Vladimir Putin, after expanding Russia’s borders earlier this year and getting the better of the President Obama in a diplomatic showdown, has toppled him again, albeit in a much less material manner.

Putin was named Forbes’ “Most Powerful Person” of 2014, while President Obama was ranked number two. This was the second straight year Putin edged out the President on this list. Other notables on the list are Pope Francis (number 4), Cofounders of Google Sergey Brin and Larry Page (tied at 9), and British Prime Minister David Cameron (number 10.)


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Photo: Forbes

Photo: Forbes

Photo: Forbes

Photo: Forbes


Forbes takes in a number of variables into account to determine their list.

“Whether the candidate has power over lots of people.”

The assessment of “financial resources controlled by each person.”

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Whether or not the candidate is “powerful in multiple spheres.”

Whether or not the candidates “use their power.”

In March, Putin annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea; and the United States did relatively little to stop the Russian President from taking action, outside the threats of sanctions and travel bans.

The team at The Heritage Foundation noted in March that Russia’s influence on the ground in Crimea played an integral role:

“Soon after Russia’s invasion, an illegitimate referendum took place on March 16 to allow the people of Crimea a vote to determine whether they wanted to join the Russian Federation.  This illegal referendum was denounced by the countries of the G-7 as well as the member states of NATO and the European Union (EU). Furthermore, it took place without international monitors and under armed occupation.

“The outcome of this dubious referendum was obvious from the start. Over 96 percent of voters backed Crimea’s leaving Ukraine and joining Russia. Keeping in mind that this referendum took place under the watchful eye of thousands of Russian troops in Crimea, the outcome was not a surprise to many.”

Approval ratings in their respective countries are also vastly different. Last month, over 70 percent of Russians approved of the way Putin was doing his job according to the Levada sociology center, whereas only 42 percent of Americans gave a thumbs up to President Obama between October 27-November 2, according to Gallup.