Every year we sum up the results of world events, every year we want to write only good, but, alas, it does not work. The brutal murder and imitation of the death of journalists, espionage passions, historical meetings, the “caravan of migrants” and one amazing story of salvation — all this will remain in history and will affect the development of events in the coming year.
Where power has changed
In many countries presidential elections were held, many managed to maintain their posts this year, but there were also interesting replacements.
In Russia, Turkey and Venezuela, the presidents Vladimir Putin, Recep Erdogan and Nicolas Maduro were re-elected to the main posts. Re-elected for a fourth term was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, however, decided to resign as head of the ruling party of the CDU. She explained her decision by the fact that it is necessary to give time to prove yourself young politicians. In its place came her protégé Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, to whom designate the place of the Chancellor. For the first time a woman took the post of the President in Georgia — almost 60% of voters voted for Salome Zurabishvili.
In Armenia in the bloodless revolution was won the oppositionist Nikol Pashinyan. After several weeks of protest, he was elected Prime Minister, and then he strengthened his position: his bloc won the early parliamentary elections.
In France, protest moods do not subside, which leads to a drop in the rating and the authority of the President Emmanuel Macron. Demonstrations of “yellow vests”, which first began in protest against the increase in fuel prices, and then turned into demonstrations against the policy pursued by the authorities, started on November 17. Quite often they came to an end with mass riots, there are victims.
The French authorities imposed a moratorium on the rise in prices for gasoline and diesel fuel, but the protests continued. French President Emmanuel Macaron made significant concessions, promising to raise the minimum wage and stabilize the economy, but the situation has not been resolved yet.
Ukraine: Kerch incident, martial law
The loudest mention of Ukraine in the media was the incident in the Kerch Strait. On November 25, the Russian FSB reported that the border guards used weapons against Ukrainian warships Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yana Kapu, which allegedly violated the state border of the Russian Federation.
The Ukrainian side announced an act of aggression by Russia. One of the consequences of the incident in the Kerch Strait was the introduction of martial law in Ukraine for a month – Petro Poroshenko said about the possibility of full-scale aggression by Russia. On December 26 martial law was removed.
The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
A wide public resonance in the world caused the murder of 59-year-old Explorer of the American newspaper The Washington Post Jamal Khashoggi. He was originally from Saudi Arabia and left for the United States in 2017. The journalist was known for his criticism of the Saudi authorities, including crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi criticized the participation of Saudi Arabia at war in Yemen, and in addition, highlighted the persecution of activists.
On October 2, the journalist went to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to process the divorce documents. His fiancée was waiting outside. She also reported that the journalist did not leave the Consulate. Turkish authorities conducted investigations at the Consulate and concluded that the journalist was killed. Turkish authorities reported the presence of audio and video recordings of the journalist being tortured and then killed.
Western countries condemned the murder of the journalist, but serious sanctions were not imposed, although Germany was in favor of stopping the supply of weapons to Saudi Arabia. The CIA thinks crown Prince Salman was involved in the murder. Also in the US Senate adopted a resolution on the withdrawal of troops from Yemen. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the murder was political and was planned in Saudi Arabia, and for its execution in Turkey arrived 15 people, the majority— with military ranks. The body of the journalist is still missing. Media reported that the body was dismembered and hidden in a well near the Consulate. Official confirmation of this information was not.
The poisoning of Skripal, the adventures of Petrov and Bashirova and other spies
On March 4, 66-year-old former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter were found unconscious on a bench at the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury (UK). In Britain, said that Skripals suffered from nerve agents such as “Novichok”, and blamed for what happened to Russia. This caused a major diplomatic scandal: Britain and dozens of Western countries announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats. Moscow responded with mirror measures.
Skripals survived. The woman was discharged from the hospital in early April, her father-on May 18. According to the British authorities, Skripals continue treatment, but their location is not called. Julia Skripal is a citizen of Russia, but Russian diplomats to her are not allowed.
In early September, the Prosecutor’s office of Britain announced the names of the suspects in the poisoning. This is the Russians Alexander Petrov, and Ruslan Bashirov. A European warrant was issued for their arrest.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said that the decision to poison Skripals, most likely, took at the highest level in Russia. The perpetrators of the attack in Salisbury, she said, were employees of the GRU. Moscow denies involvement in the incident.
Western countries supported the statement made by Britain about the involvement of the Russian Federation to the poisoning of Skripals, the US President agreed with the version about the possible involvement in the incident to the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Against Russia imposed another set of sanctions.
