Leadership often comes with a mix of admiration and criticism, but some leaders evoke widespread disdain and controversy. Whether due to their policies, actions, or personal behavior, the following individuals have gained notoriety as some of the most hated leaders in the world. This article explores their controversial legacies and the reasons behind their unpopularity.


Kim Jong-un (North Korea):

Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, is widely condemned for his repressive regime, human rights abuses, and nuclear ambitions. His actions have isolated his country on the global stage, making him one of the most reviled leaders in modern history.

Bashar al-Assad (Syria):

Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria, has faced international outrage for his brutal response to the Syrian Civil War, including the use of chemical weapons on civilians. His actions have resulted in immense suffering and displacement.

Nicolas Maduro (Venezuela):

As the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro has presided over a severe economic crisis, political repression, and a deteriorating humanitarian situation. His controversial rule has led to a mass exodus of Venezuelans seeking refuge abroad.

Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines):

Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines, is known for his aggressive and controversial approach to the war on drugs. His administration has faced accusations of human rights violations and extrajudicial killings.

Alexander Lukashenko (Belarus):

Alexander Lukashenko, often referred to as Europe’s last dictator, has ruled Belarus for over two decades with an iron grip on power. His highly disputed re-election in 2020, accompanied by a harsh crackdown on protests, sparked international condemnation.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Turkey):

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, has faced criticism for his increasingly authoritarian rule, stifling of media freedom, and human rights abuses. His government’s actions have strained relations with many Western countries.

Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil):

Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil, has faced global criticism for his handling of environmental issues, particularly the Amazon rainforest. His stance on climate change and social issues has also made him a polarizing figure.

Viktor Orban (Hungary):

Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary, has been accused of undermining democratic institutions, restricting press freedom, and promoting nationalist and anti-immigrant policies. These actions have raised concerns within the European Union.

Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar):

Once celebrated as a symbol of democracy and human rights, Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader, fell from grace due to her handling of the Rohingya crisis, leading to accusations of complicity in ethnic cleansing.

Mohammed bin Salman (Saudi Arabia):

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has faced international backlash over issues such as the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and human rights abuses, particularly the treatment of women’s rights activists.


These leaders have earned notoriety for their controversial policies, actions, and disregard for human rights and international norms. Their presence on the global stage raises questions about the balance between leadership and accountability and the broader implications of their actions on their nations and the world at large. The strong reactions they provoke underscore the importance of responsible and ethical leadership in an increasingly interconnected world.