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Russia Debuts on 'Soft Power' Top 30 Rankings

Russia has made its first appearance on the world's “soft power” rankings, coming in at 27th place, news website newsru.com reported Tuesday.

The Soft Power 30 is an annual ranking compiled by London-based strategy firm Portland Communications. The company evaluates the influence each country exerts over others through means other than military power.

The rankings use both objective information from business and IT fields, as well as subjective criteria such as public opinion polls, Portland says.

The report found that although the recent annexation of Crimea and ongoing hostilities in Eastern Ukraine framed Russia as dependant on “hard power,” the country's cultural contributions to world literature, theater, and music boosted its rating.

Researchers also noted the growing popularity of Russian social media website Vkontakte, and the growing strength of Russian state media.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in 2012 that he wanted Russia's foreign policy to be increasingly grounded in “soft power,” newsru.com reported.

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