Stories

The latest in Putin's sphere of influence

Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov / Getty Images

Events this weekend in Russian President Vladimir Putin's sphere of influence serve as a reminder his power: a top political opponent was arrested, an ally in the Czech Republic won re-election, and the leader of Crimea reiterated support for its links with Russia.

Big picture: Each of these instances shows Putin's reach within his own government as well as his ability to exert power in eastern Europe. These are just a few ways Putin counters western influences in eastern Europe, or, what Russia sees as its rightful cultural and historical territory.