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Argentina's Economy Implodes, Internet Swoons For Hunky Finance Minister

His name is Axel Kicillof, but they call him "Kicilove."

Argentine Finance Minister Axel Kiciloff, a.k.a. "Kicilove," a.k.a. the "Minister of Love"
Argentine Finance Minister Axel Kiciloff, a.k.a. "Kicilove," a.k.a. the "Minister of Love"

BUENOS AIRES — Creditors may find him infuriating, but teenaged girls seem to adore Argentina's youthful Finance Minister Axel Kicillof. Or Kicilove, the "Minister of Love," as one Twitter user called him.

The account shows the minister taking a "selfie" with delighted female fans, a picture that caused a modest furore on the Internet, though it seems that those loving (and liking) the photo are supporters of President Cristina Kirchner, who appointed Kicillof to his post last November.

#KiciLove#Gorila cuando paso esto con algún ministro d economía NUNCA #LTA pic.twitter.com/LLorA1mnGo

— ♥Silvana♥ADN K♥ (@DoYouLoveMe666) August 21, 2014

Argentina is currently in a tug of war with foreign creditors, which it has denounced as "vultures" and speculators. But there he is, looking happy and handsome as ever even amid talk of the nation defaulting on its debt and the plummeting value of the Argentine peso.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

How Vulnerable Are The Russians In Crimea?

Ukraine has stepped up attacks on the occupied Crimean peninsula, and Russia is doing all within its power to deny how vulnerable it has become.

Photograph of the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters with smoke rising above it after a Ukrainian missile strike.

September 22, 2023, Sevastopol, Crimea, Russia: Smoke rises over the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters after a Ukrainian missile strike.

Kyrylo Danylchenko

This article was updated Sept. 26, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

Russian authorities are making a concerted effort to downplay and even deny the recent missile strikes in Russia-occupied Crimea.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Media coverage in Russia of these events has been intentionally subdued, with top military spokesperson Igor Konashenkov offering no response to an attack on Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, or the alleged downing last week of Russian Su-24 aircraft by Ukrainian Air Defense.

The response from this and other strikes on the Crimean peninsula and surrounding waters of the Black Sea has alternated between complete silence and propagating falsehoods. One notable example of the latter was the claim that the Russian headquarters building of the Black Sea fleet that was hit Friday was empty and that the multiple explosions were mere routine training exercises.

Ukraine claimed on Monday that the attack killed Admiral Viktor Sokolov, the commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. "After the strike on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, 34 officers died, including the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Another 105 occupiers were wounded. The headquarters building cannot be restored," the Ukrainian special forces said via Telegram.

But Sokolov was seen on state television on Tuesday, just one day after Ukraine claimed he'd been killed. The Russian Defense Ministry released footage of the admiral partaking in a video conference with top admirals and chiefs, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, though there was no verification of the date of the event.

Moscow has been similarly obtuse following other reports of missiles strikes this month on Crimea. Russian authorities have declared that all missiles have been intercepted by a submarine and a structure called "VDK Minsk", which itself was severely damaged following a Ukrainian airstrike on Sept. 13. The Russians likewise dismissed reports of a fire at the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet, attributing it to a mundane explosion caused by swamp gas.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refrained from commenting on the military situation in Crimea and elsewhere, continuing to repeat that everything is “proceeding as planned.”

Why is Crimea such a touchy topic? And why is it proving to be so hard to defend?

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