'They say that those who are destined to be hanged are not going to drown,’ is Mr. Putin’s answer to Oliver Stone’s question regarding attempted assassination. Russian President Vladimir Putin sitting across from revisionist history buff Oliver Stone gives a first of its kind four-hour interview, with conversations ranging from Russia’s relationship with America to Russian hacking of American presidential elections and what takes place in the Kremlin.

A homophobic tyrant is how the mainstream media in America looks at Mr. Putin but what we get in this four-part documentary is a smart man looking out for his country’s interests.

Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone does not flinch while sitting across from the most-hated dictator of the century. What he does manage to do is to provide the other side of the story. Whether or not we chose to believe him, lies with our discretion. The conversations that took place between July 2015 and February 2017 also helps us to understand President Trump’s efforts to mend Russian-American ties.

Putin on NATO

A major point of contention for Mr. Putin remains NATO. He believes NATO is the United States attempt to polarize power. He accuses NATO of being a mere instrument of foreign policy for the U.S. ‘It has no allies, it has only vassals. It's hard to resist U.S. pressure for NATO members,’ the Russian president claims.

He believes the U.S. has overstepped its borders with NATO, and the U.S. is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. NATO allows any weapon system to be placed in a NATO member company, which increases the risk for non-NATO members. Valdimir tells Oliver that had Russia been a NATO member, it would never have allowed the U.S.

to manipulate Russia.

President Putin goes on to criticise United States defence expenditure, saying the U.S. spends more money on defence compared to the entire world’s total defence budget. He tells Oliver that U.S. debt is currently 18 trillion dollars while Russia not only paid its debt to the IMF but also paid the debts of all the former Soviet Republics including Ukraine’s debt.

Mr. Putin says that the U.S. should spend money on healthcare issues, education, pension systems and social issues to address servicing the $18 trillion public debt instead of increasing their defence budget. The American taxpayers should think about it.

Russia’s relations with America

Russia and America have shared a stormy relationship, yet throughout ‘The Putin Interviews,’ Mr. Putin refers to Americans as “our American friends/partners.” Mr. Putin says that for the longest time Russia was under the assumption that they shared a transparent relationship with the U.S. but came to a realization this was not so, once U.S. Intelligence Services supported terrorists in Afghanistan’s soviet war.

Mr. Putin blamed the U.S. for nurturing Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. He also reminds Stone that it was the U.S. who meddled with Russian elections held in 2012 to destabilise the internal political situation in Russia. He talks about building U.S.-Russia ties to restore the balance in the world. Mr. Putin says in the interview that “Rosenbergs gave info to the USSR of their own volition to restore the nuclear balance in the world,” and currently the U.S. Intelligence Services are trying to destroy this balance.

Putin on homosexuality

The Russian president has been under a lot of criticism because of a new law that encroaches upon the freedom of sexuality. To this accusation, he responds saying that in Russia, "we don’t have any restrictions, any persecutions based on gender.

There is a law that prohibits propaganda of homosexuals among minors."

The reasoning behind this law is to provide children with the opportunity to grow up without impacting their consciousness. Once he or she grows up, they can take any decision as to how they’re going to organize their life, including their sexual lives.

He also says that “in Russia, we still don’t have a situation like they have in certain Islamic states where there is the death penalty threatening homosexuals. As a Head of the State, its my duty to uphold traditional & family values. But why? Because the same-sex marriages will not produce any children. God has decided, and we have to care about birth rates in our country.

That doesn’t mean that there should be any persecutions against anyone. A child will have more freedom once they grow up if they’re brought up in a traditional family. They will have a greater choice.”

Contrary to how mainstream media has painted a picture of a Russian dictator, Oliver Stone’s Putin sounds like a reasonable Head of State. His view on Islam are progressive. He says that as for religious conflicts between Islam, Christianity & Judaism, Russia never had those. “Our Islamic community are all Russian citizens.”

You have to see for yourself how a man who has always spoken through his actions and is rarely seen giving media interviews, opens up to Oliver Stone’s charm as he continues to ask the uneasy questions.