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Frontline documentary chronicles relationship between Russia’s Putin and five U.S. presidencies

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CREDIT: President Barack Obama: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza; President Joe Biden: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz; President Donald Trump: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead; President George W. Bush: Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library; Russian President Vladimir Putin: REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool; President Bill Clinton: REUTERS/Larry Downing.
FRONTLINE’s Putin and the Presidents examines Russian President Vladimir Putin’s clashes with American presidents as he’s tried to rebuild the Russian empire.

The one-year mark of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine comes late this month. It also marks a continuation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tense relationship with the United States and the West. During his tenure, Putin has tried to rebuild the Russian empire, and over the years he has clashed with several U.S. presidents.

How does recent U.S. history play into the war in Ukraine? What miscalculations and missteps from the past five U.S. presidential administrations enabled Russia to invade Ukraine? What is next for the war in Ukraine and the U.S.? Which U.S. president shared the most strained relationship with Putin?

Putin and the Presidents is available to stream on FRONTLINE’s YouTube channel, at pbs.org/frontline, and in the PBS App.

Guest: Michael Kirk, producer, and director of "Putin and the Presidents" a FRONTLINE documentary

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet@TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Monday, February 6.

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