The year 2022 saw a spate of events that took the world by surprise. From Putin’s invasion to the resilient uprising of Iranian women to Gaza carnage, here is the list of key events that shocked and rocked the world in the year that’s about to end:
Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine
From intelligence reports to America’s incessant warnings, the world ignored Putin’s sly moves and the gradual military build-up around Ukraine. The Russian president rolled in tanks toward Ukraine, launching the biggest assault on any country since World War II. The Russian invasion of Ukraine began On February 24 after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine from Belarus to the north, the Russian-annexed Crimea Peninsula to the south, and its own territory to the east.
West’s fence-sitting and a barrage of U.S. and EU sanctions could not deter Putin’s will to commit the carnage. The war has since not only killed thousands, and displaced millions, but it has sent shockwaves and ripple effects across the globe, affecting political stability and economy in the regions from South Asia to Britain. Read more here.
The ‘liberal’ America overturns Roe Vs Wade
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States delivered a wrecking ball to the constitutional right to abortion by overturning the landmark Roe V. Wade judgement, the decision that established the constitutional right to abortion in the United States in 1973.
The apex court’s decision drew a spate of sharp criticism from activists and attorneys all across the world. President Joe Biden himself termed the move as "a sad day for the court and the country" as it puts “the lives of women across the country at risk”. Addressing the White House, Biden said that the “court has done what it's never done before.”
Abortion rights activists around the world were and still are, worried that the judgement would threaten the recent moves toward the legalisation of abortion in their countries. Over the past few decades, significant progress has been achieved in guaranteeing women's access to abortion, with approximately 50 countries liberalising their abortion laws.
The Sri Lanka Saga
Post the pandemic in 2022, Sri Lanka’s fate was gradually sinking in a quagmire of woes— severe inflation, long power cuts, shortage of energy supplies and other daily amenities— and the disgruntled citizens took the stage launching mass protests across the country demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Caught on a sticky wicket, Gotabaya fled the country and Mahinda moved to Hambantota with his family. The visuals of the presidential palace sustaining a massive breach with hordes of people surging and storming to the compound and ransacking it gripped the world with shock.
Ranil Wickremesinghe took oath as the prime minister, promising to resuscitate the country’s economy. The famous south Asian tourist destiny is left to the mercy of funds from generous countries and a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund.
Gaza sees carnage from the sky
The heavy Israeli bombardment on the Gaza strip began during the first week of August and it was the most violent skirmish since May 2021 which according to Gaza's health ministry resulted in 44 fatalities, including 15 children, and 360 injuries in the enclave.
Since 2008, Israel has launched four offensives on the Palestinian territory, killing nearly 4,000 people – one-quarter of them children. The truce between Israel and the Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad was reportedly violated after minutes it came to effect, however, since then there was no reported exchange of fire between the two parties.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that the airstrikes began in a bid to eliminate key members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an organisation that was established in 1981 by two Palestinian activists Abd Al Aziz Awda and Fathi Shaqaqi. The outfit seeks to build an independent and Islamic state of Palestine with borders dating back to 1948, the year Israel was founded. The smaller of the two main Palestinian organisations in the Gaza Strip, Islamic Jihad, is considerably outnumbered by Hamas which controls the territory. Read more here.
Downing Street went too down!
Britain got its fifth conservative prime minister in six years. The incumbent prime minister, and the internet sensation for South Asians, Rishi Sunak took an oath to the office after Lizz Truss’s mini-stint of 44 days ended up in a resignation. Truss’s ride was the shortest-ever tenure for a British leader. In 2022, The country also saw the death of its longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
Behold the tresses that protest!
The death of Mahsa Amini on September 16 while in the custody of Iran's morality police triggered the protests, which have already lasted nearly 100 days. Kurdish woman Amini, 21, was detained while in Tehran on suspicion of inappropriately donning her headscarf. Since her passing, she has served as a strong reminder of how many Iranians feel about the harsh laws in their nation.
The indignation and the resentment forced Iranian women to protest, as they threw their hijabs and snipped their tresses in public in a symbolic gesture to resist the regime’s brutal and repressive laws. Despite the brutal crackdown by the Iranian authorities, executions and detentions, the protests have not died down and the Iranians are risking it all for the cusp of freedom.
Darlings who died too soon!
The year 2022 saw the demise of legends who were loved by millions. Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, an American-Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist killed during an Israeli army raid in the West Bank. Shane Warne, the magician o whom the ‘ball of the century’ is credited died allegedly after suffering a heart attack, leaving the cricketing world and fans across the globe in a state of awe and despair. Taylor Hawkins, the eclectic, prodigious drummer of the alternative US rock group Foo Fighters called it a day at 50. Lata Mangeshkar and Nayyara Noor— the voices that were young, timeless, and divine— left music lovers bereft of their magical melodies for ages to come.
Controversial tourney, Moroccan mystery, and Messi’s magic
FIFA World Cup 2022 kicked off with some controversies about human rights and the high number of deaths among migrant workers involved in constructing eight new stadiums. Thousands of Fans boycotted the tourney on and off the field.
Morocco’s sizzling performance and agile ascent in the tournament stole the hearts of millions of football lovers. They defeated Cristian’s Portugal, and giant Spain! However, the bitter ending for them left many heartbroken. The cliffhanging final between Argentina and France glues viewers to their screens for more than two long hours. World’s favorite Lionel Messi had a dream run, helping his team clinch the title that had been eluding him for a very long time.