In our cover story Maxim Trudolyubov unpicks the secret of his longevity: he has centralized power by keeping capitalism in thrall to the state. Pollster Denis Volkov argues that western sanctions only boost his popularity.
As Putin claims to have made Russia great again, the journalist and foreign policy aide to Hillary Clinton, Ronan Farrow, discusses the decline of US diplomacy. It is not just down to Trump − it began way back with Bill Clinton.
At the age of 92, Mahathir Mohamad − once a pillar of the unbending Malaysian political establishment − is back in power after a shock election result. Michelle Yesudas asks if we can believe his promises of open government and tolerance of dissent.