Dmitry Medvedev-2007 considerably went up in status, but went down in the ‘First Rating’ from the third to the fifth position.
Photo: Êèðèëë Òóëèí
// Annual rating of Russian elite
Kommersant’s traditional elite rating has renewed by around a third, as compared to last year’s rating. However, most newcomers had already been in the ratings of recent years. There are just a few true newcomers.
There had been no doubts as to who will become number one in the elite rating long before the day when 1600 Russians gave their answers to the opinion poll asking “Whom do you consider Russian elite?”. Certainly, the Russian Federation’s President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin became the rating’s seven-time winner. What is more interesting is the number of votes in his support. Out of those polled who gave meaningful answers (we do not take into account those who could not or did not want to name elite Russians), over 82 percent voted for Putin. No one ever got so high support in the previous six ratings. Putin’s eliteness rating in 2006 was just 65.2 percent.
However, both of these results of Putin are so far unachievably high for any other politician (and non-politician as well). So far, because in a year the first position is quite likely to go to the Russian president, but it might no longer be Putin. Yet, we shall not run ahead, so far.
Beside the Russian president, we have five more statesmen and four cultural workers in the elite rating’s top ten. Speaking of cultural workers, most of them also deal with politics, according to the formula “A poet in Russia is more than a poet” by a living classic, who is not in the rating, unfortunately.
Alla Pugacheva repeated her result of last year and took the second position. She is not just a woman who sings, but also a member of the Public Chamber. Iosif Kobzon (#8) is confidently moving from the category of singers into the category of State Duma deputies. Film director and head of all Russian cinematographers Nikita Mikhalkov definitely affects politics with his movies.
Meanwhile, film director Eldar Ryazanov, not mixed in politics, became the last in the rating’s top ten. He served as president of the Russian Academy of Cinematographic Arts, but he left it after his second term was over.
Putin and Pugacheva are followed by two deputy prime ministers and one minister. Their order in the rating does not quite correspond to the state service hierarchy and to the time given to them in TV programs. Sergei Ivanov (#4 in 2006 rating) now became the third. On the contrary, Dmitry Medvedev, who was regarded as his chief rival for the high rank of successor throughout the year, went down in the rating, becoming #5 instead of his previous result of #3. What can we say? People got it wrong. However, the nation will realize its mistake in a year, and Medvedev will definitely outrun Ivanov next time.
Between the ex-successor and the future Russian president, stands Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu, the elite rating’s veteran.
LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky is #6. Unlike in the Duma elections, the CPRF gave way to the LDPR in the rating. CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov is #17.
While Pugacheva keeps failing to achieve Putin’s result, her ex-husband Filipp Kirkorov shares the 18th position with United Russia leader Boris Gryzlov.
Civil Force leader Mikhail Barshchevsky showed a much better result in the rating than in the Duma election. He made his debut as #35, sharing the position with figure skating coach Tatiana Tarasova.
In a certain sense, former USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev can be regarded as a party leader. He heads a movement called Union of Socialist Democrats, of which, I’m afraid, not every political observer heard. Anyway, Gorbachev is #42, sharing it with one more ‘ex’. Foreign intelligence service head Mikhail Fradkov, former prime minister, somewhat lost his eliteness together with his high position. He was #6 last year. The 40th position is taken by Irina Hakamada, leader of Our Choice fund (ready to measure popularity with the Union of Socialist Democrats).
Other party leaders in the rating are Yabloko head Grigory Yavlinsky (#51), Union of Right Forces presidential candidate Boris Nemtsov (#54), Union of Right Forces leader Nikita Belykh (#121), United Civil Front leader Garri Kasparov (#72). Head of president’s staff Sergei Sobyanin has stable results for a second year running (#48, and #51 last year).
The prime minister so far has a lower level of eliteness than his deputies, as the nation believes. Viktor Zubkov is #11, which is, however, the most successful result among the newcomers of the rating.
Beside the above-mentioned Shoigu, some other members of Zubkov’s Cabinet are in the elite rating, such as Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov (#84) and Regional Development Minister Dmitry Kozak (#104).
