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  • Writer's pictureJames McGee

'What are you so afraid of..?'

This was the question put to Russian President Vladimir Putin by ABC News reporter Rachel Scott back in 2021. The answer is provided by this brilliant documentary. Shown on CNN two nights ago and on the BBC last evening, it's a fascinating and chilling watch.

In August 2020, a plane travelling from Siberia to Moscow made an emergency landing. One of its passengers, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was deathly ill. Taken to a local Siberian hospital and eventually evacuated to Berlin, doctors there confirmed that he had been poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent implicated in attacks on other opponents of the Russian government. President Vladimir Putin immediately cast doubt on the findings and denied any involvement.

While recovering, Navalny and his team unravel the plot against him, finding evidence of the Kremlin’s involvement, and prepare to go public with their findings.

Stand out moments (among so many) are when Navalny is filmed telephoning and questioning members of the Russian hit squad that pursued him across the country and poisoned him. They don't know they are talking to their intended victim and the revelations are extraordinary.

A terrific watch.


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