11 episodes

Jonny Dymond tells the extraordinary and revealing story of Vladimir Putin's life with the help of guests who have watched, studied and dealt with the Russian president.

Putin BBC Podcasts

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 104 Ratings

Jonny Dymond tells the extraordinary and revealing story of Vladimir Putin's life with the help of guests who have watched, studied and dealt with the Russian president.

    Episode 10: Preying on Hopes and Fears

    Episode 10: Preying on Hopes and Fears

    In 2021 Vladimir Putin retreats to his bunker as the Covid-19 pandemic spreads through Russia. How did this isolation affect his thinking, and what role could it have played in his decision to invade Ukraine?

    To understand how Putin views history and his place in it, Jonny Dymond is joined by:
    Nina Khrushcheva, Professor of International Affairs, The New School; former BBC Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford; and Alexander Vindman, former director of European Affairs at the US National Security Council.

    Production coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed
    Sound engineer: Rod Farquhar
    Producers: Sandra Kanthal, Caroline Bayley, Joe Kent
    Series Editor: Emma Rippon
    Commissioning Editor: Richard Knight

    • 33 min
    The Emperor's Palace

    The Emperor's Palace

    President Putin tries to crush the leading opposition figure, Alexei Navalny as Russians take to the streets in protest over pensions and local elections. And there are revelations about expensive watches and a secret and very opulent palace.

    To understand how Vladimir Putin rules Russia Jonny Dymond is joined by:

    Catherine Belton, author of ‘Putin’s People: How the KGB took back Russia and then took on the West'

    Sergei Guriev, Professor of Economics at Sciences Po and co-author of 'Spin Dictators'

    Vitaliy Shevchenko, Russia Editor, BBC Monitoring

    Production coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed
    Sound engineer: Rod Farquhar
    Producers: Caroline Bayley, Sandra Kanthal, Joe Kent
    Series Editor: Emma Rippon
    Commissioning Editor: Richard Knight

    • 30 min
    8. The Splinter

    8. The Splinter

    Master strategist or opportunistic gambler? Vladimir Putin styles himself as a judo master – an expert in spotting weakness in his opponents and then exploiting it. To figure out what we can learn from his attempts to call time on liberal democracy and Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, Jonny Dymond is joined by:

    Henry Foy, European diplomatic correspondent for the Financial Times and a former Moscow bureau chief
    Nina Khrushcheva, professor of international affairs at the New School in New York
    Misha Glenny, author of ‘McMafia’ and rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna

    Production coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed
    Sound engineer: Rod Farquhar
    Producers: Caroline Bayley, Sandra Kanthal, Joe Kent
    Series Editor: Emma Rippon
    Commissioning Editor: Richard Knight

    • 35 min
    7. The Ultimate Insult

    7. The Ultimate Insult

    False flags, brutal military tactics and aspirations of greatness – Putin’s approach to the war in Syria, as he tries to prove Russia is still a power-broker in the Middle East.

    To understand how Putin views history and his place in it, Jonny Dymond is joined by:

    Professor Angela Stent of the Brookings Institution, a former national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the US National Intelligence Council
    Anatol Lieven of the Quincy Institute
    Kevin Connolly, former BBC Moscow and Middle East correspondent.

    Producers: Caroline Bayley, Sandra Kanthal and Joe Kent
    Production coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed
    Sound engineer: Rod Farquhar
    Series Editor: Emma Rippon
    Commissioning Editor: Richard Knight.

    • 31 min
    6. The Believer

    6. The Believer

    Playing cat and mouse games with the world and using so-called little green men for masked warfare – what Russia's annexation of part of Ukraine in 2014 tells us about Vladimir Putin.

    “Like tsars through the centuries, Putin sees himself as the rightful heir and the guardian of one true Christian faith,” says Lucy Ash, who has seen first-hand how the Russian leader has used religion to justify war and bolster his image.

    To make sense of the man everyone is trying to figure out, Jonny Dymond is joined by:

    Lucy Ash, BBC reporter and author of the upcoming book “The Baton and the Cross” about the Russian Orthodox Church under Putin
    Steven Lee Myers, New York Times correspondent and former Moscow bureau chief
    Dr Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, professor of Russian politics at Kings College London and author of “Red Mirror: Putin's Leadership and Russia's Insecure Identity

    Production coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed

    Sound engineer: Rod Farquhar
    Producers: Caroline Bayley, Sandra Kanthal, Joe Kent
    Series Editor: Emma Rippon
    Commissioning Editor: Richard Knight

    • 35 min
    5. An Indispensable Tsar

    5. An Indispensable Tsar

    Bare-chested photo ops and the invasion of Georgia - what Vladimir Putin did as prime minister. Then, he returns to the presidency vowing to save Russia from the west.

    To make sense of his carefully crafted image and how his attitudes to both Ukraine and the West have defined his rule, Jonny Dymond is joined by:

    Catherine Belton, author of ‘Putin’s People: How the KGB took back Russia and took on the West'

    Andrei Soldatov, a Russian investigative journalist and author of ‘The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB’

    Mark Galeotti, University College London lecturer and director of Mayak Intelligence.

    Production coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed
    Sound engineer: James Beard
    Producers: Caroline Bayley, Sandra Kanthal, Joe Kent
    Series Editor: Emma Rippon
    Commissioning Editor: Richard Knight

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
104 Ratings

104 Ratings

TanTanmeee ,

Simply brilliant!!

Well done to all involved

Dawkins g ,

Well researched, evidenced and balanced

A fantastic series that is well researched, evidenced and balanced.

Offers an unrivalled insight to Putin’s background which helps to better understand why he has such a craving for power, wealth, respect and influence and how that has led him to cynically do such terrible things to hold onto it.

A intelligent, corrupt and thin skinned small man wielding his nation and military.

Once again the BBC nails it and demonstrates why a free press is the third pillar of free society. The Conservative party would do well to remember that.

James bennet 1 ,

Fascinating insight in Putin

Very well researched insights into Putin, excellent interviews to help one understand Putin

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