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Vladimir Putin, after eight years as president of Russia and four more as prime minister, is stubbornly holding on to power. He has announced his intention to return as president and declared his party the winner in parliamentary elections that are widely seen as fraudulent. In Moscow 100,000 protesters have taken to the streets in the largest demonstrations since Putin took office.

Putin began his career as a KGB spy but when he became president, he made himself a valued ally of the West. How did he do it? And what made Washington and London turn against him?

The third episode tells how, in August 2008, Russia went to war with America's ally, Georgia. Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev and Georgia's president Mikheil Saakashvili reveal why each decided it was necessary to make war on the other.

Former American secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and former secretary of defense Robert Gates describe what happened inside the National Security Council as President Bush considered whether to send in ground troops to save Georgia's capital. They reveal just how near to war the conflict brought the two nuclear super-powers.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Thu 2 Feb 2012 21:00


Role Contributor
Series ProducerNorma Percy
DirectorPaul Mitchell
Executive ProducerBrian Lapping
ProducerDavid Alter
DirectorDavid Alter

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