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Quotes Of The Year: Maduro, Snowden, Pope, More

It's been a year of both earnest and outrageous comments from across the globe.

Quotes Of The Year: Maduro, Snowden, Pope, More
Worldcrunch

JANUARY

A statement from the French president after gossip magazine Closer reported that he was having an affair with French actress Julie Gayet

Google chairman Eric Schmidt, on jobs for the coming decades.

FEBRUARY

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, on announcing that he expeled three unnamed officials from the U.S. embassy, accusing them of conspiring against his government

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, on gays, the day after he signed a drastic anti-gay bill.

MARCH

Speaking to BBC Radio, British Foreign Secretary William Hague on the Ukraine crisis.

APRIL

Parents of the 129 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram on April 14 vented their outrage against the Nigerian government.

Author Harper Lee, on approving the release of an electronic version of her classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

MAY

Former CIA and NSA contractor Edward Snowden, dismissing critics who claimed he was a low-level hacker.

Japan Finance Minister Taro Aso, telling the country's lawmakers that it's unfair for his taxes to underwrite the health costs of lazy people.

JUNE

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Argentina would have to repay creditors on its defaulted bonds

The Spanish government, announcing King Juan Carlos' abdication, paving the way for his son Felipe to take over the royal reins.

JULY

With Italy assuming the EU presidency for six months, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi vowed to make the issue of immigration a top priority for Europe.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, reacting to the June 23 sentencing of three Al-Jazeera journalists, conceding that the case had been damaging for his country.

AUGUST

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, to angry Missouri residents mourning teen Michael Brown, about his own mistrust of police

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, condemning the country's rape culture

SEPTEMBER

Iran President Hassan Rouhani, raging against the U.S. and its allies.

President Barack Obama, on the ISIS terror organization's beheading of American journalist James Foley.

OCTOBER

Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai jointly wins the Nobel Peace Prize with Indian Kailash Satyarthi.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, on the Ebola crisis

Said Pope Francis.

NOVEMBER

Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson, on the deadly shots he fired at unarmed teen Michael Brown.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's sexist comments at a women's conference.

DECEMBER

President Barack Obama, saying "We are all Americans" in Spanish as part of his announcement that the United States was normalizing diplomatic ties with Cuba, ending 50 years of hostile relations between the two countries.

During a visit to Australia, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pleaded with Russia to withdraw its troops from his country.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot and other military skills at a shooting range in Lviv on July 30, 2022.

Guillaume Ptak

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

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On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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