Putin: A Russian Spy Story

Rating 8.9
Streamer All4
Seasons 1
Episodes 3 x 45 mins

There must be people tucked away in government who are keenly aware that the big lockdown is a great distraction from the tectonic plates of international relations, and there ain’t none bigger than our relationship with Mother Russia.

This rock-solid doc series keeps Russia and her “schoolyard thug” leader centre-stage in an unsettling three-parter. Critics love it with the FT’s Suzy Feay (paywall) noting that “informative interviews with former diplomats, Russia watchers, insiders, writers and journalists add substance and depth to a fairly familiar but well-told tale.” 

The Guardian’s Tim Dowling rates the series 5 stars and claims it “portrays the Russian leader – who, if you include his contrived second stint as prime minister, has outlasted three US presidents and looks well positioned to see off a few more – through the prism of his past.

It features interviews with those who have worked with him, those who have known him well and those who have run up against him.” In The Times Carol Midgley (paywall) acclaimed the series as “in turns mesmerising and terrifying… the opener to a three-part series was compelling, intelligent and, best of all, gimmick and dumb-down free. The final part was in itself a mini stage play.”

First shown March 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.

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