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Beria and Company

   2018    History
By August 1949 the USSR became the world's second superpower, thanks to its spies who had stolen America's atomic secrets. But by March 1953, Stalin is dead and KGB chief, Beria, is executed later the same year. Nikita Kruschev tries to reduce the power of the security service, splitting it into several sections...but it doesn't last and, soon, the KGB is back.
In the USSR, countless KGB operatives spied on opponents of the regime at home, guarded the state and party leadership, and abroad tried to find out as much as possible about the intentions of the NATO countries and, if possible, to sabotage them.
Series: KGB: The Sword and the Shield

Dzerzhinsky and Company

   2018    History
For the past century, Russian history has also been the history of its security services. They were used by the Soviet state to crush dissent. Millions suffered at their hands. Mass executions, secret wars, spies capable of stealing the atomic bomb, poisoning scandals all add up to the most extraordinary and dangerous security network the world has ever known. But even today, the security network is arguably stronger than ever. This is the History of the KGB, told through its veterans and its victims.
Founded in 1917, Cheka was the predecessor organization of the KGB. Set up as a 'temporary' measure by Lenin, unknown number of Soviet citizens would die at the hands of the secret services as internal dissents in the 1920s. An inglorious chapter is the "Great Terror" phase, when millions of Soviet citizens were convicted and executed in mock trials under Stalin's rule in the 1930s. Outside the Soviet Union, during the WWII they were busy infiltrating German High Command, British Intelligence and America's Manhattan Project. The Cold War had begun in earnest.
Series: KGB: The Sword and the Shield

Putin Forever

   2020    History
Putin returns to power under a storm after a four-year absence, but his attempts to improve his popularity are hobbled by accusations of corruption. The final part of this sinister history doesn’t quite come up to date with Vladimir Putin’s recent moves to 'reset' the Russian constitution so he can rule, theoretically, until at least 2036 – longer than Stalin. But it does walk us through some of his other moves to entrench power, including vote-rigging in parliamentary elections that was so brazen, his approval ratings fell amid mass street protests. Leading the protests was opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was then simply gunned down on a street near the Kremlin.
These days, we are told, the world stage interests Putin more than the Russian one, and with various 'mini-Putins' installed around the world, his legacy looks safe.
Series: Putin: A Russian Spy Story

Roosevelt Truman and Wallace

   2012    History
This episode examines the end of and the period immediately after World War II. It looks at Stalin's efforts to seize control of Poland and Eastern Europe, Democratic part bosses efforts to drop Henry Wallace from the 1944 presidential ticket, and British efforts to maintain their colonial holdings after the war.
Series: The Untold History of the United States

Siege of Stalingrad

   2020    History
Mid-1942, as Hitler’s forces are pushing into southern Russia to take the oilfields, he spies a city prized by his enemy Stalin – Stalingrad. If Hitler can capture this city, he can expand his empire all the way to the Urals. But what Hitler hasn’t counted on is the enormous resilience of the Soviet people; men and women willing to defend their Motherland at all costs.
What ensues at Stalingrad is one of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare, with an estimated 2 million total casualties, and an event that turns the tide for the Germans.
Series: Greatest Events of WWII in Colour

Smashing the Mould

   2009    Art
The final part examines political revolution and how art was at the forefront of throwing out 1,000 years of royal rule, from its earliest revolutionary days of enthusiasm and optimism when painting died, the poster was king and the machine-made triumphed over the handmade to the dead hand of Socialist Realism. Andrew roots out great portraits of Stalin now hidden in museum storerooms and never on public view, looks at the transformation of the Moscow metro into a great public art gallery and visits the most stunning creation of post-war Communist rule, the Space Monument. Finally, he comes to the confusion and chaos of Russia today and how it is producing some of the world's strangest art - from heroic sculptures of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to the insides of a giant erotic apple; from the recreation of the Imperial royal family facing the firing squad to sculpture in liquid oil; from Russia's embrace of the commercial art market to a return to Socialist Realism. Russia seems to stand on another brink of revolution.
Series: The Art of Russia
How the Universe Works

How the Universe Works

2014  Science
How to Change Your Mind

How to Change Your Mind

2022  Medicine
Wild South America

Wild South America

2005  Nature
The Putin Interviews

The Putin Interviews

2017  Culture
Top Science Stories

Top Science Stories

2020  Science
Explained

Explained

2018  Technology
The Hunt

The Hunt

2015  Nature