(AL JAZEERA) From poisoning former spies in London to tampering in US elections. Leading the military support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria and playing a part in the pro-leave campaign in Britain's Brexit referendum. From nurturing friendly relations with Iran and Turkey to a military attack on Ukraine and subsequent annexation of Crimea... Russian President Vladimir Putin finds himself at the centre of the world's political map.
Not since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 has the Kremlin seemingly wielded so much influence in international affairs. This very much fits in with Putin's ideological makeup. As a former Soviet spy based in Germany he was very invested in Russia expanding its sphere of influence... and was certainly not adverse to the use of skulduggery to achieve these goals.
What is Russia hoping to achieve and who are the people devising the strategy that has put Russian President Vladimir Putin as a lead actor on the world stage?