What else accused Russia
On July 11, Greece announced the expulsion of two Russian diplomats “for illegal actions against national security” and the ban on the entry of two more Russians. The media wrote that diplomats were accused of illegal collection and dissemination of information, as well as bribery of government officials. At the same time, it was noted that Athens wants to continue to interact with Moscow. The Russian foreign Ministry has taken mirror measures.
In September, the Swiss foreign Ministry demanded that Russia stop illegal activities in the country — espionage. They noted that not once called the Russian Ambassador to point to the illegal actions of Russian citizens. The reason was including the publication of the media, which wrote that” every fourth ” working in Switzerland are the representative of the Russian Federation is a spy. The Embassy of the Russian Federation has called the reports “baseless and unsubstantiated attacks” against Russia.
On October 4, the Netherlands announced the expulsion of four Russians. They are suspected of involvement in a cyber attack on the OPCW, which conducted technical expertise in the case of poisoning Skripals, as well as chemical attacks in Syria. The defense Ministry said that the suspects worked for the GRU.
Do not forget that there is still an investigation on the so-called Russian intervention in the US presidential elections in 2016, and the UK intends to create a cyber-force to counter Russian threats.
Trump and all-all-all
And, of course, in many ways the tone of the agenda of the world media was set by the 45th US President Donald Trump.
On May 8, Trump said that the US is out of a nuclear deal with Iran, which was so hard to achieve a few years ago. Part of the sanctions were lifted from Tehran in exchange for abandoning the nuclear program. According to trump, Iran violates the terms of the deal and continues to work on the creation of nuclear weapons. The US position is not understood by the EU and Russia.
Donald Trump also announced the US withdrawal from the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. This agreement was signed in 1987 by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, it limits the creation of ballistic and cruise nuclear missiles of ground-based range from 500 to 5500 km. In the United States believe that Russia violated the Treaty by developing a ground-based cruise missile 9M729 for the complex “Iskander”. Washington and NATO believe that this system falls under the Treaty, Moscow denies it. In early December, the United States said it would stop fulfilling its obligations under the INF TREATY if Russia did not return to its implementation within 60 days. In Russia, it was reported that they will be forced to take under the sight of us missile systems in Europe, if they after the exit from the INF TREATY will place them in the region.
Coming out of some agreements, Trump creates new ones. After long conversations and “jokes ” of each other, there was a meeting of the US and North Korean leaders Donald Trump and Kim Jong-UN. On June 12 in Singapore for the first time in history there was a joint summit of the two countries, and Trump was the first President in the history of the United States, who met with the leader of North Korea. Following the meeting, they signed a document, the content of which is not disclosed, and Trump said about the “great chemistry” between him and Kim Jong-UN. However, 10 days after the meeting, the US extended sanctions against North Korea.
On July 16, the first full-scale summit of the US and Russian presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin was held in Helsinki. Earlier, the presidents met at various international forums. The presidents talked for two hours behind closed doors, after which everyone said about the usefulness of the meeting — but relations between Russia and the United States still resemble the cold war.
If the hard degree in relations with Russia is understood by the Americans and the US allies, Trump’s policy towards migrants has not been approved by everyone. In April, the Trump administration introduced the principle of zero tolerance for border crossing violations. In a few months, about two thousand children were seized from migrants trying to illegally enter the territory of the United States, which caused condemnation not only in American society. After that, the President abolished this practice.
In mid-October, a group of several hundred people moved from San Pedro Sula in Northern Honduras to Mexico and the United States in search of a better life. As the “caravan of migrants” has grown to several thousand /people. Donald Trump is determined not to let illegal migrants into the country, for this he sent the military to the border and allowed to shoot at migrants (there was already an incident with the use of tear gas). Trump threatens to completely close the border with Mexico. The US government even suspended work, as Republicans with Democrats can not agree on the allocation of funds for the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico.
Rescue children from a flooded cave in Thailand
This rescue operation was followed by the whole world. On June 24, twelve teenagers aged 11 to 16 years with a football coach went to one of the caves of Khao Luang. Due to the onset of the rains raised the water level, which cut off the children way to the exit. Teenagers and the trainer were blocked. They were found only after 10 days. All this time they were practically without food, and in the darkness, but survived. The cave in which they found themselves, extends almost 10 km, has several entrances and exits.
Dozens of rescuers from different countries came to the rescue. They managed to carry out a unique operation to rescue children. During the rescue operation, each of the boys was accompanied by two divers, they also carried oxygen cylinders for the child. Some sections can be traversed on foot, with some requiring immersion and movement in tight spaces
To 10 July all blocked lifted from caves whole and intact. In a few days of operation one diver was killed.