Ukraine War, Chinese Protest, Imran Khan's Ouster & More: A Look at 10 Global Events That Defined 2022

The year 2022 has been a tumultuous one, with many uprisings, new faces coming to prominence and dictators losing hold of power. It has been a year of economic shockers, from the West to the East. Needless to say, it has been a year of clashes and of new alliances.

This year saw a significant rise of leaders like Ukraine President Zelensky, French President Macron and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. On the other hand, prominent international leaders, considered to have clout, including former US President Trump and Brazilian President Bolsonaro lost their power.

There were several prominent events which shaped 2022 in their own ways. To name a few, the Ukraine War, Sri Lankan Economic crisis and the unprecedented protests in China defined the year in their unusual ways.

As the year of shocks and surprises comes to an end, News18 takes a look at 10 events or news which defined 2022:

Ukraine War

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began earlier this year in February, has entered its 300th day this month, proving to be a tough challenge for both Russia and Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who began a blitzkrieg assault on Kyiv taking over the eastern and southern part of the country, is now facing challenge to keep the war going amid reports of ailing health and internal strife.

So far, over 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or injured in the war in Ukraine. For the Ukrainians, this winter is going to be tough with Russian attacks on Ukrainian power plans and consecutive Russian missile attacks. However, the war has shaped the hero out of Ukraine’s President Zelensky, who not only stood against the Russian aggression, but also managed to forge a western unity.

Sri Lankan Crisis

The Sri Lanka protests which started in April had led to the ouster of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and two-time President and former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Sri Lankan crisis, which started as a protest in Colombo, spread across the country with the people demanding reforms in the government.

Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected President through a parliamentary vote, in which the Rajapaksas’ party backed him in July.

Demonstrators protest inside the official residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Saturday. (Image: REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte)

The government blamed the Covid pandemic, which badly affected Sri Lanka’s tourist trade, and later led to a shortage of fuel and foreign dollars. However, many experts blame President Rajapaksa’s poor economic mismanagement.

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The country continues to remain under crisis with Colombo anticipating the IMF loan to secure the country’s economy.

Ouster of Imran Khan

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who came to power in 2018, is the only Pakistani Prime Minister to be ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament earlier this year.

Khan was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China, and Afghanistan.

Since he lost the vote in Parliament, Khan has mobilized mass rallies across the country, whipping up crowds with claims that he was a victim of a conspiracy by his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and the United States.

Iran Protests

Iran has been rattled by protests over opposition to the mandatory hijab law as thousands of common citizens have taken to the streets.

Iran has been rocked by protests since September 16, with the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being detained by the morality police. The protests have since morphed into one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s theocracy installed by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Amini was arrested by the morality police for not complying with the strict dress code on head coverings. She died in hospital on September (Illustration: News18)

So far, the country’s police have arrested renowned actresses, footballers, actors and influencers for supporting the protests. It has also executed two protestors for participation in the protests.

Rare Protest in China

China saw two major developments this year- Xi Jinping becoming President for the third time and rare protests weeks after against tough anti-Covid restrictions.

In November, thousands of people took to the streets in several major cities across China, including Beijing and Shanghai, to call for an end to lockdowns and greater political freedoms, in a wave of protests not seen since pro-democracy rallies in 1989 were crushed.

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This frame grab from eyewitness video footage made available via AFPTV on November 27, 2022 shows demonstrators shouting slogans in Shanghai. – Angry crowds took to the streets in Shanghai in the early hours of November 27 and videos on social media showed protests in other cities across China, as public opposition to the government’s hardline zero-Covid policy mounts. (Photo by AFPTV / AFP)

Despite heavy crackdown, surveillance and censorship, the protests expanded into calls for broader political freedom and left a major negative impact on the reputation of Xi and the Party.

US Midterm Elections

The midterm elections in the US, which is usually seen as a mandate against the ruling government, failed to make a Republican sweep as the Democrats gained razor-thin control of the Senate, while the Republicans got a narrow margin against the dems in the House of Representatives.

However, the misterms was special in the sense that it rained down on the ambitions of former President Donald Trump, who was looking forward to run for the second term, his “Make America Great Again” movement and the broader Republican agenda.

DeSantis’s thumping reelection victory over Democrat Charlie Crist in America’s midterms propels him to the front of the race for the 2024 Republication presidential nomination. (Image: News18 Creative)

A silver lining which came out of the midterm elections for the Republicans has been the victory of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis is seen as the possible challenger to Trump and a possible source of revival for the GOP.

UK Political Crisis

Surging inflation, ongoing strikes, economic crisis and war in Europe: the new UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces these major challenges. Sunak came to Power after his predecessor Truss resigned after just 44 days in power.

After 12 years in power, the Conservative party is more divided than ever. Earlier this year, Boris Johnson had resigned as PM in July after losing the confidence of some 60 ministers.

Sunak has become the fifth Tory prime minister since 2016 — following David Cameron, Theresa May, Johnson and Truss. The challenges continue to mount for Sunak, who hopes to get his country out of the economic and political mess.

Bolsonaro’s exit

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, lost election in October in a nail-biting presidential vote count against Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Almost from the start of his controversial mandate in 2019, Bolsonaro racked up accusations and investigations for everything from spreading disinformation to crimes against humanity. He survived more than 150 impeachment bids — a record.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro gestures during a military parade to celebrate the bicentennial independence of Brazil, in Brasilia, Brazil (Image: Reuters)

Most of these were over his flawed management of the coronavirus pandemic, which claimed the lives of more than 685,000 people in Brazil — the world’s second-highest toll after the United States.

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On January 1, 2023, Bolsonaro’s arch-rival, leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will take over the reins once more and Bolsonaro loses his presidential immunity.

COP27 Summit

The UN COP27 climate summit in Egypt had some success and some failures. While the summit achieved a landmark deal on funding to help vulnerable countries cope with devastating climate impacts, the talks stalled on key issues and failed to secure commitments to stop greenhouse gas emissions.

Though the participating nations agreed to contribute to the cost of the harm an overheated planet causes to developing nations, but they concluded the talks without doing anything more to address the burning of fossil fuels, which is the primary cause of these catastrophes.

Lionel Messi Wins FIFA World Cup

The debate about Lionel Messi‘s right to be regarded as the greatest footballer in history is officially over as the Argentinian star gave a final ‘departing’ gift to his fans across the globe.

The absence of a World Cup winners’ medal has long been the crux of argument about why Messi does not rank above Pele and Diego Maradona in football’s pantheon.

But with Argentina’s victory over France on December 18 World Cup final in Doha, the case is finally closed.

Lionel Messi leads Argentina to World Cup title on Sunday (AP Image)

Messi, during his three-decade long career, won important games including 37 club trophies, seven Ballon D’Or awards, six European Golden Boots, a Copa America title, an Olympic gold medal and many such records that may never be beaten.

The only remaining gap on Messi’s CV — a World Cup victory — was filled in at the end of 2022 over the course of nail-biting 120 minutes against France.

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