Perform border sabotage

The key event of the past year was the April War. The key event of the past year was the April War. The year was full of

Collage of photos from 2017 Global Voices coverage. Created by L. Finch.

Another year, another flurry of reviews announcing that our last trip around the sun was particularly bad. And how could it be otherwise, with inequality, arguments and disasters?

The condition on earth can indeed appear bleak. Even so, as always, the human mind is alive, healthy, and beautiful.

Do you need evidence? Global Voices offered a lot in 2017. Our community of volunteers and partner organizations has shared hundreds of stories from around the world about ordinary people defending their rights and developing an intercultural understanding in the face of injustice, indifference or even hatred.

Therefore, in early 2018, we invite you to find solace in the following list of 40 stories. There is a lot that is good in the world - and maybe there will be more in the coming year.

1. Artists use Lego to restore buildings - and hope - in Beirut

A team of artists called Dispatch Beirut in the Lebanese capital "rebuilt" destroyed buildings with Lego, what he calls "small hope cubes". Artists want to draw attention to how they say the government is about to rebuild after civil war chooses profit over heritage conservation.

2. An indigenous singer breaks stereotypes in the Amazon theater in Brazil

Juena Tikuna is the first indigenous singer to appear in the famous Amazonas Theater in Manaus in the Brazilian Amazon and present her album Tchautchiüãne, My Village, in Tikuna. The work tells of the rubber fever that began at the turn of the 20th century and was characterized by the massive exploitation of local rubber trees and residents of the region.

3. Parents fight in Bosnia for an adequate education for children with disabilities

A group of parents in Sarajevo for adequate pre-school education for children with cognitive impairments who are facing the state system poorly trained to teach them the skills necessary for independent living. When the campaign is #GdjeJeMojaSkola? (“Where is my school?”) It will go well, it will be the first of its kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

4. The dictionary gives hope to the endangered indigenous Nepalese language

Field studies show that Kusunda, one of the few endangered languages ​​in Nepal, is fluent in only two of the 150 Kusunda communities. Recently, a dictionary was published in order to obtain a language whose origin is not related to any other living language in the world.

5. Viral hashtags send love and solidarity across borders

A fragment of the picture created by the artist under the pseudonym "Azúcar y Sal". The drawing is freely available on the author's Facebook page.

After US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the entry of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran, the rhetoric of hatred between the two governments has escalated. To cope with the sad turn of events, Iranians have shown cross-border solidarity under the hashtag #LoveBeyondFlags (#LovePreviousFlags).

And in Mexico, an anonymous group of teenagers has a gastronomic hashtag to show support for Venezuelans fighting for democracy amid a deepening social, economic and political crisis: # ArepaElTacoEstáContigo (Arepa, taco with you!). Arepa comes from Venezuela, tacos from Mexico.

6. "Songs of Resistance" becomes the music of the protest movement in Ethiopia

Amid ongoing protests fueled by the growth opposition movement, the Ethiopian government has made many attempts to censor "resistance songs" that speak against the country's oppression. YouTube regularly attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to channels that post protest photos before such songs.

7. Open source seed producers are trying to transform global food production

From India to USA all over the world for open source seeds. Proponents say corporate patents on plant material threaten the food industry as the gene pool continues to shrink - at a time when genetic diversity is needed more than ever thanks to climate change.

8. Activists create a map of the smells of Kiev

A small group of people, led by artist and designer Kate McLean, walked around Kiev and registered the winter smells of the city. The recorded smells include "summer islands", "wet animal fur" and "rusty metal". McLean has been creating scent maps for places around the world for five years.

9. Donated New Year clothes help Kurdish families in need

Jili Kurdi is the traditional clothing Kurds wear in honor of Navruz, the New Year, but light-colored fabrics are not available for many Kurdish families in war-torn Iraq. To solve the problem, activists (Kurdish clothes for everyone) have asked people from all over the region to donate these special clothes. As a result, more than 450 families received new Kurdish clothes for the vacation.

