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Putin’s Secret Riches: Panorama Review

ByBethan Morrish

Mar 6, 2016

If you weren’t already concerned about the actions of Russia’s president, this Panorama investigation confirms that you definitely should be.

In its programme, the BBC reveals the hidden circle of corruption that has Putin at its heart.

The programme follows an investigation into the wealth that Putin has allegedly amassed during his time in various positions of power.

The process stems from a claim by hedge fund manager Bill Browder that Putin is worth $200 billion, making him the richest man in the world.

If these claims are correct, despite being vehemently denied by the Kremlin, then Putin has gone from being born into poverty to being ridiculously wealthy and powerful using a web of corruption.

This exposition of Putin’s corruption is clever and convincing. The combination of interviews, personal history and in-depth analysis of evidence serves to persuade the viewer not only of Putin’s guilt, but also of his objectionable arrogance concerning his power.

In a single hour of television, the message that we cannot trust this man is well and truly hammered home.

However, the references to perhaps the most interesting factor in this investigation – the support of the Russian people – were fleeting, few, and far-between.

From the snippets of information that the programme offered, it can be gathered that Putin has the overwhelming support of his people. But the programme goes further than this: there was one reference to him being called ‘Tsar’, the name of the pre-revolutionary autocratic dictators that ruled Russia.

If this attitude spreads, then the hideous amount of wealth and power he wields is presumably not offensive to the people, as these were also the rights of the Tsars. Unfortunately, the documentary leaves this issue fairly untouched, despite the fact that it is arguably a more worrying aspect of Putin’s power than his corruption.

Putin’s Secret Riches is a well-researched, seamlessly produced and interesting documentary.

It is a perfect example of how television can be used to challenge the negative practices of the powerful.

Image: Global Panorama

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