People in our society listen to Putin and respect Putin. They look up to him as a hero and wish to emulate Putin.
We are not Russians.
We are Americans.
He has Russia. He can run Russia.
His influence over many American minds is very strong because of the personality cult that was carefully crafted around him.
Lots of important people have carefully crafted personality cults. Putin, Dalai Lama, Queen Elizabeth II, etc. Many don’t.
Putin’s crafted PR self has been documented a few times; his every movement is strictly controlled by his people – practiced and rehearsed. Understandable as Russia is all about image as it does not have much money and its power is more limited than it portrays.