The U.S. business magazine Forbes named the Russian President Vladimir Putin as the world’s most powerful man for the fourth time in a row on December 15, 2016, pushing the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump into the second place.
President Putin has pushed the U.S. President into the second place each year for the last four years in the magazine’s ranking.
“Russia’s President has exerted his country’s influence in nearly every corner of the globe,” the magazine wrote. “From the motherland to Syria to the U.S. presidential elections, Putin continues to get what he wants.”
Despite an ongoing deep economic recession and a military that is a fraction the size of NATO’s forces, President Putin has successfully faced down Russia’s longtime rival in theaters across the world from Donbas to Aleppo.
At the same time, Russia has been able to rally the other leading emerging markets to its standard, foremost the BRIC countries, allowing Mr. Putin to defy the sanctions imposed on Russia following the 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. That doesn’t mean that Russia has not suffered, but Mr. Putin has also managed to rally the Russian population by playing the nationalist card, even as much of the prosperity he oversaw since taking office in 2000 has been compromised.
The 64-year-old Russian leader is “unconstrained by conventional global norms (and) his reach has magnified in recent years,” Forbes said.
The third place this year belongs to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been at the helm of Europe’s economic powerhouse for 11 years and announced plans to run for reelection next year.
The U.S. President Barack Obama, who scored second in 2015, plummeted to the 48th place this year, as he waits out the final weeks of his tenure with his Democratic Party ousted from the White House after Trump’s shocking election victory and out of power in Congress.