10. The arts festival helps have fun in a Japanese city devastated by the tsunami

Physical reconstruction in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, which was badly damaged by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, can be considered complete, but the region has not yet regained its former energies. The aim of the art festival "Reborn" is to help the residents to appreciate the beautiful, abstract and elusive and not to fixate on material losses.

11. East African kanga fabrics convey a message of equal love

At the age of 35, the Kenyan artist fought for the same love in different countries at an exhibition in Nairobi of specially created "kanga", East African fabrics on which Swahili proverbs are usually placed. Instead, Kavira Mvirichia used motivational statements from the leaders of the queer community in Avrika and beyond.

Kanga for South Africa, translation: "Black and white are not the colors of love - they never were." Kavira Mvirichia, 2017

12. Peruvian builders speak out against harassment on the street

In Peru, where gender-based violence is a major concern, a construction site has destroyed stereotypes about industrial workers by putting up a poster: "We don't whistle on women at this construction site and we oppose sexual harassment on the street."

13. Theater of Good Deeds from Azerbaijan to El Salvador

In Azerbaijan, ƏSA ("Employee" in Azerbaijan) was created to address the idea of ​​people with disabilities as being addicted, incompetent and unhappy. "This is not a type of social project or entertainment, we take it very seriously," says its founder.

In Argentina, the Teatro x Identitad (Theater for Identity) aims to find children who disappeared during the dictatorship of the 1970s and bring them back to their real families.

And in El Salvador, where an alarming number of people are victims of gangs and police violence, two new theatrical productions focus on the plot and their families.

14. The Kyrgyz scientist becomes a symbol of resistance against sexism

Biochemist Asel Sartbaeva and the British University of Bath were recognized in the biotechnology category at the IChemE Global Awards, just days after a prominent businessman from her native Kyrgyzstan publicly called women's leadership "bullshit" and equated feminism with "terrorism". Sartbaeva is leading a project that "uses silica to prevent vaccines from spoiling, reducing the need for refrigeration equipment".

15. Mozambique's only LGBT organization wins major court case

After more than a decade of struggling to officially register as an association with Lambda, Mozambique's only organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, the Constitutional Council decided that his status did not violate the country's constitution. Lambda executive director Danilo da Silva said the decision opened the door to legal recognition of the organization, calling it "a victory not just for the LGBT community but for everyone who is different and sees things differently".

16. Women pioneers open a restaurant in Quetta, Pakistan

The new restaurant in the West Pakistani city of Quetta is all female and represents an important step in the resistance in a deeply patriarchal region. The restaurant was opened by Hamida Ali Khazara of the marginalized Hazara minority. Despite the obstacles, the restaurant is still very popular.

A young female fan poses at the 2016 Indigenous Comic-Con in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Screenshot of the video from the City Alive YouTube channel.

17. "Indigenous Comic-Con" in the United States against Indian stereotypes

The event took place in the southwestern state of New Mexico and was attended by vendors, artists, guests and cosplayers who celebrated indigenous pop culture, which is so often misrepresented or not represented popkultur ... "There are so many stereotypes because nobody is against she fights, which does not show that there are many positive, productive and acceptable ones, "says organizer Dr. Lee Francis IV.

18. Ten human rights defenders were released from Istanbul after 113 days in detention

Ten human rights defenders in Istanbul were charged with membership in a terrorist organization - a rare moment of relief in a case that observers say is intended to intimidate human rights defenders. The Istanbul Ten were arrested while training in information management and wellbeing and spent four months in prison.

19.Thai pop group mocks censored junta in music video

In the video for their latest song, acclaimed pop group Tattoo Color subtly parodies the Thai junta, which took power in 2014 and continues to rule the country despite promises to restore civil rule.

20. South African Village receives internet access through self-made telecommunications

In South Africa, where internet infrastructure is often lacking in rural areas, the village of Mankosi now has access to cheaper telephony and internet connectivity thanks to a solar-powered mesh network owned by the local community. The aim of the project, which is part of the Association for Progressive Communications, is to create a bottom-up model for sustainable telecommunications.