Not all governors of Russian regions are in the rating. We have earlier noted this particular feature of public opinion polls: those governors have higher results, whose regions were better polled.
Heads of two capitals are most elite out of regional leaders. Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov went up in the rating: #7 instead of last year’s #11. St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko somewhat backwatered, moving from last year’s #7 to #12. Tataria’s President Mintimer Shaimiev is #37. The elite list also includes governors of regions of Kemerovo (Aman Tuleev, #16), Nizhny Novgorod (Valery Shantsev, #62), Moscow (Boris Gromov, #70), Omsk (Leonid Polezhaev, #72). Position #84 is shared by governors of Krasnoyarsk Territory Alexander Khloponin and Orenburg Region Alexei Chernyshev (the rating’s newcomer). Among 22 rating participants who share last positions, from #121 to #142, is Amur Region Governor Nikolai Kolesov.
We should separately mention Roman Abramovich, head of Chukotka Autonomous Area, inspirer and organizer of Russia’s sport victories. Formally, he can be classified with high-ranking state officials, but he should be regarded as entrepreneur, first of all.
So, businessman Abramovich is the most elite one out of Russian entrepreneurs, as the poll participants believe. He is #15 in the rating (instead of being #13 as in last year’s rating with the same number of votes in his support). Certainly, Kobzon has higher position in the rating, but Kobzon is primarily a singer, and only then a lawmaker and a businessman, while Abramovich is primarily a businessman, and only then Chukotka’s governor and soccer patron.
After all, many politicians, state officials (although this category of citizens is banned from doing business by law), pop singers, and TV presenters have a hobby of doing business.
Among the businessmen in the elite rating are, first of all, RAO UES head and entire Russia’s electrificator Anatoly Chubais (#28), Interros Holding head Vladimir Potanin (#79), Sberbank head German Gref (#121). Honorable entrepreneur and president of Russia’s Trade and Industry Chamber Evgeny Primakov is #51.
Former richest man in Russia and former head of former YUKOS, currently a common Russian prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, keeps being in the elite rating. However, he moved down from #52 last year to #62 this year.
One more former tycoon, who is currently not in a maximum security penal colony, but in the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, backwatered in the rating as well. Boris Berezovsky moved from #44 down to #84. Ex-tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky, #118 a year ago, left the rating at all. Apparently, Russians think that jail is more honorable than emigration.
Above, we have already mentioned several representatives of artistic professions capable of competing in their eliteness with deputy prime ministers and heads of political parties. The rating lists quite a number of singers, actors, and other cultural workers.
However, the absence of sculptor and (as it turned out) master of epistolary genre Zurab Tsereteli is very noticeable. Jut like noble weaver Elena Lapshina, he was for some reason underestimated by his fellow citizens this year.
Yet, the rating lists so many singers that there are enough for a concert worthy of the Police Day. Beside above-mentioned Pugacheva, Kirkorov, and Kobzon, elite singers list also includes Nikolai Baskov and Lev Leshchenko (who share the 31st position), Galina Vishnevskaya (#43), Larisa Dolina (#51), Edita Pieha (#54, although some respondents meant her grandson Stas Pieha), Dima Bilan (#62), Oleg Gazmanov (#70), Andrei Makarevich (#72), Nadezhda Babkina, Nadezhda Kadysheva, and Lolita (they share #95 with some figures of other professions). Lyudmila Zykina and Nikolai Rastorguev share #104 with some others, and Valeria, Muslim Magomaev, and Dmitry Khvorostovsky share #121.
The rating has two poets – Sergei Mikhalkov and Ilya Reznik. They share #104 with two painters – Ilya Glazunov and Nikas Safronov. There are three writers – Alexander Solzhenitsyn (#33), Darya Dontsova (#79), and Boris Akunin (#84).
