending implemented an austerity program allowed the ruble to fall and his central bank has kept inflation in check Putin is a fiscal conservative the outward seeming aspect of wealth looks closer to divide than it does to Moscow 30 years ago just an amazing transformation add to the economics Putin’s secret sauce nationalism onion Abrego and it’s surged in 2014 after an invasion that shocked the world bigger nations must not be allowed to bully the small Vladimir Putin grabbed a piece of Ukraine for Russia the West was horrified Duchess will see that adult Hitler did in the nineteen thirties before those days of God but it all looked very different through Russian eyes I have never met a legend who accepted the notion of Ukraine as a totally separate state of course many Ukrainians deeply resented the invasion but not Russian they see it as a revival of a deep sense of power and national destiny Putin has given them their pride back Russia is once again a great power [Music] putinism is an ideology of social conservatism of anti Western ISM but above all of national power Putin might say he has made Russia great again damn Familia we will make America great again like Putin from PES used nationalism to boost his support but many believe that Donald Trump is no Vladimir Putin Putin is a much more practice subtle cunning player he’s playing in poker terms a couple of deuces at the highest level he has reasserted Russia on the world stage from a position of relative weakness like nobody I can think of that’s an amazing feat of geopolitics finally share my thoughts on he whom we have called the most powerful man in the world first let me explain the title the United States and China for that matter are more powerful countries than Russia of course but the power of a head of state is determined both by the country strength and the capacity he or she has to exercise that power unilaterally unconstrained by other institutions bodies or political forces and combining those two metrics it’s easy to see why Vladimir Putin rises to the top he has created what he calls a vertical of power unlike any we have seen in other great nations as the russian chess grandmaster garry kasparov has noted himself a harsh critic of Putin the entire structure of Russian political authority rests on one man when the Czar died after all you knew the process by which his successor his son would be elevated when the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party died the Standing Committee and the Politburo would select his successor but when Putin dies I almost said if what will happen no one knows to understand Putin you have to understand Russia the last hundred years for that country have seen the fall of the Tsar the collapse of democracy the Great Depression World War two with its tens of millions of Russian dead Stalin’s totalitarian brutality the collapse of communism the breakup of the Soviet Union Boris Yeltsin’s years of chaos and corruption and then comes Vladimir Putin the ushers in almost two decades of stability and in popular perception rising standards of living and increasing prominence and respect in the world dr. Freud right here respect is important Russians have immense national pride Russia is after all the largest country on the planet 48 times larger than Germany it encompasses 11 time zones and straddles Europe Asia and the Middle East it is also a rich country containing some of the largest deposits of raw materials from oil and natural gas and nickel and aluminum culturally it is often thought of itself as the third Rome preserving Christianity even as Roman Byzantium fell to the barbarians Putin understands Russia but he also understands the world he’s not foolish enough to make a frontal assault on America or Europe he knows how to use power asymmetrically with cyber tools and disinformation he understands the vulnerabilities of free societies they internal divisions and discord and they gaping openness he understands the fragility of institutions like the European Union and NATO and ideas like integration and diversity in other words Vladimir Putin understands us very well the question is do we does Donald Trump really understand him [Music]

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