On 24 February 2022, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. He claimed it was a “country in the hands of the Nazis” and threatens the use of his nuclear weapons to prevent any intervention by the West. But the invasion of Ukraine seems to be the culmination of a strategy that the Russian president has been applying since he came to power in 2000: the reconstruction of Greater Russia.
Through his foreign policy, Vladimir Putin has constantly destabilized the neighbouring states of Russia. First came the war in Chechnya in 1999, then military intervention in Georgia in 2008 and the annexation of Crimea in 2014. His objectives: to reintegrate these territories into the Russian fold these and prevent them embracing democracy and a rapprochement with the EU or NATO. Their role is now decisive in Putin’s war against Ukraine. In particular, he can count on the unfailing support of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who has sent more than 10,000 of his soldiers to the Ukrainian front alongside the Russian army.
But Putin is not content with just extending his influence in Europe. He protected dictator Bashar el-Assad in Syria, ensuring the failure of the Arab Revolution and has also intervened in Libya, the Central African Republic and Venezuela, through his army of mercenaries: the infamous Wagner company. These militias allow him to monopolize wealth and to spread Russian influence.
And within his own country, Putin consolidates his domination by murdering and imprisoning most of his opponents: journalists, human rights activists and even oligarchs. We talked to relatives of murdered opponents and Russian businessmen exiled abroad. With the help of testimonials from experts, journalists, but also relatives and former senior officials, we paint an unprecedented portrait of the man who is shaking the planet. Where will he stop?
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