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The BRICS summit will convene in China's Sanya beach resort on April 14. For the first time in the alliance's relatively short history, South Africa will participate in the forum as a  member along with Brazil, Russia, India, and China, while the disquieting political settings of the early 2011 reinforce the world's interest in the coming talks between the leaders of the emerging economic heavyweights.

IT'S ALWAYS RISKY to tell a story from hearsay. One inevitably errs in the details. Still, let me give it a try. During a Soviet celebration of Alexander Suvorov's jubilee year, a speaker mounted the podium and made a denunciatory speech about the great general. In it, he depicted Suvorov as a proponent of serfdom, the stifler of Polish freedom, and, most importantly, as the cruel suppressor of the Pugachev Rebellion. An awkward silence followed. Then a well-known biographer of Suvorov took the word and asked the "denouncer," "Do you think, comrade, that, had Pugachev won, he would have instituted Soviet rule in Russia?" The audience laughed.

Ideological surrogates rarely withstand the test of history. Something similar is taking place today.

"Democracy's Hard Spring" was the title of an article in a respectable international magazine that presented an easily predictable interpretation of the tumultuous events in the Middle East. Although "predictable" is not always the same thing as "trite," the two terms coincided in this case. This only goes to show once again that modern positivists are not daunt­ed by anything, including crises, revolutions, and natural disasters. Everything is going according to plan. Libyan rebels are already saying that they will establish a pluralistic parliamentary democracy with limits on executive government. For the time being, they're shooting into the air and destroying cities just like Qaddafi, yet, no matter, they'll calm down and create pluralism, parliament, and democracy. Moreover, it turns out that Islamists, including former members of groups linked to the Al Qaeda, are upholding the values of secular society.

On March 31, a group of developing countries — Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mali, Equatorial Guinea, etc. - called the UN Security Council to impose a ceasefire on Libya and to take urgent steps to settle the conflict in and around the country. Talks between M. Gadhafi and the rebels are supposed to be the first phase of the peace process.

This year started with a wave of social uprising in Maghrib, which later spread to the most part of the Arab North Africa and the Middle East.

Though historical significance of these events will become clear only with time, now we still can make some conclusions and see what these outbreaks of protest had in common. If we have a look at how the western mass media cover the opposition protests in North Africa and the Middle East, we will unintentionally get suspicious about similarity of the way it was done.