The World’s Most Powerful People 2015 on Forbes’ annual ranking shows Vladimir Putin as the world’s most powerful person for the third year running.
According to the report, 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 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,” states the report.
The second most powerful person in the world has been identified Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, who jumped up from #5 last year to take the runner-up spot on the list.
“Merkel is the backbone of the 28-member European Union, and her decisive actions dealing with the Syrian refugee problem and the Greek credit crisis helped bump her up the list,” the report adds.
The third most powerful person shown in the report is U.S. President Barack Obama who fell one spot on this year’s list.
“There’s no doubt that the United States remains the world’s greatest economic, cultural, diplomatic, technological and military power. 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 report states.