21. Musicians in Trinidad and Tobago say there is no better time to encourage change

Like many other places in the world, Trinidad and Tobago is fighting violence and social conflict. A song, "No Greater Time" with 35 musicians and singers, aims to urge citizens "to work together to create a more peaceful, prosperous and unified Trinbagon society". "It's not so much that we're on the right track, it's that we need more people to do something," says producer Caron "Sheriff" Thompson. "They didn't just talk about changes, they changed themselves or were part of those changes."

22. Colombians help ex-guerrillas return to society with love letters

America's longest-running armed conflict ended when the Colombian government reached a peace agreement with the FARC, but the problem of reintegrating former militia members has not gone away. A campaign invited young people to write love letters to ex-guerrillas and welcome them to a peaceful life. Many former combatants respond to them.

23. A young engineer from Niger invents a device for cleaning polluted air

A 22-year-old man from Niger who, in his opinion, is clearing the air of industrial pollution. He hopes that one day it will help his country, where air pollution and climate change are problematic issues. Abdou Barmini made a prototype of his cleaning device from local materials, which he recycled and reassembled for his own use.

24. Spanish neighbors unite around Pesesin, a goldfish

In the hallway of an apartment building in the Spanish city of Gijón, residents came across an aquarium with a goldfish, a feeding calendar and a note asking them to take care of the facility while the owner was away. The neighbors happily got to work and the situation was soon posted on Twitter. "There is still hope in the world," explained one user in response to the story.

25.Serbian websites were shut down to protest media intimidation by tax authorities

More than a hundred publications and NGOs have temporarily closed their websites after an independent weekly magazine had to close. The Vranje newspaper said the newspaper has faced intimidation and other forms of pressure from the Serbian Tax Service, a tactic that authorities have used in the past to punish “rebellious” media.

26. A displaced indigenous community in Paraguay is taking back their land

Many years ago, the people of Ava Guaraní had to give up their land and the river that flows through them due to the construction of the Itaipu hydropower plant. In 2015 the community returned for their land. Since then, the authorities have continued to try to evict them, but the Guaraní are unwavering in their determination to achieve justice.

Friends! Please note: In order to correct the lyrics of a song, you must select at least two words

[Verse, Casta]:
This year has been full of words, but to sum it up -
Were these words or something more?
They made people rejoice and complain.
Think hockey with the Canadians, the Confederations Cup.

Spartak became the champion in 2017.
Many words did not go without resonance there.
Actresses blame producers for harassment.
Confessions in the news feed are shocking.

Matilda started the debate. And a lot of attention.
It was about Dud's interview and Navalny's rallies.
The applicant's appearance is not strange.
Catalonia is aiming for the list of new countries, yes.

Words could hurt a blow to the funeral.
Dizaster Versus Oxy Versus Purulent.
McGregor promised to meet, but Mayweather met.
Words are not just words when they have a lot of weight.
These are words of support for those who are under arrest.
It's condolences, but it's no use ...

There were scary searches.
What happened to who
Words were injected into a stupor, just as they were in Moscow right now.
The wind blows trees on cars and people.

Words led to controversy, opinions about things were different.
Revolution 100 years - mourning or vacation.
Everyone was confused about the words and their meanings.
Bitcoin mining, blockchain implementation.

The words aroused curiosity, everyone asked again.
Suddenly heard of the completion of Cassini's mission.
Did you see the lunar eclipse Well, not quite.
I saw Game of Thrones and the time of the first - sorry?

The words smiled, there was a lot of ridicule.
Malikov became a fabulous Bali and blogger.
In Lalaland cinemas, on YouTube Leningrad.
Hey four legged friend. This is a fiasco, brother.

We hummed Despasito and shape of you.
Can you stop singing now Thanks, I'll sing it myself.
We hummed yacht, sails and Yalta, August.
Everyone fell in love at the youth festival.

The word will change the world, the word is no sparrow.
Make our planet great again.
Thanks to dozens of words, we remember this year.
People looked for them and ice melted between them.

