Since 1927, 'Time' magazine has chosen a person or idea or invention that has most influenced world events in the past year. The list includes President Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, and the computer. And this year's winner is Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It's no wonder that President Putin has become the pin-up boy of Russia. Under his rule, Russians who enjoy foreign holidays, home ownership and cars have soared from 8 million to 40 million. Oil and gas have created stability and wealth, but at a cost. 'Time' say they are not rewarding his actions, just recognising the change he has made to Russia.
MICHAEL ELLIOT, 'TIME' MAGAZINE: I think the key qualities that we identified were determination, will and identification of himself with national destiny.
2007 saw Mr Putin stamp Russia's new image on the globe. He sent a submarine to plant a Russian flag under the Arctic icecap, bombers far out into the Pacific and down into the Atlantic to test Britain's fighter defences. Once again he is making Russia an indispensable nation, although not necessarily a popular one in dealing with world problems from Kosovo to Iran.
ALEXANDER NEKRASSOV, FORMER KREMLIN OFFICIAL: It was a very strange timing to give that award because just a few weeks before that, actually two weeks before that, Putin has basically turned elections into parliament into a farce. And guess what? The editors in the 'Time' magazine decided, "Attaboy, let's put him on our cover." That just doesn't work.
Strong leaders are a Russian tradition and Mr Putin has used them to restore a sense of national identity. He has reminded Russians they have a great historical line-up - Peter the Great and even Josef Stalin. He also made it onto the cover of 'Time'. But while many Russians are delighted to see Mr Putin is joining them, some worry that Russia's history of dictatorship and repression may now repeat itself.