Is Russian President Vladimir Putin the most influential or interesting person in the world? The readers of Time magazine believe he is.
Putin bagged the number one spot in the Time 100 Reader’s Poll, an annual list of the most influential people worldwide, covering business, entertainment, politics, religion and technology sectors. The Russian President beat celebrities including South Korean pop star, Lee Chae-rin better known as CL, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.
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Putin and CL were neck-and-neck in the Time 100 Poll, but the Russian President eventually surpassed the South Korean pop star after the closing of the votes on April 10. He obtained 6.95% of the votes.
The Time 100 Reader’s Poll showed that Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift and were included in the top five with 2.6%, 1.9%, and 1.8% votes, respectively.
In addition to Putin, some of the non-entertainers who were included in the top 10 were Dalai Lama (1.7%), Malala Yousafzai (1.6%), and Pope Francis (1.5%). U.S.
According to Time, 57.38% of the votes cast inside the United States, 5.54% in Canada, and 4.55% in Canada. The magazine hasn’t disclosed the percentage of votes cast from Russia.
Putin is one of the most controversial leaders
Putin is one of the most controversial leaders around the world after leading Russia in achieving some of the major and unpopular events such as the annexation of Crimea. The event prompted Western nations to impose sanctions against individuals and companies in Russia.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Putin is prepared to engage Russia in a nuclear war to keep NATO and the United States out of its territory. Putin stressed that any attempt to take control of the Crimea by Ukraine or NATO-led forces would lead to a declaration of war. According to him, Russia is ready to take necessary actions to retain its control.
Time editors will choose the 100 most influential people in the world
Take note that the poll invitation page to readers for the Time 100 indicated that the editors of the magazine will choose the most influential people, but they “want readers to have a say too.” The magazine did not indicate whether the reader’s votes will get proportionate considerations when the editors make their final list. The Time 100 list for 2015 will be released on April 16.
Russian state-funded news channel RT was proud of Putin’s victory of garnering the highest percentage of votes from Time readers. The Russia state media commented, “While it is doubtful that TIME magazine will argue on behalf of Putin’s handling of the Ukrainian crisis, which many commentators in the West predicted would spell the end of the Russian economy, not to mention its leader, one thing that is indisputable is Putin’s incredible staying power.
Putin remains very popular in Russia
Putin remained very popular in Russia despite the country’s economic problems, which was primarily caused by Western economic sanctions. Last December, Russians selected Putin as “Man of the Year” in 2014. In fact, the Russian President holds the title for 15 years now.
Putin’s approval rating reached an all-time high in February. The Levada Center, an independent polling agency released the results of its recent survey indicating that 85% of Russians have a positive view regarding Putin’s work as president.
Putin previously indicated he may not seek re-election for the fourth term in 2016. He believed that it would be “detrimental” for Russia if he will remain in the “president’s chair forever.” Putin became president of Russia in 2000. He served two terms (total of eight years). After that, he became Prime Minister of Russia. In 2012, he was again elected as Russia’s president for a six-year term.