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Time names Putin "Person of the Year"


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Previous winners include Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and the computer. In 2005, U2 frontman turned anti-poverty campaigner Bono shared the award with Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda. US President George W. Bush was chosen in 2004, following the American soldier in 2003 and a group of whistleblowers in 2002.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Time magazine named Russian President Vladimir Putin its “Person of the Year” for 2007 on Wednesday, saying he had returned his country from chaos to “the table of world power” though at a cost to democratic principles.

Kremlin deputy spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Time’s choice was an acknowledgment of Putin’s role in helping Russia regain its national pride but rejected the magazine’s concerns about freedom in Russia as a product of “stereotypes of the past.” But Putin and the White House have since clashed in several areas including democratic reform in Russia and U.S. plans for a missile shield in eastern Europe. In February, Putin accused the United States of trying to dominate the world.

Time said the person of the year distinction, which it has awarded since 1927, is not an endorsement or a popularity prize but a recognition of the individuals and forces that shape the world. “At significant cost to the principles and ideas that free nations prize, (Putin) has performed an extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability on a nation that has rarely known it and brought Russia back to the table of world power.

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