Or would they? Much of the British public's distrust of modern Russia centres on the Alexander Litvinenko affair, one of the most extraordinary murders in recent history. It saw the former spy dying of radiation poisoning in a British hospital bed while pointing the finger of suspicion at the Russian president.
This BBC documentary gets unprecedented access to Andrei Lugovoi (pictured), Scotland Yard's chief suspect and a former KGB mucker of Putin's, and the man the Russians refuse to extradite.
Reporter Mark Franchetti follows Lugovoi as he prepares to stand in elections for the ultra-nationalist LDPR party - a move that will, coincidentally, leave him immune from prosecution in his native land.
Tune in on Tuesday at 7pm.