Russian President Pution was named Time maganzine's "Person of the Year"
Russian President Vladimir Putin was named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" on Wednesday for imposing stability that restored Russia as a world power.
The magazine recognized Putin's "extraordinary feat of leadership in taking a country that was in chaos and bringing it stability," said Richard Stengel, Time's managing editor.
The magazine noted that "Person of the Year" is not an honor or an endorsement but a recognition of leadership that shapes the world.
Putin, 55, is enormously popular in Russia, presiding over a resurgent economy flush with revenue from oil and natural gas.
Putin recently endorsed vice-PM Dmitry Medvedev's presidential bid, and said he would accept Medvedev's offer to serve as prime minister if Medvedev is elected March 2.
The Kremlin said Wednesday the Time recognition was seen there as an acknowledgment of Putin's role in helping Russia pull out of its social and economic troubles in the 1990s.
Others considered for Person of the Year included Nobel Prize-winner Al Gore and author J.K. Rowling.
This year's choice was a return to the magazine's tradition of picking an individual rather than last year's choice of “You”, which refers to anyone creating or using content on the World Wide Web.
Putin is the fifth Russian (or Soviet) leader to be named Person of the Year: Gorbachev, Andropov, Khrushchev and Stalin, who was named twice.