We searched for a whole year!

2017-12-13T00: 00: 00

About the song Casta - Year Searched (Google - Year Searched 2017)

  • What will you remember about the coming year 2017? Some watched the World Cup draw with bated breath, while others watched rap battles, bitcoins mined, or spun spinners. Google announces the year in the search project! It contains the fastest growing requests from Russian users in 2017. These are not just words. They surprised, inspired, made us laugh, hurt and made us better. You once again inspired us to make a video and the Casta group wrote a soundtrack for it!

additional Information

Lyrics of the song Casta - year in search (Google - year in search 2017).
Official release date: December 13, 2017.

Armworld: How would you summarize the military events of 2016 this year?

- The year was full of various events, while tragic and decisive events took place for us, in particular the four-day April War. This was followed by a series of layoffs in the Ministry of Defense and the Armenian Armed Forces, new appointments, and several criminal proceedings against some officials up to the appointment of a new Minister of Defense.

The most important key event was, of course, the April War. In terms of the number of casualties, this was unprecedented as there were fewer casualties due to border incidents after the ceasefire agreement was signed in 1994.

In addition, this war has become a serious test of the defense system we have built over 25 years. The war showed that although the enemy army outnumbered the Armenian armed forces, military equipment in some variants and quality, and although officers of the special forces from the Azerbaijani side entered the battle, the Armenian side managed to oppose them and not to allow the enemy military superiority.

This, of course, is the style of many people, both Armenian and Azerbaijani. It is impossible to say exactly how many soldiers were killed on the Azerbaijani side. After lengthy research, only approximate numbers could be clarified. It is known that this country always hides its real losses. According to official figures, the Azerbaijani side is said to have suffered 116 combat and 35 non-combat losses in 2016. Allegedly 96 of the combat losses are the result of the April War.

Meanwhile, in May, US State Department officials said the combined total of 350 victims, including civilians. If we subtract the losses of the Armenian side from this number, it turns out that the Azerbaijanis lost 250 soldiers in the April war alone.

- Then there were statements that the soldiers of the Armenian side were armed with equipment from the Soviet years, and it was said that the army was not very ready for large-scale military operations, the secret service was wrong, causing the attack for the Armenian side was unexpected.

- I suppose it comes from the 80s arming. I want to point out that this weapon is now being used all over the world. Older weapons are also used.

Armworld 10/19/2016 Haqqin.az 9/27/2016 Haqqin.az 8/29/2016 Deutsche Welle 6/22/2016 For example, the United States uses B52 bombers in its army, which are weapons from the 1950s. You need to understand that it doesn't matter whether they are new or old weapons. It is important to what extent this weapon performs the tasks assigned to it. In addition, many of the old weapons can be upgraded using electronic control functions. It's cheaper than buying new weapons. So, at a lower cost, you can get weapons that are equivalent to modern weapons.

So it seems to me that the issue of old weapons has been exaggerated and introduced into the discourse in order to discredit our army, supposedly to show that our army is weak and the authorities and the government are supposedly responsible for it. I don't think there are any significant differences between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armies in terms of modern weapons.

And intelligence really should work much better and be able to properly analyze every move the enemy makes. This time, they thought that the Azerbaijani side's steps were another border sabotage and did not take them seriously. This shouldn't be allowed.

- Do you think we learned the lessons of the April War?

- For sure. First, our security doctrines have been revised. The pace of implementation of defense projects has also accelerated. It cannot be said that no steps were taken to strengthen military positions and develop military industry before the war. Previously, the positions were also equipped with surveillance devices and night vision devices, but this process intensified sharply after the war.

The same thing happened in the direction of the military industry. One gets the impression that this area only became one of the most important for us after April. But that's not the case. Back in 2015, a law on the military-industrial complex was passed, according to which the legal process for the development of this area began, a number of documents were adopted, a concept was developed and priorities were set on the basis of which the military industry should already develop.

