‘Putin is a long-distance runner in politics’ – German journalist Hubert Seipel

German journalist and filmmaker Hubert Seipel joins SophieCo to give his opinion on filming and interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin for his ‘I, Putin’ documentary and book, and Russia’s rocky relations with Western governments.

“[Putin] never gave any kind of direction, we were just there,” Seipel recalls his work on the film. Putin is "an emotional guy” and “a tactician too, and he knows exactly what he wants to transform or what he wants to bring over.” 

“How does he argue, how does he behave and what is his interest,” – that’s what Seipel attempted to show in the documentary on Vladimir Putin. Seipel says he didn’t want “to build up a sort of a picture of an enemy."

The West has long underestimated Putin, who is “a long-distance runner in politics,” as well as Russia. “We still forget that Russia is a grown-up, they are not underage anymore, but at the same time as we argued in the 90s: ”You have to do this, you have to do that, and if you do that it will work” – this attitude never changed. Because we consider us as having won the Cold War and that gives us a kind of moral superiority.” Yet, such an attitude meets Russia’s “quite direct” response and “national pride, which tells you ‘go to hell.’”

Find out more in a full episode of SophieCo.