Europe 2021: Europe Today
While the UK was negotiating its exit from the European Union, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. The virus had a major impact on world affairs in 2020, with Europe being one of the continents hardest hit. However, by early 2021 there was hope of an end in sight, with vaccines being rolled out across the continent.
24 Jan 2020–pres. COVID-19 in Europe▲
On 24 January 2020 the first case of the COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed in Europe in Bordeaux, France, with many other cases almost immediately reported across the continent. By mid-March, with many stricken and over 250 million people in lockdown, Europe had displaced China as the active center of the pandemic. By mid-January 2021, of the worst-affected countries, the UK had 88,000 deaths, Italy 81,000, France 70,000, Spain 53,000, Germany 47,000, Poland 33,000, Belgium 20,000, Romania 17,000, Czechia 14,000, and the Netherlands 13,000. European companies were, however, world-leaders in vaccine production and by late 2020 mass vaccination was underway for the general public.
27 Sep–10 Nov 2020 Second Nagorno-Karabakh War▲
In late September 2020 clashes broke out along the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact, which had been established after Armenia’s occupation of southwest Azerbaijan in support of the breakaway state of Artsakh in 1994. Supported by Turkey, the Azerbaijanis made substantial gains, particularly in the south where they captured Shusha, the second-largest city in Nagorno-Karabakh, on 8 November. Two days later, a Russian-brokered ceasefire was agreed, whereby Nagorno-Karbakh was divided along the ceasefire line and Armenia withdrew from all Azerbaijani territory it had occupied outside Nagorno-Karabakh.