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Vladimir Putin ‘runner up’ for TIME’s Person of the Year

Nick Duffy December 10, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been named the runner up for TIME’s Person of the Year award.

The annual award – often controversial for its opaque-seeming selection of notorious individuals – had shortlisted both Apple CEO Tim Cook, who came out last month, and President Putin.

Both ultimately lost out to ‘the Ebola Fighters’ – doctors helping to stem the tide of the disease in West Africa.

President Putin – who recently claimed his country’s poor record on gay rights was invented by the West – was named as runner-up.

Putin previously won the award in 2007, while other previous winners include Pope Francis, Mark Zuckerburg and – bizarrely – ‘You’.

He said just last week: “[Homophobia] is a label attached to the Russian Federation by other countries, especially by those which have criminal responsibility for people of non-traditional sexual orientation.

“[It’s not our] intention to persecute people of whatever non-traditional orientation.

“We are not punishing anyone, but traditional family, healthy nation — those are our choices.

“One does not exclude the other, and one does not affect the other. I believe, a balanced approach like this is absolutely correct.”

The TIME profile does not mention his support for the country’s homophobic laws.

More: Anti-gay, Gay, homophobic, person of the year, president, putin, Rights, Russia, time, Vladimir Putin

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