After almost nine years in power, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be stepping down. Journalists, academics and statesmen -- and our readers -- are pondering his legacy.
What will Putin's legacy be?
The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.
I do believe that Vladimir Putin is a savior to Russia. I think he should be the next President of the US. I really enjoyed seeing him take charge and turn Russia around in all ways. Maybe the US can learn from him because everything here is so backward and media controlled. Just my point of view, but I think very highly of Russia and Vladimir Putin. -- Mark Kicklighter, USA
When the two countries are compared, Russia and the US, over the last eight years of "single person" rule, the state of the respective economies, their status in the international communities and finally the state of democracy in each, I think that Putin comes out the clear winner. -- Virginia McGowan, US
I think Putin has convinced many in the world that there is hope for the future of international relations and that the brute power of the US could potentially be contained. Putin has managed to make the world appear more just and fair. That is his greatest contribution to the world. By the way, it is a shame that the EU has been impotent as a counterweight to the US. To his country, Putin has been everything. He was handed a mess and he created a near marvel out of it -- no wonder he is so popular. Regarding the upcoming elections, I don't think most informed people in the world care much. With economic development and stability will come greater democracy. If outsiders try to force things, it will become a disaster -- like during Yeltsin's time. So let Russia change from within. It is too great a nation to be pressured from outside. -- Chatura Ranaweera, Canada
Vladimir Putin's time in office brought some prosperity to the economy of his country, although his KGB mentality did not help him to bring democracy to Russia.
-- Andres Fernandez, Mexico
Mr. Putin is the president of Russia and should be afforded the respect that he deserves. He has navigated Russia superbly through very turbulent and dangerous times. He has the energy, will and charisma to do well for Russia and its neighbors. The West would do well to support him as opposed to hurling obstacles or otherwise interfering in the course of what Russia can be, rather than push it back to what it was.
-- Nikolaus D. Lentner, US
To me, Vladimir Putin is KGB. He restored "Law & Order" in Russia as Yury Andropov, the butcher of Budapest who was Vladimir Putin's mentor and role model, would have wanted it. With the oil and gas money, the old, aggressive Russia is coming back. Watch out!
-- Paul Heinila, Canada
It is very clear that many people are upset because Russia is reorganizing itself and returning step by step, to be a world power again. All the media is driven by greedy and low "Western" interests. -- Alfredo Vera Nunez, Columbia