Even the military industry exhibition in 2016 was planned well in advance. This is also one of the achievements of our military sphere in the past year, as many agreements with the aim of developing the military industry have been signed in Armenia and agreements have been made with various countries.

- Armenian specialists complain about good ideas, inventions in the field of military industry to make weapons or use technology, but the government doesn't hit them halfway, and these ideas stay on paper.

- People who expect their ideas to be implemented immediately and funds to be made available immediately are not pragmatic. In the military industry, it takes decades to bring a good idea to life and start mass production.

The devices that are being developed in Russia or the USA today will not be operational for 15 to 20 years if they are tested. These weapons and technologies have to be tested, improved, developed and idealized for a long time so that at a crucial moment on the battlefield it is not clear that they are not working. Therefore, so far, such investments do not make sense for us, since it is more profitable to buy ready-made and reliable, tested weapons from other countries.

Of course, it would be more profitable, much more profitable, with a lot more money to establish research centers with us, organize production in such a way that even for the delivery of weapons it does not depend on the outside world. However, this takes a lot of time and investment. The government is taking steps in this direction, it cannot be assumed that nothing will be done. However, the results will only be tangible after a few years.

- It has been almost ten months since the April events, but the international community has not responded adequately to Azerbaijan's actions. What developments are there in this direction? Generally speaking, can Armenia expect Azerbaijan to be held accountable to some extent?

- As far as I can remember, for the past twenty years only those countries have been brought to justice that have had problems with the United States. Azerbaijan is considered a full member of the international community and it does not seem to me that such steps are being taken against it.

In addition, it must be admitted that the statements of the OSCE Minsk Group often coincide with the position of the Armenian side. Today, both the Armenian side and the co-chairs of the Minsk Group are focusing on international mechanisms for investigating incidents in order to prevent them and pulling snipers from the front row, to which Azerbaijan, of course, reacts with hysteria. That is, the views of the Armenian side and the Minsk group are directed in the same direction, which cannot be said about Azerbaijan.

InoSMI materials only contain reviews from foreign mass media and do not reflect the position of the Inosmi editorial team.

The end of 2015 was full of important events for Russia both domestically and in foreign policy.

A positive image of Russia in the world was formed by the parade on the 70th anniversary of the Victory, the inter-parliamentary forum of the BRICS, the General Assembly of the United Nations, the sporting successes of the Russian team, the strengthening of the positions of Russia and the head of state in various national and international Ratings.

This year was full of terrible events in the world - the aggravation of the military situation in the Middle East, terrorist attacks around the world, the crash as a result of the terrorist attack of the Russian passenger plane Airbus 1231, in which 224 people were killed, the Russian plane Su was in Syria Shot down by the Turkish Air Force. -24.

The editorial team of mger2020.ru summarizes the results of the end of 2015 and gives an overview of the most important events in the country's political life.

Russia rose eight points in the global competitiveness rating. And Russian leader Vladimir Putin entered the top ten most recognized politicians in the world, topping the top 100 most influential people according to Time readers. He also became the most influential person in the world, according to Forbes magazine. In Russia, Vladimir Putin's rating reached an all-time high of 89.9% in October. This month, VTsIOM released new research showing that 74% of Russians named Vladimir Putin Politician of the Year. The overwhelming majority of Russian citizens named the head of state "Person of the Year in Politics" in a survey by the Public Opinion Foundation.

In September, Vladimir Putin addressed the United Nations General Assembly. One of the main theses of his speech were clear and uniform criteria for international law: “We are all different and this should be treated with respect. Nobody is obliged to conform to a development model that someone once and for all recognizes as the only right one. "

In his address to the Federal Assembly, Vladimir Putin summarized the first results of 2015: “This year we went through tests together that only a mature, united nation, a really sovereign and strong state can overcome. Russia has shown in practice that it can protect compatriots and defend truth and justice with honor. "

70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War

This year Russia celebrated 70 years since the day of the victory of the Soviet people over Nazi Germany and the end of the Great Patriotic War ... One of the main events of the anniversary across the country was a unique commemoration - the march of the Immortal Regiment. Hundreds of thousands of Russians in Russia, Norway, Germany, South Korea, America and other countries carried portraits of veteran relatives along the main streets of their cities. In Moscow, about half a million people went to Red Square with Vladimir Putin.

