2022 In Review: Putin's War, Iran Protests, US Midterms And Other Geopolitical Events That Shaped The World

2022 could be regarded as a turning point in global politics, indicating the end of one era and the beginning of another.

What Happened: The year saw massive geopolitical movements, from the war returning to Europe to boiling US-China tensions and growing political turmoil around the world.   

These are the top 10 geo-political events that shaped the world: 

Russia-Ukraine War: On Feb. 24, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine that has so far led to the killing of thousands of civilians and army personnel on both sides. Now, 10 months into the conflict, there seems to be no end in sight. Vladimir Putin's provocations have drawn various sanctions from the U.S. allies, including the European Union, that have led to the crippling of Europe's economy, soaring inflation and an energy crisis. 

US-China-Taiwan Tensions: The relations between Washington and Beijing have been strained in recent years due partly to tensions over Taiwan. In the past year, China stepped up its game to "reunify" after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial visit to the island nation angered Xi Jinping. China sent over 71 warplanes and seven ships on Christmas Day as it conducted its largest incursion into Taiwan’s air defense zone in recent months.

Death Of Queen Elizabeth II:  Queen Elizabeth II, the U.K.’s longest-reigning monarch, died in September at Balmoral, aged 96. The Queen ascended to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change. With her death, her eldest son, King Charles III, became the new monarch of Britain.

U.K. Political Turmoil: With a looming recession and a crippled economy, Britain saw three prime ministers in just two months, with the second one resigning within 45 days in the top office. The turmoil started after more than 50 of Boris Johnson's government’s members resigned in July to protest against his party gate scandal. He was succeeded by Liz Truss, who resigned within days and became the U.K.'s shortest-serving P.M. ever, after plummeting the British pound due to a plan that involved cutting 45 billion pounds in tax ($50.4 billion). In October, Rishi Sunak took charge as Britain’s first Indian-origin Prime Minister, promising to fix recent “mistakes.”

Political Turmoil In Sri Lanka: The island of 22 million people faced the worst economic turmoil in seven decades in 2022, leaving millions struggling to buy daily essentials, food and medicine. The country had to shut down schools and fuel has been limited to essential services due to a shortage.

Iran Protests: In mid-September, thousands of Iranians took to the streets to protest after the death of Mahasa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, in police custody. Amini was detained by morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab “improperly.” Despite the government carrying out executions, the protestors continue to fight against the its diktat.

Monkeypox Outbreak: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous cases of a rare viral disease that is similar to smallpox, Monkeypox, were reported. On Jul. 23, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

Assassination Of Shinzo Abe: The former prime minister of Japan and a serving member of the House of Representatives, Shinzo Abe, was assassinated on July 8 while speaking at a political event outside Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Japan's Nara City. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and other world dignitaries attended the funeral of Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. 

Xi Jinping Re-election: Chinese President Xi secured his third term in power in October by winning the re-election as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) elected Xi as its general secretary for a precedent-breaking five-year term. 

U.S. Mid-Term Elections: The Mid-Term Elections held in November saw Democrats retaining control of the Senate and the Republicans securing a narrow victory in the House of Representatives. The Republicans winning control of the House means the President Biden-led administration may have great difficulty building on any agenda in the last two years of the presidential term.

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalGeneralChina-Taiwan crisisEurasiaIranJoe BidenNancy PelosiQueen Elizabeth IIRussia-Ukraine WarVladimir PutinXi Jinping
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