Europe 2022: Russian invasion of Ukraine
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. The pandemic would continue into 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, escalating the simmering crisis between the two countries into full-scale war.
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. European companies were, however, world-leaders in vaccine production and by late 2020 mass vaccination was underway for the general public, although these measures soon had to compete with new COVID variants. By mid-January 2022, of the worst-affected countries, the UK had 151,600 deaths, Italy 140,500, France 126,700, Germany 116,100, Poland 101,800, Spain 90,700, Romania 59,100, Czechia 36,800, Bulgaria 32,000, Belgium 28,500, and the Netherlands 21,100.
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.
24 Feb 2022–pres. Russian invasion of Ukraine▲
On 24 February 2022, after months of military buildup and rising tensions, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine from Belarus, mainland Russia, the Donbas republics, and Crimea. The largest military assault on a European state since World War II, the invasion was internationally condemned and prompted massive sanctions on Russia by the United States and its allies. As a result of the invasion, millions of Ukrainians fled their homes, with over 3.6 million Ukrainians leaving the country.