After a banner year for the former KGB spy, who first neutralized Prince Bandar, Bibi and John Kerry (not to mention the president of the US), and subsequently reannexed the Ukraine into the Russian sphere of influence now that the second coming of the former USSR is in the works, it should come as no surprise that Russia's Vladimir Putin has been named the third most admired person in the world. Then again when one considers who is ahead of Putin in the Time poll, perhaps this distinction is nothing to write to the NSA about - third spot is located behind Microsoft founder Bill Gates and US President Barack Obama. Indicatively, this also means that Barack Obama is inexplicably still the second most respected person in the world.
The newspaper reported that Putin’s popularity among Russians helped him secure the third place on the list. The poll conducted in 13 countries around the world revealed that the Russian leader earned more admiration than Pope Francis, who came fourth.
The world’s richest man, Gates is the most admired person in China and more highly regarded than China's President Xi Jinping, Obama and Putin, who was named the fourth admired person by the Chinese citizens, according to the poll published Saturday.
In Russia, Gates was chosen as the second most admired person, ahead of famous US actress Angelina Jolie and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, was named the tenth most admired person by Russians.
The YouGov poll surveyed nearly 14,000 people from the UK, France, Germany, Russia, the US, Australia, Pakistan, Indonesia, India, China, Egypt, Nigeria and Brazil.
Putin, 61, was named International Person of the Year by The Times in late December for succeeding in his ambition of bringing Moscow back to the international top table.
Here is the full list of the Top 10 most admired people around the world:
1 Bill Gates; 2 Barack Obama; 3 Vladimir Putin; 4 Pope Francis; 5 Sachin Tendulkar; 6 Xi Jinping; 7 Narendra Modi; 8 Warren Buffett; 9 Amitabh Bachchan; 10 Abdul Kalam.
Oddly nobody from Wall Street made the list (which appears to have been overrun by Indian voters).