2023 | Documentary | 52‘, 45’

The Duel
Zelensky Vs. Putin

Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin – two presidents, who could hardly be more different. Two vastly divergent lives that have nonetheless collided in this fateful moment: the brutal escalation of a conflict that has brought the entire world to the brink of war.

One year on from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this documentary uses an analytical juxtaposition to examine how these two men have determined the course of the first year of the war and how their personalities and their decisions are influencing victory or defeat. We focus on their conduct and actions at decisive moments and turning points in the war, a war that has gripped the world since February 2022. On one side, the former KGB officer; on the other, the former comedian. Two people whose clash could not have been more improbable but whose troops are now facing each other on the battlefield. The film delves deep into the personalities of these two men, whose decisions in this war not only have a bearing on the fate of their own countries but also on the safety and future of Europe as a whole.

Selected media material from Russia and Ukraine as well as interviews with international experts, including Russian political journalist Yevgenia Albats, Ukrainian philosopher Volodymyr Yermolenko and the British Kremlin insider Catherine Belton shed light on the roles both presidents have played in the first year of the war.

Bettina Offermann
Christine Baron

Excecutive Producer
Regina Bouchehri
Gunnar Dedio

A co-production by
LOOKSfilm, rbb, WDR

In cooperation with

Author & Director
Claire Walding

Creative Producer
Andreas Fauser