Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged as the world’s most powerful person for the third year running. Putin continues to prove he’s one of the few men in the world powerful enough to do what he wants –and get away with it. International sanctions set in place after he seized Crimea and waged war-by-proxy in Ukraine have kneecapped the Ruble and driven Russia into deepening recession, but haven’t hurt Putin one bit: In June his approval ratings reached an all-time high of 89%. In October, he bombed ISIS forces in Syria and then met face-to-face with President Assad, making the U.S and NATO look weak in the region, and helping rebuild Russian influence abroad.
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