In the newest iteration of Forbes‘ list of The World’s Most Powerful People, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again took the top honors.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged as the world’s most powerful person for the third year running,” Forbes writes. “Putin continues to prove he’s one of the few men in the world powerful enough to do what he wants –and get away with it.”
“International sanctions set in place after he seized Crimea and waged war-by-proxy in the Ukraine have kneecapped the Ruble and driven Russia into deepening recession, but haven’t hurt Putin one bit: In June his approval ratings reached an all-time high of 89%. In October, he bombed ISIS forces in Syria and then met face-to-face with President Assad, making the U.S and NATO look weak in the region, and helping rebuild Russian influence abroad.”
By comparison, President Barack Obama has fallen to third place behind Germany’s Angela Merkel. “There’s no doubt that the United States remains the world’s greatest economic, cultural, diplomatic, technological and military power,” Forbes argues. “But as Obama enters the final year of his presidency, it’s clear his influence is shrinking, and it’s a bigger struggle than ever to get things done. At home, his approval ratings are perpetually stuck under 50%; abroad, he’s outshined by Merkel in Europe, and outmaneuvered by Putin in the Middle East.”
The 2015 list represents the first time in the list’s history that the American president has not occupied either the first or second spot.
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