The award, given out every year since 1927, is not an honour
or an endorsement but about recognition of the world's most powerful individuals and forces shaping that world - for better
or for worse, Time's Managing Editor Richard Stengel said.
"One nation that had fallen off our mental map, led by one
steely and determined man, emerged as a critical linchpin of the 21st century," he wrote.
"It is ultimately about leadership - bold, earth-changing leadership."
Stengel said Putin is popular among
Russians as he is largely responsible for bringing much-needed stability in a country that has hardly seen it for a hundred
"He is not a paragon of
free speech. He stands, above all, for stability - stability before freedom, stability before choice," he wrote.
the magazine named 'You' as its person of the year, reflecting the growing importance of user-generated Internet content.