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31 Dec, 2011 04:03

Japan, Libya, Egypt: RT picks biggest events of 2011

With 2012 around the corner, RT is looking back at the events that shaped 2011. We present the top ten stories of 2011 through the eyes of RT correspondents who witnessed them.

In March Japan was shaken by a devastating earthquake and half an hour later a disastrous tsunami hit the north-eastern coast of the country smashing buildings and wiping away whole towns. The subsequent meltdown of the nuclear reactor at Fukushima power plant added the threat of radiation to the vast destruction already inflicted. Ivor Bennett was in Japan in the hours which followed the catastrophes. With his crew stranded by visa problems, he found himself alone in a country living in constant fear and uncertainty. Another pivotal event of 2011 was the Libyan uprising, which eventually turned into the civil war that ended 42 years of Muammar Gaddafi`s regime. Maria Finoshina recalls visiting Libya as the country was being bombed by NATO and torn apart by rebels, and the dramatic changes it went through as war raged. She also shares her impressions of Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, whom she interviewed during her time in Libya.While Libya was on fire, its close neighbor Egypt was also experiencing radical changes. The Egyptian revolution did more than just change the course of the country's history. Along with the Tunisian uprising, it spearheaded the Arab Spring, the wave of protests that swept across the Middle East. RT's Paula Slier reported from Tahrir Square, a place that saw hundreds of thousands protesting against the regime of the now ousted President Hosni Mubarak. She shares what never made it into her live news reports.Across from Africa Europe was fighting its own war as the eurozone was going through the worst economic crisis in decades. For Greece, the country most severely affected by the financial disaster, 2011 was a year of despair and discontent.The year has certainly been an unusual one for Russian politics. The December parliamentary elections triggered mass protests in Russia, as people doubted the results, leading to debate about the popularity of the ruling United Russia party.The United States has also witnessed mass protests in 2011, as thousands of Occupy Wall Street movement supporters took to the streets across the country demanding social and financial equality.Making its way into the headlines all over the world in mid-March, Syria has not been out of them since. The conflict is ongoing and the country is fractured under the strain of political disputes, anger and violence. Tragedy shook Russia when a fatal plane crash in the city of Yaroslavalclaimed the lives of the entire first-team squad of the city’s hockey team Lokomotiv. The younger team members left behind managed to focus and start rebuilding the team.It has been a tough year for the UK, which saw its worst unrest in decades, as several cities, including the capital London, descended into rioting, looting and arson. Five summer days of chaos in August shocked the world, raising questions about the social situation in the country.Space projects consistently made the news in 2011. RT closely followed the events in the sphere that saw a fair share of both breakthroughs and failures.