Russian President Vladimir Putin is one of the wealthiest and most powerful people on the planet. And yet, much of his story remains a mystery. Born in St. Petersburg, when it was still known as Leningrad, Putin’s childhood unfolded on the streets of a city recovering from a devastating, years-long siege during World War II. Today, Putin is the longest-serving Russian leader since Stalin, and could be in charge until 2036. On this episode of Who Is?, Sean Morrow dives deep into Putin’s past, and talks to some of the Russians who are fighting back against Putinism, and for freedom and democracy in Russia.
Catherine Belton previously served as the Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times. She’s currently a special correspondent at Reuters, and is the author of “Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West”
Masha Gessen, a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of many books, including “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin,” and most recently, “Surviving Autocracy”
Michael McFaul, who has taught at Stanford since 1995. McFaul served for five years in the Obama Administration, which included several years as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation. His most recent book is “From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia”
Nadya Tolokonnikova, a founder of feminist collective Pussy Riot
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