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Putin Beats Brad Pitt in World's Most Admired Man Ranking

Russian President Vladimir Putin is the world's 11th "most admired" man and — surprise! — the most admired one in his home country, Britain-based research firm YouGov revealed in a recent poll.

The world's most popular man and woman are both Americans: billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and actress-cum-humanitarian Angelina Jolie, YouGov said Friday on its website. Jolie is also the most admired woman in Russia, according to the poll.

The study was conducted among 25,000 Internet users across 23 countries that represent "nearly two-thirds of the world's population," the firm said. "Some parts of the world were better represented than others, so we weighted up the impact certain countries had on the final scores."

Initially respondents were asked to suggest a list of their most admired people, then the most popular names were compiled and voted on, the firm said.

In Russia, Putin was followed by Hollywood actors Jackie Chan and Brad Pitt. Jolie was followed by Russian pop star Alla Pugachyova and American actress Julia Roberts. Pitt was 13th on the global scale, and Chan was fourth!

Putin enjoys astounding support from the Russian people despite the country's declining economy and the violent conflict in neighboring Ukraine. His approval rating in Russia currently stands at 85 percent, a survey published by independent pollster the Levada Center revealed last week.

In YouGov's worldwide ranking, Gates was followed by U.S. President Barack Obama, who was "in nearly every country's top 10," and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who "has a massive domestic fan base" but earned a high score only in China, the firm said. Obama was the most admired in the United States.

For the women worldwide, second place was 17-year-old Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, the youngest person in history to win a Nobel Peace Prize, and third was American politician Hillary Clinton, who topped the U.S. ranking.

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