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2018: The year of the strongman

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Egypt’s Abdul Fattah al-Sisi have extended their presidencies through sham elections, China has scrapped term limits to allow Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely, and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has bolstered his popularity with a military offensive in Syria. Even Nicolas Maduro, despite a crippling financial crisis, has maintained his grip on power in Venezuela.

The big picture: 2018 has been a good year to be a strongman. Will that luck run out?