There are as much actors as singers: Alexander Abdulov (#27), Mikhail Boyarsky (#48), Nonna Mordyukova (#72), Lyudmila Gurchenko (#79), Oleg Basilashvili, Sergei Bezrukov, Vasily Lanovoi, Chulpan Khamatova (all of them #104), Nikolai Karachentsov, Oleg Menshikov, Alisa Freindlikh, Maria Shukshina (#121).
Among several people who share #43, there are two ballet dancers – Maia Plisetskaia and Anastasia Volochkova. Ballet dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze is #104.
There are quite a number of elite TV presenters. Vladimir Pozner, president of the Russian Television Academy, is #21. Xenia Sobchak, setting the tone in a highly-intellectual reality show, Dom-2, is #26. Strangely enough, Maxim Galkin is behind Xenia in the rating. Apparently, Russians want their own house more than one million rubles. Ever-lasting host of Wonders Field quiz, Leonid Yakubovich, is #43.
The 54th position is shared mostly by TV workers. Here we see Andrei Malakhov, Alexander Maslyakov, Vladimir Soloviev. Ekaterina Andreeva is #72. Sergei Zverev is #95. Nikolai Drozdov, Igor Kvasha, and Tina Kandelaki are in the rating’s second hundred.
Year after year, many humorists enter the elite rating. Maxim Galkin is not only issuing millions or frequently appearing next to Alla Pugacheva, but is also parodying. Mikhail Zadornov (#37), Evgeny Petrosian (#43), and Mikhail Zhvanetsky (#121) are in the list as well.
Elite on Request
Throughout the seven years of the rating’s existence, we have been asking those polled to name as elite Russian citizens only. However, respondents persist in frequently naming citizens of former Soviet republics, refusing to regard their idols as foreigners. Traditionally, we do not include these people into the rating. However, we decided to make an exception this year. Ukraine’s citizen singer Sofia Rotaru receives an honorable rank of Russian elite member. She could have been #39 in the rating. So far a foreigner, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka, could have been #104, and he is also awarded a title of honorable Russian elite member.
In conclusion, we would like to offer sincere condolences to those who were in last year’s elite rating, but is not in the current one. Here are these unfortunate people: Alexander Abramov (president of Evrazholding company), Oleg Romantsev (soccer coach), Vladimir Vinokur (humorist), Sergei Glazyev (politician), Dmitry Rogozin (politician), Eduard Rossel (governor of Sverdlovsk Region), Mikhail Kasyanov (politician), Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Kirill, Elena Stepanenko (humorist), Alexander Tkachev (governor of Krasnodar Territory), Anastasia Myskina (tennis player), Igor Nikolaev (singer, composer), Vladimir Gusinsky (businessman), Alexander Karelin (sportsman), singer Alsu, Dmitry Nagiev (TV anchorman), Lyudmila Narusova (member of the Federation Council), Alexei Pimanov (TV host), Yuri Shevchuk (rock-musician). We do not say goodbye to them: there will be a new elite rating in a year.
Best in Their Professions
Traditionally, we trace who among the members of same profession took the highest position in the elite rating. The results of the 2007 poll, winners of professional competition are as follows.
Best politician – Vladimir Putin
Best singer (woman) – Alla Pugacheva
Best member of the Cabinet – Sergei Ivanov
Best mayor – Yuri Luzhkov
Best member of the parliament – Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Best singer (man) – Iosif Kobzon
Best film director – Nikita Mikhalkov
Best TV host – Vladimir Pozner
Best sportsman – Evgeny Plushchenko
Best coach – Irina Rodnina
Best clergyman – Alexiy II
Best doctor – Leonid Roshal
Best scientist -- Zhores Alferov
Best humorist – Maxim Galkin
Best top manager – Anatoly Chubais
Best composer – Igor Krutoi
Best conductor – Vladimir Spivakov
Best writer (man) – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Best writer (woman) – Darya Dontsova
Best ballet dancer – Anastasia Volochkova
Best lawyer – Mikhail Barshchevsky
Best fashion designer – Vyacheslav Zaitsev
Best actor (not dealing with film directing) – Mikhail Boyarsky
Best actress – Nonna Mordyukova
All the Article in Russian as of Dec. 28, 2007