Russia is the only country in the world to lose soft power as its invasion of Ukraine has caused its international reputation to plummet, according to brand evaluation consultancy Brand Finance's Global Soft Power Index 2023.
Conversely, Ukraine's soft power increased more than any of the 121 countries ranked.
Soft power refers to a nation's ability to gain the cooperation of other nations rather than forcing other countries to submit to its will through military strength or economic sanctions (hard power).
The rankings are based on the findings of a research study on the perceptions of 121 nation brands consisting of over 100,000+ respondents in 100+ markets around the world.
Although Russia's familiarity and influence increased due to the global impact of its invasion of Ukraine, its reputation has fallen from 23rd to 105th in the rankings, reducing its soft power by 1.3 points and causing the country to drop out of the overall top 10 rankings to 13th.
On the other hand, Ukraine jumped 10.1 points due to a large increase in familiarity and influence and went from 51st to 37th in the rankings. It now ranks 3rd in the world for “affairs I follow closely.” Among countries with “internationally admired leaders,” Ukraine jumped 36 ranks to 12th due to perceptions of its leader President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Country with the most soft power
The United States took the number one spot in the rankings with an all-time high of 74.8 points due to the strengthening of the dollar and large-scale investment projects by the federal government under President Joe Biden.
The US was followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and China, respectively.
“While nations have turned to soft power to restore trade and tourism after a devastating health crisis, the world order has been disrupted by the hard power of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”David Haigh, CEO and Chairman of Brand Finance
“While nations have turned to soft power to restore trade and tourism after a devastating health crisis, the world order has been disrupted by the hard power of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” said Brand Finance CEO and Chairman David Haigh. “[sic] An event that would be hard to believe were it not for the intensity of the images we have been seeing for months and the consequences the conflict is having on politics and the economy alike.”
Brand Finance evaluates the strength and value of over 5000 brands globally, according to its website.