Diazide diamino complexes of Pt(iv) are considered as prospective prodrugs in oxygen-free photodynamic therapy (PDT). Primary photophysical and photochemical processes for cis,trans,cis-[Pt(N3)2(OH)2(NH3)2] and trans,trans,trans-[Pt(N3)2(OH)2(NH3)2] complexes were studied by means of stationary photolysis, nanosecond laser flash photolysis and ultrafast kinetic spectroscopy. The process of photolysis is multistage. The first stage is the photosubstitution of an azide ligand to a water molecule. This process was shown to be a chain reaction involving redox stages. Pt(iv) and Pt(iii) intermediates responsible for the chain propagation were recorded using ultrafast kinetic spectroscopy and nanosecond laser flash photolysis. The mechanism of photosubstitution is proposed.