FRONTLINE “Putin’s War at Home” tells stories of dissenters in Russia – November 1 at 10 pm

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Putin’s War at Home
Tuesday, November 1, at 10 pm on PBS and on YouTube
Streaming at 7 pm on and in the PBS Video App | Twitter: @frontlinepbs | Instagram: @frontlinepbs |

In the months since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began, the Russian president has cracked down on internal dissent, signing measures that threaten long jail sentences for Russians who oppose the war or independently report on it.

Drawing on remarkable footage from inside the country, a new FRONTLINE documentary, Putin’s War at Home, tells the inside stories of Russian journalists and activists who are refusing to stay silent in the face of Putin’s crackdown.

“The regime has become much more authoritarian. I can be sent to jail for just using the word ‘war,’” Vasiliy Kolotilov, a Russian journalist who for months risked his freedom working with FRONTLINE to chronicle the lives of Russians who oppose the war in Ukraine, says in the documentary.

Russian police officers stand guard during an unsanctioned rally. Moscow, Russia, September 21, 2022.
Russian police officers stand guard during an unsanctioned rally. Moscow, Russia, September 21, 2022. (Reuters/Reuters Photographer)

Kolotilov says he is not alone: “The Russian government wants people to think that all Russians are supporting the war. It’s not true.”

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Gesbeen Mohammad, Putin’s War at Home shows how a minority of Russian citizens are vocally protesting the Kremlin’s war effort despite the threat of arrest and imprisonment — from a young woman whose TikToks have gone viral internationally, to a university professor whose parents live in Ukraine, to an artist facing up to 10 years imprisonment for posting anti-war stickers in a grocery store.

The documentary also shows how independent reporters in Russia have continued to seek the truth about the war — including its true death toll among the country’s soldiers. Russia has declared the casualties list a state secret.

“Putin’s Russia is based on fear,” one journalist says in the documentary, adding that, “we decided to continue without censorship, whatever the cost.”

As the war in Ukraine approaches its ninth month and evidence of potential war crimes there continues to mount, Putin’s War at Home is a powerful look at the Russian leader’s stifling of domestic criticism — and the people in his country who are speaking out anyway.

Putin’s War at Home will be available to watch in full at and in the PBS Video App starting November 1, 2022, at 7 pm. It will premiere on PBS stations and on FRONTLINE’s YouTube channel at 10 pm. Subscribe to FRONTLINE’s newsletter to get updates on events, podcast episodes and more related to Putin’s War at Home.