Russian President Vladimir Putin remains the most powerful man in the world according to a ranking published Wednesday by Forbes magazine, which placed the Russian president in the lead for the third consecutive year. He is followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who won took second place from US President Barack Obama.
For Forbes, Vladimir Putin “continues to prove he is one of the few people in the world who can afford to do what he wants.”
International sanctions imposed on his country have hit the ruble very hard and plunged Russia into recession, without weakening Putin in the least, Forbes explained, noting that its popularity remains very high in Russia .
Support to Syria
His decision to provide assistance to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by ordering air strikes against non-government forces has also strengthened its influence internationally.
Among the new faces on the list, figures presidential candidate Donald Trump, now 72. As in 2014, the presence of the leader of the jihadist group Islamic state (ISIS) is also remarkable. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is placed 57th against 54th in 2014.