National Geographic‘s epic new Docu Series, Facing, provides in-depth biographies for some of the past 20 years’ most controversial figures in entertainment and politics. The most recent episode profiles Vladimir Putin, former KGB spymaster, and current President of Russia.
I skipped the episode on Escobar after having spent the greater of two weeks savoring Season 2 of Netflix’s Narcos. However, even after reading Inside Putin’s Russia: Can There Be Reform Without Democracy?, I can not get enough of this complex, authoritarian, and lethal, head of state.
Facing interviews high-level United States government personnel such as Dr. Robert Gates, secretary of defense under Presidents Bush and Obama, who states that when he looked into Putin’s eyes he saw a stone-cold killer. This was in response to former President Bush’s statement that he could trust Putin after looking into his eyes and seeing his soul, implying that Putin is not a cold-hearted autocrat, but somebody the United States government could work with.
There are many more accounts of people who have had personal interactions with Putin on various levels. Another example is the Time magazine photographer, Platon, who recounts his experience in Russia, and the moment he captured his iconic picture of Putin.
Highly recommend this series, especially the episode on Putin, as geopolitics with Russia have been getting more heated in the past several years.
National Geographic’s Facing Homepage – http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/facing/