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The Man Putin Couldn’t Kill airs Wed 15 Sep on Channel 4

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The Man Putin Couldn't Kill Channel 4

In August 2020, on a flight to Moscow, Russia’s charismatic opposition leader Alexei Navalny started to scream in agony. The flight immediately diverted to the nearest city and he was rushed unconscious to hospital.

With interviews from those in the room, this documentary pieces together what happened next, as world leaders pressured President Putin to allow Navalny to be airlifted to a hospital in Berlin: a hospital with experience in saving the lives of those targeted for poisoning by the Kremlin’s security services.

Investigators from Bellingcat – an investigative journalist collective – started to piece together evidence that not only was Navalny poisoned by a Russian security service hit squad, but that they had been following him for several years while developing new variants of the banned chemical weapon Novichok – previously used in an attack on the Skripals in Salisbury. This incredible tale of international espionage and incompetent assassins comes to a head with one of the would-be murderers appearing to confess to his victim exactly how the poison was administered, by being applied to the seams of Navalny’s underpants.

Why is Alexei Navalny such a threat to one of the world’s most powerful men? How does he remain an irritant from inside a Russian jail? And how will this battle between Putin and Navalny play out? Putin has a team of assassins at his disposal; Navalny has a mastery of social media, some intrepid investigators, and a sense of humour. What will their struggle mean for the future of Russia, and the rest of the world?

The Man Putin Couldn’t Kill airs Wednesday 15 September at 10.00pm on Channel 4.