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Vladimir Putin has ruled Russia for a dozen years. He could be in power for another dozen. But a new generation of Russians is rocking the boat in Putin’s Russia.
In Defying Putin, you’ll meet remarkable characters who are fighting for change. Unprecedented access to the courtrooms and election campaign rooms give you a behind the scenes glimpse of a Russia you’ve never seen before.
Moscow’s Alexei Navalny, anti-corruption blogger and lawyer may be the man Putin fears the most. He famously labeled Putin’s party the “party of crooks and thieves” and his goal is to replace Putin as president. We follow him as he takes the first step in that journey by running for Mayor of Moscow. But it seems the Kremlin has other plans for him.
Fourteen hundred kilometres east of Moscow in the city of Yekaterinburg, Yevgeny Roizman and Aksana Panova are the ultimate anti-power couple.
He’s a charismatic local hero with a controversial past who running for mayor against the Moscow based power structure. But his biggest fight may be against the pull of the Soviet past as he tries to convince people not only to vote for him, but to take control of their own lives and futures.
She’s a feisty journalist whose fearless pokes at power have gotten her into trouble. Add in a romantic triangle involving the Kremlin appointed governor and the consequences are devastating.
One of Kremlin’s favourite tactics is to use the court system to repress political opponents. The Kremlin has turned the tables on Navalny and put him on trial for being a crook and a thief. If found guilty he will be barred from running for political office. Can he escape political prosecution and prison long enough to challenge the President?
Just over a year ago, Panova was also charged with serious financial crimes. We’re in the courtroom with her during the trial she describes as “theatre”, but one that could end in a 15 year prison term.
In Russia democracy can be as much about preventing fraud as getting out the vote. Defying Putin provides a front row seat in the drama of an election in Russia as Roizman and Panova fight to try to prevent the election from being stolen from them. For both the stakes are high, but she knows if he loses, she will go to jail.
You’ll also meet the future of Russia, Navalny supporter, scientist and robo-freak Tatiana Volkova, who takes to the streets to fight for freedom. She believes true democracy will not come unless every Russian fights for it. But in the fading industrial heartland of the Ural mountains factory worker Alexander Ivanov fears Russia’s future might look very much be much like its past.
Written, Produced and Directed by
Executive Director, Documentary Programming (CBC)
Executive Producer, Doc Zone
Moscow Field Producers
Field Sound Recording
Associate Business Manager
Assistant to Mark Starowicz
Doc Zone Theme Music
Radio-Canada/CBC Moscow Bureau
Make The Politician Work, URA.RU/ Voskhod, 2012
RT Free Video
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Anatomy of a Protest 2, NTV 2012
CBC Documentary Unit
Room 6C200, Box 500, Station A,
Toronto, ON M5W 1E6
CBC COPYRIGHT ANIMATION (:05)