Russian celebrities, including those associated with recent protest
demonstrations, are earning more than ever before, according to a
ranking published Monday by Forbes magazine.

"The combined [yearly] income of the country's top 50 celebrities
set a new record of $219 million," Forbes wrote in a statement on
their website.

Forbes judges took into account three factors - yearly income, media
coverage and hits on online search engines - to compile the list of
Russia's top celebrities.

Showmen Mikhail Galustyan and Garik Martirosyan, both of Armenian
descent, are also included in the Forbes list.

Mikhail Galustyan, 32, ranks 35th, with an income of $2.7 million
and 1,180,000 hits on Yandex.

Garik Martirosyan, 38, ranks 41st in the list, with earnings of $2.8
million and 790, 000 hits on Yandex.

Pop singer Stas Mikhailov topped the ranking, with an income of $21
million and more than 12 million hits on Russian search engine Yandex,
followed by tennis star Maria Sharapova ($26 million and 870,000 hits).

Alla Pugachyova and Filipp Kirkorov, Russian pop royalty, were close
behind in fourth and fifth, with yearly earnings of roughly $8 million
and 8 million searches each on Yandex.

Lower down the list, opposition figures who have openly expressed
discontent with President Vladimir Putin's rule also featured.

Media personality Ksenia Sobchak took seventh place, with earnings of
$2.4 million and more than 4 million hits on Yandex, while essayist
and novelist Boris Akunin lay in 21st place ($1.1 million and 1.26
million hits). News anchor Leonid Parfyonov was in 38th position ($1.2
million and 80,000) in the Forbes ranking, The Moscow Times reported.