Sporting successes of Russia

The Russian national team won the first places in sports competitions in 2015 again: at the international army games "ARMY-2015", the World War II games in South Korea and the European games in Baku. In 2015, Kazan held international water sports competitions in 190 countries: our team took third place at the team event.

In September the largest local election campaign for the past few years will take place ... On September 13, the following were elected: 21 governors, 11 regional parliaments and city councils in 25 regional capitals. Vladimir Putin noted that the elections were held in an open and competitive environment.

Vladimir Putin's speech to the UN General Assembly

The 70th anniversary was celebrated by the United Nations organization, which was founded after the end of the Second World War. The leaders of 50 countries gathered in San Francisco for the United Nations Conference and adopted the Charter of an International Union to revive the ideals, dignity and rights of mankind after two world wars.

At the General Assembly, the Russian President noted the universality of the United Nations: « That good will, contempt for intrigue and cunning, a spirit of cooperation. Today these words sound like farewell words to all of us. Russia believes in the enormous potential of the United Nations, which should help avoid a new global confrontation and move to a strategy of cooperation. Together with other countries, we will work consistently to strengthen the central coordinating role of the United Nations. "

Creation of the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation

That year, a new type of troop appeared in Russia - the aerospace troops, which were combined with the Air Force. The aerospace forces protect space, control the air forces on duty, air defense and missile defense, the military spacecraft and a missile attack warning system.

Trends in Europe

In the past year, the authorities in western countries failed to convince their citizens of the correctness of their policies. For example, dozens of Western stars have expressed a desire to get a passport from a citizen of the Russian Federation to participate in the Russian anti-alcohol campaign. European farmers reject Russian sanctions, publish unusual photo books about the Soviet era, parliamentarians visit Crimea, take part in the friendship race. In addition, Western journalists wrote positive reviews of Vladimir Putin's speech at the UN General Assembly.

But some in the West have negative attitudes towards Russia. These countries not only impose economic restrictions, but openly violate the rights of Russian journalists to freedom of expression and search for information. In July, Facebook deleted the account of Dmitry Kiselev, editor-in-chief of Rossiya Segodnya, and Estonia refused to enter the country on behalf of correspondent Marina Perekrestova.

In addition, European politicians found themselves in strange situations during the year. Latvia has promised to supply the country with toilet paper. In the Czech Republic, security officers were fired because of an underwear incident. The Polish officials themselves resigned because of the "cassette scandal". Denmark shocked more than once: the journalist killed a rabbit on live radio, and the zoo staff dissected the dead lion in front of the children. The President of Lithuania refused to answer uncoordinated questions from journalists, while in Poland the President's guard sealed his mouth with tape for an uncoordinated matter. And the NATO ministers sang the provocative song "The world is us" together.

The British Prime Minister has not disappeared from the headlines. Some of the most famous scandals David Cameron got caught up in were related to both his direct responsibility and the past. In March he began to revive the program in the spirit of the Cold War. In June, David Cameron gave ministers an ultimatum: they will be forced to leave the cabinet if they approve of Britain's exit from the EU. Lots of scandals: a discussion with the leader of the British Labor Party about an acquaintance of a prostitute and a book by Michael Ashcroft that funny mentions undergraduate Cameron.

Migration crisis in Europe

This year European countries faced a serious migration crisis - the largest since World War II. In the past decade, western countries have had to accommodate more than a million migrants from the Middle East and North Africa. The countries of the European Union have a negative view of this phenomenon and are restricting the flow of foreigners through various measures: They fence the borders with barbed wire and distribute the quotas according to the number of refugees accepted. The citizens themselves are outraged by the policies of their authorities, which made the dominance of refugees possible.

