MOSCOW, March 4 (RIA Novosti) – A new ranking of the 100 most influential women in Russia was released Monday, with senate speaker Valentina Matviyenko topping the list for the second year in a row.
She is trailed by Deputy Prime Minister for Social Affairs Olga Golodets – who grabbed headlines this year for her opposition to the controversial Russian ban on US adoptions – and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's press secretary, Natalya Timakova. They ranked second and third, respectively.
The latest list, covering 2012, was the second annual ranking presented by four Russian media outlets: Ekho Moskvy radio station, Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies and weekly magazine Ogonyok.
The list includes women in leadership positions who influenced decision-making in politics or business, women who had an impact on public opinion by virtue of their professional or public activities, and women who set an example worth following.
The top three spots in this year's rating went to political figures, whereas in 2011 pop music legend Alla Pugachyova held second place, behind Matviyenko and ahead of Timakova. For 2012, Pugachyova fell to fifth place, but remained the most influential female cultural figure.
The list’s top 10 also includes the chief justice of the Moscow City Court, Olga Yegorova; the prime minister’s wife, Svetlana Medvedeva; actress Chulpan Khamatova; and RIA Novosti editor-in-chief Svetlana Mironyuk.
Those who have disappeared from the top 10 include socialite TV presenter and sometime opposition figure Ksenia Sobchak (14th place), gymnast Alina Kabayeva (23rd place) and veteran human rights campaigner Lyudmila Alexeyeva (27th place).
The list was compiled using a 20-point rating system by a panel of 43 people, including State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, Moskovsky Komsomolets editor-in-chief Pavel Gusev, general director of the Komsomolskaya Pravda publishing house Vladimir Sungorkin and Rossiyskaya Gazeta editor-in-chief Vladislav Fronin.
The panel also included representatives of all factions in the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, including Deputy Speaker Sergei Zheleznyak of the ruling United Russia party, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky and leader of A Just Russia Sergei Mironov.
All the ratings were done anonymously and tallied by experts from the Higher School of Economics.