KI Hosts “Who Is Mr. Putin?” U.S. and English-Language Film Premiere


Hudson Institute and the Kleptocracy Initiative would like to give special thanks to Valery Balayan, the director of Who is Mister Putin?, for permission to screen this film on April 27, 2016.

On April 27, 2016, Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative hosted the first U.S. screening and English-language premiere of the film Who Is Mr. Putin? Based on investigations by independent journalists Anastasia Kirilenko and Vladimir Ivanidze, the film documents the origins of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s private wealth and subsequent rise to power.

The film has been lauded by experts for demonstrating how Putin’s ascension to the Russian presidency rested on alliances built in the early 1990s between himself, friends in Leningrad’s KGB, and mafia groups. Who Is Mr. Putin? was released in December 2015 and has already been viewed by more than 2 million Russian-speakers worldwide.

The screening was followed by a short panel discussion, moderated by Hudson Senior Fellow David Satter, featuring Anastasia Kirilenko, Karen Dawisha, and Ilya Zaslavskiy.


Karen Dawisha is the Walter E. Havighurst Professor of Political Science in the Department of Political Science at Miami University, and Director of the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies. She is author of Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?

Anastasia Kirilenko is an independent Russian reporter and former Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist. Through her investigative work and as co-producer of Who Is Mr. Putin?, she is widely recognized for exposing the illicit activities of Vladimir Putin during his tenure in St. Petersburg City Hall in the early 1990s, and chronicling his ongoing personal enrichment. She now lives and works in Paris.

David Satter is a former Moscow correspondent and author of Darkness Before Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State. He is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Ilya Zaslavskiy is an expert with Free Russia Foundation, where he specializes in the spread of corruption from former Soviet states into the West.