Terrorist attacks in Paris

The New Year holidays in Paris in early 2015 were overshadowed by tragic events in the editorial office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the brutal murder of 12 editors. Al-Qaeda and Daesh (banned in Russia) took responsibility for the attack. The two main suspects were killed two days later in a special operation.

Friday November 13th turned out to be really black for the French. In Paris and its suburbs, several of the largest acts of terrorism in French history took place simultaneously: in the Stade de France, in the Bataclan concert hall and in several cafes and restaurants. 130 people died by radical Islamists, 350 were injured.

Terrorist attack in Egypt

On the last day of October, the Russian passenger plane Airbus A231 fell one hundred kilometers from El-Arish (Egypt) en route from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg. 224 people were killed in the crash. Later, the head of the Russian FSB, Alexander Bortnikov, said that traces of an explosive made abroad were found in the wreckage of the plane.

The attack on a civil aircraft shocked Russia. Many countries expressed their solidarity by bringing flowers to the Russian embassies. And only the French magazine "Charlie Hebdo" published cartoons in which the editors mocked the tragedy in which more than 224 Russians were killed.

Russian military operations in Syria

The fight against terrorism, especially against the banned Daesh terrorist group, has become one of the most important events in Russian foreign policy. Our country joined the military operations on September 30 at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to support government forces. In three months, the Russian military destroyed more than two thousand offices, warehouses and training centers for terrorists.

Crisis in Russian-Turkish relations

In late November, a Russian Su-24 aircraft carrying out operations against ISIS (the organization is banned in the Russian Federation) was shot down by the Turkish army. According to Vladimir Putin, the jet fighter crash was a blow hit in the back by accomplices of terrorists. The military conflict has worsened Russian-Turkish relations. On November 28, the Russian President signed a decree on the application of economic sanctions against Turkey. According to experts, the republic's economy will now lose up to $ 20 billion annually.

Recently, the MP for the Turkish government, Numan Kurtulmush, released official data on the number of combat missions by Russian aircraft in Syria, writes the RIA Novosti. According to Russian politicians, this statement is direct evidence that on November 24, the Turkish military was informed of the timing and location of the military operation of the Russian bomber.

Ukraine has not integrated

The information agenda was regularly set by Ukrainian politicians who this year did not give up their attempts to integrate into the European Union despite the opinion of Ukrainians who are confident that the country is moving in the wrong direction. The most popular was the new governor of the Odessa region, Mikhail Saakashvili. This year Georgia revoked its citizenship. During the training of the Ukrainian police in 2015, Saakashvili laughs, they turned to the National Security Agency: WikiLeaks and the media exposed the NSA in spying on Germany, France, Japan, etc.

Disappointing results of the "inactivity" of the opposition

This year the leaders of the so-called "liberal community" have shown that they are not really active and unwilling to comply with Russian legislation. For example, the leader of the Krasnoyarsk branch of Navalny's party was arrested for drunk driving. Traffic police arrested Oleg Bezrukikh for ten days. The Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation was suspected of stealing donations.

Despite this, PARNAS tried to take part on the day of the unified elections and nominated its candidates in three regions of Russia: Kaluga, Kostroma and Novosibirsk regions ... However, the attempt failed - only Mikhail Kasyanov was able to register in the Kostroma region, where he received a little more than two percent of the vote - for which he received the unflattering nickname "Mischa 2 percent".

At the end of the year, the ex-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky also became more active: he was called from England to the investigative committee, which accused the businessman in absentia of organizing the 1998 murder of the mayor of Nefteyugansk. Abroad, Khodorkovsky got into a quarrel with a resident of Murmansk, who joked about the ex-oligarch's tweet, calling the residents of the region the descendants of convicts. After the British learned that a Russian was living in their country and had been accused of contract murders in his homeland, they signed a petition on the Internet asking for Khodorkovsky to be evicted from the country.

Above all, this is the "Arab Spring" which has been dubbed the "Twitter Revolution". It started in Tunisia in December 2010, but it really evolved in 2011. Use with domino effect - in Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.

