Since rising from a mid-level KGB officer to become Russia's second post-Soviet leader, Vladimir Putin has led Russia as President or Prime Minister for fifteen years. Across this period - the Putin Era, Russia has undergone significant change. Emerging from the chaotic legacy of the post-Soviet transition under President Yeltsin, Russia has reasserted itself as a significant regional power and forcefully reestablished its position on the world stage. Yet, this process has been shadowed by allegations of growing authoritarianism, anti-democratic activity, curtailed press freedoms and an increasingly confrontational brand of anti-Western nationalism, culminating in the unabashed annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. The Evolution of Putinism traces the path by which Russia arrived at this juncture, seeking to define the development of Putinism as a governing philosophy, document its essential characteristics and demonstrate how this philosophy emerged as the ultimate response to the collapse of the Soviet Union.