Year in Review | Outbreaks of violence that shook the world this year


(1) Russian invasion of Ukraine 2022

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, marking the intensification of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. This has led to thousands of deaths on both sides. Furthermore, it has triggered Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. Around 8 million Ukrainians were displaced within their country by late May and 7.8 million fled the country by November 2022. Russia, on the other hand, witnessed its greatest emigration since the 1917 October Revolution.

Russia has strong cultural, economic, and political ties with Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine have long-standing familial bonds. Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, is also known as “the mother of Russian cities,” owing to the cultural influence of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Eight million ethnic Russians live in Ukraine, mostly in the south and east, according to a 2001 census. Some experts consider the Russia-Ukraine war as an indication of a resurgence of geopolitical rivalry between major world powers.

After the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, Russia annexed Crimea, and Russian-backed paramilitaries took over a part of the Donbas region of south-eastern Ukraine. Russia started a large military build-up along its border with Ukraine, assembling 190,000 troops. Russia recognized the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, two self-proclaimed breakaway quasi-states in the Donbas. Russian troops entered the two regions the following day.

(2) al-Shabaab invasion of Ethiopia 2022

The Somali Civil War (2009–present) was primarily a conflict between the units of the Federal Government of Somalia assisted by African Union peacekeeping troops and Al-Qaeda-aligned Al-Shabaab militants. In July 2022, al-Shabaab began an invasion from Somalia into Ethiopia’s Somali Region. Soon, they attacked Ethiopia’s Afder Zone on 21 July and captured the town of Hulhul. Regardless, the situation was controlled by Somali Region paramilitary forces. On 25 July, the militants were defeated again. Cross-border attacks followed while Ethiopia launched counter-attacks. Eventually, in early August, al-Shabaab contingent succeeded in reaching the Bale Mountains.

This is the largest attack by al-Shabaab on Ethiopian territory.

(3) Gaza–Israel clashes 2022

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s most controversial conflicts, which began in the mid-20th century. Attempts to resolve the conflict, along with the broader Arab–Israeli conflict were all in vain. 

Between March and May, 17 Israelis and two Ukrainians were killed by Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. Following this, the IDF conducted several raids against armed Palestinian divisions across the West Bank. At least 30 Palestinians were killed before August. On August 1, Israeli forces arrested PIJ West Bank leader Bassem al-Saadi. On 3 August, Khaled al-Batsh, head of the politburo of the PIJ in Gaza said, “We have every right to bomb Israel with our most advanced weapons and make the occupier pay a heavy price. We will not settle for attacking around Gaza, but we will bomb the center of the so-called State of Israel.” The operation was ordered solely by Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

The 2022 Gaza–Israel clashes lasted from 5 to 7 August 2022.

(4) Armenian-Azerbaijani clashes 2022

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is an ethnic and territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh. Although this conflict has its roots in the early 20th century, the current conflict started in 1988. During the early 1990s, it had become a complete war. Again in April 2016, it intensified and turned into a war in 2020. A similar pattern can be observed this year as well, considering the intensification of the 2021–2022 Armenia–Azerbaijan border crisis.

Many call it the ‘Two Day War,’ to differentiate it from the larger crisis. 

(5) Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan clashes 2022

Border clashes recommenced between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on 27 January 2022.

Kyrgyzstan officials said that the clashes intensified when Tajik units began using tanks, APCs, and mortars to enter Kyrgyz villages. In addition, they started attacking the airport of the Kyrgyz town of Batken and neighboring regions. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan blamed each other. The conflict continued for two days until the nations agreed to a ceasefire that lasted only a day. On 20 September 2022, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan signed a peace deal.

Source: AA | As of September 17, 2022

Source: AA | As of September 17, 2022

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