The world's most powerful people

Power has been called many things. Pretty isn't one of them.

Published: Dec 5, 2014 06:54:24 AM IST
Updated: Dec 4, 2014 03:25:46 PM IST
The world's most powerful people
Image: Clockwise from top left: Ria Novosti / Reuters; Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters; Franco Origlia / Getty Images; Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters
Clockwise from top left: Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, Pope Francis

No one would call Vladimir Putin, the most powerful man in the world for the second year running, a good guy.

In 2014, he strong-armed his way into possession of the Crimea and waged an ugly proxy war in neighbouring Ukraine, during which an almost certainly Russian-supplied surface-to-air missile downed a civilian jetliner. But as the undisputed, unpredictable head of an energy-rich, nuclear-tipped state, no one would ever call him weak.

Our annual ranking of the World’s 72 Most Powerful People (one for every 100 million people on the planet) is based on voting by a panel of Forbes editors, who consider things like financial resources, scope of action and the number of people they impact.

This year, there are 12 newcomers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi at no. 15; Alibaba founder—and China’s richest man—Jack Ma (no. 30); and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the blood-thirsty Islamic State(no. 54). The top five positions are unchanged from last year, with Barack Obama remaining in second place ahead of China’s Xi Jinping.

Click Here for the list of The World's Most Powerful People

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(This story appears in the 12 December, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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  • Bhaskar

    World runs on power coated with US & european sugar and a lense of US & european morals and values, which they dont follow in first place. Russia has been pushed to corner just for fianancial market of Ukaraine by NATO/ EURO Commission. Same as the way western alliance takes sides with middle east countries and messed up the whole region. They use pak just becaise it suits their game plan. Then why all this noise of moral abuse on Putin, who successfully partnered with China and ensured bilateral world still exists. Ever since Soviet union collapsed, western alliance has not missed to use one chance to weaken the Russia. Russia advised west not to force breakdown of Siria, and today due to the foolish acts of west ISLAMIC STATE HAS TAKEN SHAPE. Time for western nations to introspect.

    on Dec 5, 2014