There is no doubt that “Twitter” and “Facebook” played their part in forming a bellicose “virtual crowd”. However, taking into account the specifics of the Arab world, mass demonstrations there cannot only be explained by new technologies. The insurgents drew the energy of the revolt mainly from the mosques.

The beginning of the unrest in the Middle East seemed to many to mark the beginning of the democratization of the region. As early as February-March, however, expert assessments appeared that the “Arab Spring” could become the Islamization of the regime. Those who took the squares of the North African and Middle Eastern capitals at the Internet call did not have clear programs. This is an important feature of the demonstrations organized in this way, be it the battles in Tahrir Square, the recent riots in the cities of England or the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations in many countries around the world. There are no programs or special ideas, but there are requirements. In North Africa and the Middle East - "Down with corruption", "Down with unemployment", but above all - "Down with Mubarak, Ben Ali, Gaddafi, Saleh, Assad". And all. It seemed to the crowd in the squares that the annoying rulers should be removed and everything would be fine.

In Tunisia and Egypt, under the motto "Down" it was possible to drive irreplaceable and corrupt leaders out of the political arena. And the organized religious parties Ennahda and the Muslim Brotherhood entered this field. And those who started the Arab Spring in these countries under the democratic motto of a change of power that these monolithic and ideological groups lost in free elections. It will be good if the opinion of "Ennahda" and "Muslim Brotherhood" as "moderate Islamists" is actually confirmed. When I was in PACE, I encountered such a predetermined outcome from the Arab elections. I had to be an observer of this organization in free elections in Palestine. It didn't take much discrimination to predict a Hamas victory. And so it happened. Times are changing and there is no reason to believe that there will be no democratic reforms at all in Tunisia and Egypt. They are quite possible, but of course based on the cultural background of the population of these countries.

The forcible crediting of the norms of Western democracy and, moreover, of the values ​​in the Arab world does not work. For example, the US military did not have time to leave Iraq because the country’s authorities had issued an arrest warrant for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi. This despite the fact that this terror suspect is a Sunni vice-president and the office of prime minister is occupied by the Shiite Nuri al-Maliki. So far, the "tensions" between Sunni politicians and supporters of the Iraqi Prime Minister are increasing. But what if a serious confrontation begins there? Furthermore, maybe coincidental, but Tariq al-Hashemi was nowhere else than Kurdistan at the time of the award of the order ...

In Libya, the "Arab Spring" turned into a civil war. In the midst of the events, I had to carry out the assignment I had received during the G8 summit in Deauville and visit Benghazi and Tripoli one after the other. And there and there nobody wanted negotiations. After UN Security Council Resolution 1973 was adopted, the outcome of the war in Libya was indeed a foregone conclusion.

In addition to the Arab Spring, 2011 saw other notable international events. This is the crisis in the euro zone with a change in leadership in Greece and Italy and the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The elimination of bin Laden and the terrorist attack in Norway. The scandal in connection with the former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the trial against Yulia Tymoshenko. Differences of opinion between Russia and the United States over the problem of European missile defense. But I am the Russian President's Special Envoy for Africa. Therefore, my most vivid impressions are of course connected to the work on this continent.

I had to visit almost every sub-Saharan African country. There is no point in listing all levels of meetings. All I can say is that Russia is actively returning to Africa. And I consider the Russia-Africa Economic Forum on December 16 in Addis Ababa to be an important result of my year-long work. Please note the following here. In the 1990s, we practically left Africa and opened clearing for business in the United States, the European Union, and China. China - especially. And in order to be able to compete successfully today, our business here needs direct government support. The same China, one of the leaders in terms of investing in the African economy, offers such support to its companies. On the other hand, the authorities of African countries also need to be prepared for the work of our entrepreneurs on the continent. The Russia-Africa Forum should become one of the tools for such interaction, if you want some kind of Davos for Africa. In any case, this "start" forum was successful on a fairly representative level on both sides. It is important to say that the second co-chair of the forum was Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.