One of the most controversial, powerful and influential figures on the planet, Vladimir Putin marks fifteen years in power this year, and three new studies of Putin come to remarkably different conclusions. Although not always at the formal forefront of Russian politics, Putin has been the de facto leader of Russia since the start of the 21st Century. Who is this man, and what does he see Russia’s role as, in a post-Cold War, but still deeply divided world?

History, HSPS and PPE students might be interested in how, or indeed if, Russia’s role in the international community has changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Putin and Russia’s increasingly important role in the Syrian crisis is very much a part of this. Economics students could focus on the impact of sanctions, both Russian and European, on oil and other energy supplies to and from Russia.

English and History students could look at the presentation of a series of ‘strong leaders’ throughout Russian history, in literature, film and other media. The Russian use of media over the last few years has provoked a series of interesting responses in Western Media. Is Putin’s style of self-presentation unusual, or a continuation of Russian politics in a new, but fundamentally similar age?

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