Discover Russia’s culture, history and politics on BBC Select. This collection takes you back to 1917, to explore The Russian Revolution, then to the political power of Joseph Stalin during World War Two and concludes in the present day, where you can uncover the unique story of Russia’s current President, Vladimir Putin.
Watch The Russian Collection, as well as many other historical and political documentaries on BBC Select. Start your free trial on the Apple TV app or Amazon Prime Video Channels. Restrictions apply*.
Putin: The New Tsar
Admired by former President Donald Trump and feared by his rivals, this enthralling BBC political documentary reveals the story of Vladimir Putin’s extraordinary rise to power. From a lowly KGB colonel to Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s right-hand man and ultimately his successor, those from his inner circle, both close friends and bitter enemies, describe his often brutal methods.
Russian art has always been preoccupied with icons. In this eye-opening three part series, art expert Andrew Graham-Dixon begins with the ‘great age of the icon’ from Our Lady of Vladimir to the masterpieces of icon painter Andrei Rublev, through to the great portraits of Stalin and today’s noble sculptures of Putin. An extraordinary portrait of a Russian art scene in constant revolution.
Joseph Stalin emerged as the true victor of World War II. Once the treaties were signed, he gained a vast empire in the East. But this was not enough. Soon he began to exert a malign influence over Russia using suspicion, murder and terror. This intimate portrait attempts to define the man behind the dictator, and tries to understand how a once principled man could transform into an evil despot.
Just as it was arguably The Apprentice that made President Trump, it was a TV show that sewed the seeds of President Putin. A chance viewing of a Russian spy drama inspired young Vladimir to sign up to the KGB, where he set his sights on the presidency. Interviewing his inner circle, opponents and victims, this fascinating series gets as close as we’ve ever been to this controversial figure.
The names of Stalin, Lenin and Trotsky are infamous today. But in the space of a few mere months they went from obscure, slogan-shouting nobodies to supreme leaders of the largest nation on earth. The Russian Revolution was soaked in blood, both as it unfolded and during its tragic aftermath. How did these three lowly troublemakers change the world so dramatically in such a short space of time?
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