New Film Offers Insider’s Look at Putin’s Reign
Putin is insecure and fearful. He has been ruling over Russia for 20 years and most likely will stay in power until his death. This is according to Vitaliy Manskiy, director of the new documentary film, Putin's Witnesses
On December 31, 1999, Russian President Boris Yeltsin appointed Vladimir Putin as his successor.
At the time Vitaly Manskiy worked at a state-owned television channel and was tasked to make a documentary about the successor. The film was supposed to present Putin in a favorable light before the election to ensure his victory.
“I am ashamed that I took part in the Successor operation, but I am not ashamed of this movie. There was never such a sincere movie about the head of the state,” Manskiy said of his latest film.
Manskiy concedes that in the beginning of the filming process Putin did evoke positive emotions and sympathy, but even then, it was obvious that the new head of the Kremlin did not know how to talk to people. He was insecure and fearful.
Manskiy said that during the filming process he developed a relationship of trust with Putin, and that he could not imagine that the new president would attempt to reconstitute the Russian empire and attack Ukraine.
“My wife and I made a decision to leave Russia in an instant. It took us 60 seconds. I saw on the TV the vote on using the military outside of the country. It was a predecessor of the annexation of Crimea,” he said.
They left Russia for Latvia. In Russia, Manskiy is now considered an extremist.
Today in Ukraine he presented a completely different movie about Putin. The film, “Putin’s Witnesses,” is about a dictator.
Manskiy believes that Putin’s 20-year rule and the longing of Russians for a strong leader is akin to drug addiction. One that Russia will not be able to cope with by itself. It needs help, particularly help from Ukraine.
“Russia will always be your problem and you can solve your own problems but Russia will not disappear,” Manskiy said.