In early 2023, there was sociology research conducted in Europe and worldwide. The findings revealed a concerning shift in public opinion regarding Putin’s responsibility for the invasion of Ukraine. Rather than holding Putin primarily accountable, an increasing number of individuals are embracing disinformation narratives that attribute the war in Ukraine to the West. This poses a significant threat to democratic initiatives and undermines support for Ukraine.
Upon witnessing this alarming trend, we conceived a documentary film project with the aim of reminding the world about Putin’s decision-making processes during the early years of his presidency. These events took place almost 23 years ago, but they became crucial building blocks that set the stage for the invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent attempt to assign blame to the West for all of Putin’s mistakes.
The Kursk submarine disaster in 2000, the Moscow Nord-Ost theater siege in 2002, and the Beslan school hostage crisis in 2004.
IN A DEVASTATING INCIDENT, THE WORLD’S LARGEST NUCLEAR-POWERED RUSSIAN ATTACK SUBMARINE TRAGICALLY SANK IN THE BARENTS SEA, CLAIMING THE LIVES OF ALL 118 CREW MEMBERS. PUTIN FACED SIGNIFICANT CRITICISM FOR HIS DELAYED RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS. WHILE THE INCIDENT UNFOLDED, HE CONTINUED HIS VACATION, SHOWING RELUCTANCE IN ACCEPTING FOREIGN AID THAT COULD HAVE POTENTIALLY REDUCED THE DEATH TOLL.
DURING A PERFORMANCE OF THE “NORD-OST” MUSICAL, A GROUP OF CHECHEN MILITANTS SEIZED A CROWDED THEATER IN MOSCOW, LEADING TO A TENSE THREE-DAY HOSTAGE CRISIS. IN A BID TO RESCUE THE HOSTAGES, RUSSIAN SPECIAL FORCES STORMED THE THEATER, EMPLOYING THE USE OF TOXIC GAS TO INCAPACITATE THE MILITANTS. TRAGICALLY, OVER 130 HOSTAGES LOST THEIR LIVES, PRIMARILY DUE TO THE EFFECTS OF THE GAS. THIS BLOODY ASSAULT PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN SHAPING PUTIN’S REGIME AND INFLUENCED THE PUBLIC RESPONSE TO DIFFICULT TRUTHS.
PERPETRATED BY MILITANTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SEPARATIST INSURGENCY IN THE NEIGHBORING REPUBLIC OF CHECHNYA, A GROUP OF ARMED MILITANTS SEIZED A SCHOOL IN THE TOWN OF BESLAN IN SOUTHERN RUSSIA. THIS RESULTED IN A HARROWING THREE-DAY SIEGE THAT CULMINATED IN A DEADLY BATTLE BETWEEN THE MILITANTS AND RUSSIAN SECURITY FORCES. TRAGICALLY, THE SIEGE CLAIMED THE LIVES OF OVER 333 PEOPLE, INCLUDING 186 CHILDREN. THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT FACED SEVERE WORLDWIDE CRITICISM FOR ITS EMPLOYMENT OF EXCESSIVE FORCE DURING WHAT BECAME THE DEADLIEST SCHOOL SIEGE IN HISTORY.