After eight years in the top job, US President Barack Obama gave his farewell speech as the country's leader on Tuesday night in Chicago.
"By almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place" than it was eight years ago when he took office, he told thousands of supporters. However, he noted that does not mean that Americans are flawless, but they has shown the capacity to make life better for those who follow.
"So that's what we mean when we say America is exceptional. Not that our nation has been flawless from the start, but that we have shown the capacity to change, and make life better for those who follow," Obama said.
"Yes, our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard, contentious and sometimes bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some," Obama is confident.
The main thought of the President was the state of US democracy and the importance of protecting it from threats, such as "fanatics who claim to speak for Islam" and "autocrats in foreign capitals who see free markets, open democracies, and civil society itself as a threat to their power".
Obama urged to be vigilant, but not afraid. "ISIL will try to kill innocent people. But they cannot defeat America unless we betray our Constitution and our principles in the fight," he stressed.
"We've taken out tens of thousands of terrorists - including Osama bin Laden. The global coalition we're leading against ISIL has taken out their leaders, and taken away about half their territory. ISIL will be destroyed, and no one who threatens America will ever be safe," Obama ensured.
Russia, which not so long ago was put by Obama on a par with global threats, was mentioned by him only once. "Rivals like Russia or China cannot match our influence around the world - unless we give up what we stand for, and turn ourselves into just another big country that bullies smaller neighbors," he said.
On January 20, President Obama will be replaced by one of his main political opponents - Republican Donald Trump. "I agree that our trade should be fair and not just free. But the next wave of economic dislocation won't come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes many good, middle-class jobs obsolete," the US President stated.
According to Barack Obama, US democracy is threatened whenever they take it for granted. "All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions," Obama stressed, adding that if the scope of freedom and respect for the rule of law shrinks around the world, the likelihood of war within and between nations increases.
In his closing remarks he said he had one final request for Americans as president: "I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change - but in yours." “Yes we can,” he said one last time. “Yes we did.”
The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, stressed that Barack Obama has dedicated eight years of his presidency to almost only one mission. "All this time the Obama administration has made every effort to maintain a unipolar world, so that all the major economic and political processes in the world are consistent with Washington. Barack Obama could not do it, but the work itself has created a global problem," he pointed out.
In addition, Barack Obama during his eight-year term as president has been unable to cope with the challenges of international terrorism. "Starting a fight in 2001, the United States got the whole terrorist state formation - ISIS. This is a complete failure, in which they accuse Russia, of course," Andrei Suzdaltsev noted.
Obama's projects of various kinds of economic atomization of the world also failed. "In economic terms, all attempts to destroy the world markets, divide them, failed as well. The overall result - the Obama administration was a complete failure," the deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University said.
The head of the Center for Strategic Development of the CIS Countries under the RAS Institute of Europe, Alexander Gusev, agree with the fact that the work of Obama's work as US president had more negative aspects than positive. "Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama a few months after he took office is still puzzling. The whole course of events shows that he is not a peacemaker, but a man of war, who unleashed the war in Libya, contributed to the murder of Muammar Gaddafi and created all the conditions for a civil war Syria," the expert reminded.
"He also has created the conditions for a coup in Ukraine The deterioration of relations with Russia is the main disadvantage in his activities, because the sanctions pressure against our country is simply unprecedented. I believe that the majority of Russians would assess his presidency a failure," Alexander Gusev added.
The political scientist has called Barack Obama an extremely unprofessional politician. "He is not a professional, but a casual man, which became president of such a large country as the United States. Those actions, which he made for his eight years of work, are a subject to serious criminal offenses under international law. This man should be judged for the crimes and conflicts he launched worldwide.