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For years, it has been dangerous for ordinary Russians to voice dissent against Putin’s regime for years. New censorship laws, introduced since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, have made it tougher. Hundreds of thousands have fled Russia and those who remain have to choose: stay silent, or support the war.


Paul Mitchell – Co-Director
Paul Mitchell began his career at ABC News in Moscow during the collapse of Communism. A fluent Russian speaker, he was working as a local-hire editor/sound-recordist when Nobel laureate Andrei Sakharov was released from detention – and ended up interviewing the great man and cutting a package for the US evening news. He came to international attention with “The Death of Yugoslavia’ (BBC 1995) rated by the British Film Institute as one of the 100 greatest British television programs of any genre. As both a director and a showrunner, he has made award-winning series on subjects as diverse as Scottish Independence Yes/No: Inside the IndyRef (BBC 2019), perestroika under Gorbachev The Second Russian Revolution (BBC 1990), the Obama presidency Inside Obama’s White House (BBC 2016), pop culture in the Global South Alternative Rock and Roll Years (Discovery 2003), US politics, The Clintons: A Marriage of Power (C4 1998), the Middle East Channel’s’ The Iraq War (BBC/National Geographic 2012). Russia has remained a speciality, with definitive Putin series on both BBC - Putin: Russia & the West (2012) and Channel 4 – Putin: A Russian Spy Story (C4 2020) and one of the first investigations into the now- infamous Wagner Group Haftar’s Russian Mercenaries (BBC, 2021). He has also done frontline war reporting from Chechnya for PBS Wide Angle: Greetings from Grozny. (Edward R Murrow Award, FIPA 2003 Prix de Jury de 15 Chicago International Television Awards and the Rory Peck winning Inside Chechnya (BBC 1999). Among his many awards are the Primetime EMMY, the Peabody, the du-Pont Columbia Gold Baton, the BAFTA, the Grierson.

Anastasiya Popova – Co-Director 
Anastasiya Popova was born in Norilsk is a city located beyond the Arctic Circle in Siberia.
After moving to Moscow, she graduated from the State Institute of Television and Radio with a degree in Directing.  Anastasiya has directed more than 20 full-feature documentaries, most of them about art, culture, history and nature. Many of her films broke box office records and won Russian national awards. 

Mikhail Kozyrev – Producer
Mikhail Kozyrev was born in Yekaterinburg in the Urals Mountains, Russia in 1967.  He graduated from Sverdlovsk State Medical University with a doctorate degree. Then Mikhail worked as a resident in the Oldenborg Center for Modern Languages and International Relations at Pomona College in Claremont, CA.  He hosted the radio show "Music of Bolsheviks Kids and Babushkas" at KSPC 88.7FM. Mikhail began his media career in Russia in 1994. He launched and handled programming for several national radio stations (Radio Maximum, Nashe Radio, Ultra FM).  Mikhail also created a number of major music festivals including MaxiDrome and Nashestvie.  Since 2010 Mikhail hosted and produced several shows on the Russian independent channel TV Rain. TV Rain was very critical of Putin, so it was shut down during the first days of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.  He had to leave Russia.  country. Like most independent journalists and artists, Mikhail was declared "a foreign agent," a label that is used to declare someone an enemy of the state. Now Mikhail continues to work at TV Rain which is now broadcasting from Amsterdam Netherlands.  His family, wife Anastasia and their twin daughters, now live in the Netherlands.  In the first days of war, they decided to make a documentary about what was going on in Russia.  After contacting a few production companies in London Mikhail met Paul Mitchell who believed in the project and presented it to the BBC and Storyville.


DIG Award - Best Long-Form Investigative Documentary, Italy


Catalog # EPF16052 ● ISBN: 978-1-933724-92-8 ● UPC: 6-82086-16052-8 ● NTSC

54 Minutes ● Copyright 2023 ● Russian, English Subtitles