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Extra! Maduro Compares Himself To Stalin

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"I am just like Stalin," Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said. Today's Mexican daily La Razonfeatured the shockingly proud comparison to the Soviet dictator, which the Venezuelan president made during a visit to the Caracas Book Fair on Thursday.

"And here they have a copy of Stalin: History and Critique of a Black Legend," Maduro said in front of reporters. "Stalin is like me. The moustache is exactly the same. Comrade Stalin who beat Hitler."

The latest controversy for Hugo Chavez's successor comes amid increasing crackdowns against opposition leaders in Venezuela. Washington has responded by calling the regime in Caracas a threat to U.S. national security. Some in Latin America have criticized the Obama administration for the new hard line.

Maduro's remarks about Joseph Stalin, whom history largely regards as a mass murderer of his own people as well as an active imperialist internationally, are sure to offer more fodder for those both at home and abroad looking to put more pressure on Caracas.

About the Source: La Razon is a tabloid-format daily published in Mexico City, and directed by Rubén Cortés Fernández.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

This is a tale of a Ukrainian special forces operator who wound up surviving 14 hours at sea, staying afloat and dodging Russian air and sea patrols.

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

Looking at the Black Sea in Odessa, Ukraine.

Rustem Khalilov and Roksana Kasumova

KYIV — During a covert operation in the Black Sea, a Ukrainian special agent was thrown overboard and spent the next 14 hours alone at sea, surrounded by enemy forces.

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The agent, who uses the call-sign "Conan," agreed to speak to Ukrainska Pravda, to share the details of nearly being lost forever at sea. He also shared some background on how he arrived in the Ukrainian special forces. Having grown up in a village in a rural territory of Ukraine, Conan describes himself as "a simple guy."

He'd worked in law enforcement, personal security and had a job as a fitness trainer when Russia launched its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022. That's when he signed up with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Main Directorate of Intelligence "Artan" battalion. It was nearly 18 months into his service, when Conan faced the most harrowing experience of the war. Here's his first-hand account:

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