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Matviyenko Rated Russia's Most Influential Woman

Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko was rated the most influential woman in Russia for the second year in a row by a group of prominent experts and politicians.

The 2013 rankings, compiled by Ekho Moskvy radio in cooperation with Ogonyok magazine, RIA-Novosti and Interfax, contained a multitude of changes from last year's list.

Only Matviyenko, whose job makes her second in line for the presidency after the prime minister in the event that the president dies, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's spokeswoman, Natalya Timakova, who came in third on the list, retained their positions.

Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets made the most progress over the year and came in second after Matviyenko. Presidential aide and former Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina was ranked fourth, having climbed one position since last year.

Mikhail Vinogradov, chairman of the St. Petersburg Politics Fund, said the ratings measured the “media and public appeal of participants,” adding that he could not think of a single woman in Russia who constituted an independent political force.

Even Matviyenko, who Vinogradov said tries to create the impression that she has her own sphere of influence, is widely thought to be a tool of President Vladimir Putin.

The rankings featured 15 names that did not appear on last year's list, including Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, in 17th place, Moscow Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova, in 22nd, and Irina Yarovaya, head of the State Duma's Security and Anti-Corruption Committee and a senior figure in United Russia, in 24th.

The list was based on the opinions of 43 experts and politicians, including Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, co-chairman of the Republican Party of Russia – Party of People's Freedom Mikhail Kasyanov, leaders of all parliamentary parties and editors-in-chief of Russia's top media publications.

It was unclear whether any women participated in the creation of the list.

1Valentina MatviyenkoFederation Council speaker
2Olga GolodetsDeputy prime minister
3Natalya TimakovaPrime minister's spokeswoman
4Elvira NabiullinaPresidential aide, former Cabinet minister
5Alla PugachyovaPop star
6Larisa BrychyovaPresidential aide
7Olga YegorovaMoscow City Court chief judge
8Svetlana MedvedevaPrime minister's wife
9Chulpan KhamatovaActress, philanthropist
10Svetlana MironyukRIA-Novosti editor-in-chief
11Marianna MaximovskayaRen-TV anchor
12Tatyana GolikovaPresidential aide
13Olga DergunovaDeputy economic development minister
14Ksenia SobchakTelevision personality, public figure
15Irina ProkhorovaCo-founder of the Mikhail Prokhorov Fund
16Natalya SindeyevaOwner of Dozhd television
17Veronika SkvortsovaHealth minister
18Margarita SimonyanRT editor-in-chief
19Yelizaveta Glinka (Doctor Liza)   Philanthropist
20Dzhakhan PollyyevaState Duma chief of staff

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