Earlier this month, Russian voters went to the polls and officially returned Vladimir Putin to power, reelecting him to the office of president after a four-year term as prime minister. Putin’s return to the presidency, although no surprise, was far thornier than anyone could have predicted only six months ago. After parliamentary elections in December were widely regarded as fraudulent, tens of thousands took to the streets in Moscow to protest. Politics in Russia had clearly undergone a seismic shift.
On March 20, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted a screening of part one of the BBC2 series, Putin, Russia, and the West, an acclaimed four-part documentary that explores Vladimir Putin, his rise to power and Russia’s relationship with the United States and Europe. The documentary tells the inside story of one of the world’s most powerful men through interviews with Putin’s top colleagues and the Western statesmen who eventually clashed with him. Following the screening, there was a discussion featuring Norma Percy and David Alter, the award-winning documentary filmmakers and producers of the series. Senior Fellow Fiona Hill, director of CUSE, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, the speakers took audience questions.