This BBC documentary series examines the relationship between Russia's richest men ("the oligarchs") and Putin's administration in the Kremlin. The series follows each one in turn to find out what they were up to in the years leading up to 2005, and the crew is granted intimate access. Two of the five are now in exile, wanted on criminal charges, and planning their own anti-Putin campaigns with their wealth and influence.
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Russian Godfathers - Pavel Bure - Netflix
Pavel Vladimirovich Bure (Russian: Па́вел Влади́мирович Буре́, IPA: [ˈpavʲɪɫ bʊˈrɛ]; born March 31, 1971) is a retired Russian professional ice hockey player who played the right wing position. Nicknamed “The Russian Rocket” for his speed, Bure played for 12 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Vancouver Canucks, the Florida Panthers and the New York Rangers. Trained in the Soviet Union, he played three seasons with the Central Red Army team before his NHL career. Selected 113th overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by Vancouver, he began his NHL career in the 1991–92 season, and won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's best rookie before leading the NHL in goal-scoring in 1993-94 and helping the Canucks to the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. After seven seasons the Canucks dealt Bure to the Panthers, where he won back-to-back Rocket Richard Trophies as the league's leading goal-scorer. Bure struggled with knee injuries throughout his career, resulting in his retirement in 2005 as a member of the Rangers, although he had not played since 2003. He averaged better than a point per game in his NHL career (779 points with 437 goals in 702 NHL games) and is fourth all-time in goals per game. After six years of eligibility, Bure was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in June 2012. In 2017, an NHL panel named Bure one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history. Internationally, Bure competed for the Soviet Union and Russia. As a member of the Soviet Union, he won two silver medals and a gold in three World Junior Championships, followed by a gold and a silver medal in the 1990 and 1991 World Championships, respectively. After the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, Bure competed for Russia in two Winter Olympics, claiming silver at the 1998 Games in Nagano as team captain, and bronze at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. Following Bure's retirement in 2005, he was named the general manager for Russia's national team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Bure was later recognized for his international career as a 2012 inductee in the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame.
Russian Godfathers - Playing style - Netflix
Bure's playing style reflected the speed, skill and puck possession that was prominent in Soviet Union hockey programs. The most prevalent aspects of his game were his skating speed, agility, and acceleration, which earned him his nickname the “Russian Rocket”. He was able to use his quickness to separate himself from defenders, to retrieve pucks before the opposition could in all zones of the ice, and to skate the length of the ice on many occasions. In a 1993 poll of NHL coaches conducted by hockey writer Bob McKenzie, Bure was named the league's best skater with eight of twenty-one votes, twice as many votes as any other player. One coach noted: “Bure has the best combination of speed, agility and balance ... He can also use change of speed better than anybody in the league right now.” During Bure's rehabilitation period, following his first major knee injury in 1995, Canucks' conditioning coach Peter Twist noticed that his skating style was distinct in comparison to typical North American players. He explained: “Most players skate on their inside edge and push off at a 45-degree angle, but Bure starts on his outer edge and rolls over to his inside edge and pushes back straighter on his stride ... he gets more power and force in his stride to get up to top speed quicker.” his skating was also complemented by his ability to deke out defenders and goaltenders at top speeds, making him capable of routinely starting end-to-end rushes. However, several knee injuries, and the resulting reconstructive surgeries, compromised the speed that defined Bure's game, ultimately leading to his retirement.
Early in Bure's career, he was noted for playing a strong two-way game. Having joined Pat Quinn's defensive-minded Canucks in 1991, Bure's transition to the NHL was cited as being easier than that of his countryman, Igor Larionov, due to his quick adjustment to the team's defensive demands. Regarding Bure's first NHL game against the Winnipeg Jets, reporter Mike Beamish explained that “hockey fans marvelled at his offensive thrusts, but hockey people were taken by a singular display of jet-powered defensive diligence. On one play, after the Canucks were caught deep in the Winnipeg zone, the Russian winger raced back and almost single-handedly foiled a two-on-one Jets' rush, making up a half-rink disadvantage.” Bure was used on the team's penalty kill for his entire tenure with the Canucks, and was proficient at generating shorthanded chances, pressuring the opposition with his quickness and positioning in the defensive zone. During the 1992 Stanley Cup playoffs, commentator and ex-NHL coach Harry Neale commented, “I like the effort he gives it when he doesn't have the puck. We all know what he can do when he thinks he can score, but he's killing penalties, he's checking, doing a lot of things.” Bure tied for second-place on Bob McKenzie's 1993 coaches poll for the NHL's best penalty killer. He was also voted the league's second-best stickhandler that season and garnered recognition as one of the smartest players in the NHL. Sports journalists Damien Cox and Stephen Brunt wrote about Bure during the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs that he was a “two-way dynamo,” accounting for “several bodychecks he handed out on the night” and for his defensive abilities as he stayed on the ice in the last minutes of a one-goal playoff match against the Toronto Maple Leafs. They spoke highly of his creativity as well, recognizing him as “someone who sees in his game a world of possibilities that just never occur to others,” praising his “sheer elegance and imagination” and characterizing his hockey sense as “ho-hum brilliance from the most explosive player in the sport”. Brunt called him “a nonpareil, a van Gogh, a Picasso, a Charlie Parker”. During the 1993-94 season, Bure demonstrated his strong playmaking abilities, helping linemate and friend Gino Odjick score a career-high 16 goals in a single season, more than twice the number of goals Odjick would score in any other year separated from Bure, and doubling his career goal totals up to that point in his career. According to teammate Cliff Ronning in 1994, “we play a much sounder game defensively when Pavel's flying, as he was in the first period”. Former Canuck teammate Jyrki Lumme spoke of Bure as a player and teammate, “That guy does something spectacular every time ... it's frustrating to go against him in practice because he's all over the place. He makes everybody on our team better.” During his time with the Canucks, Bure won the team's Most Exciting Player Award, as voted by the fans, a record five times (tied with Tony Tanti), from 1992 to 1995, and once more in 1998. Trevor Linden, who had played with Bure for seven seasons, said following Bure's retirement, “I don't know if I've ever seen or played with a player that's brought people out of their seats like that.” During the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, Rangers coach Mike Keenan, who later coached Bure for one-and-a-half seasons in Vancouver, called him “perhaps the most electrifying forward in the league”. The Canucks renamed the award the Pavel Bure Most Exciting Player Award in his honour in 2013. Bure has been described as a pure goal scorer and is statistically among the top players in NHL history in that regard. In addition to having reached the 50-goal mark in his career five times, and the 60-goal mark twice, his .623 goals per game average is third among the top 100 goal scorers in NHL history, behind Mike Bossy and Mario Lemieux. Michael Farber of the Montreal Gazette described Bure as “the most dangerous scorer in the National Hockey League with the continued absence of Mario Lemieux because Bure can beat a defence with his speed, his strength, his mind. Bure isn't a scorer as much as he is a permanent late-night television guest; he is to highlight packages what Terri Garr is to Letterman.”
Russian Godfathers - References - Netflix