This BBC documentary series examines the relationship between Russia’s richest men (the oligarchs) and Putin’s administration in the Kremlin.
Broadcast a year before the Litvinenko murder, this fascinating series lifted the lid on the struggle that still continues between Putin, and his adversaries, the Russian Oligarchs.
The series follows each one in turn to find out what they were up to in the years leading up to 2005, and the crew is granted intimate access. Two of the five are now in exile, wanted on criminal charges, and planning their own anti-Putin campaigns with their wealth and influence.
The second episode follows the trial and conviction of Russia’s richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky’s grinning face was famously beamed across the world from behind the bars of the court’s cage, and this episode reveals the tactics that Putin used to suppress the oil baron and separate him from his company and wealth.
Final part in the formidable series examines Putin’s fight with the only serious rival for the presidency, Yuri Luzhkov. The crew follow Luzhkov, the renegade billionaire Mayor of Moscow as he takes the fight to Putin. This is a fascinating film which shows both the ruthless methods in which Putin crushes his opposition and the extreme corruption that exist at the highest levels of Russian government.
Watch the full documentary now (playlist – 3 hours)