The fifth year of the decade was a momentous one for the news, with several major international events, the aftermath of which is still rippling across the world to this day.
decade under review: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
olympic winter games in sochi – february 6
Russia’s holding of the Winter Olympics had been controversial even before the event began, due to Russia’s human rights record.
Russian authorities had spent $51 billion (the most of any Olympics) to make it a success. the problem was that they chose a place that, at least in summer, was known for its warmth. As visitors poured into a rainy Sochi, organizers scrambled to use saved snowdrifts from previous years to ensure there would be a ski and snowboard trail to run on.
russia was desperate for the games to be a success. How much became apparent several years later when rumors of a state doping program were confirmed by a whistleblower who said that at least 15 of Russia’s medals were earned as a result of sharing urine samples in a Russian-run laboratory. /p>
When discovered, the fallout saw Russian athletes banned from a number of international sporting events, including the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics.
Ukrainian revolution – February 18
Successive Ukrainian governments sought closer relations with the European Union, but were hampered by the ties of many in power to the Kremlin. It came to a head when Viktor Yanukovych’s government, which was among the pro-Russians, was negotiating an agreement with the EU and seemed to be stalling progress.
Protests, centered on Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), erupted and soon turned violent, with nearly 130 killed during the clashes.
yanukovych was forced to flee and the Russians declared the revolution an illegal coup. Later, images emerged of a luxurious palace where the former president had been able to live in luxury, adorned with gold, marble and glass.
Petro Poroshenko, a pro-European, took office after an interim leader and Russia became deeply unhappy at the loss of influence in the country that had been part of the Soviet empire only 25 years earlier.
Russia annexes Crimea – February 27
almost as soon as the dust of the maidan revolution began to settle, strangely uniformed armed men began to appear in crimea, a peninsula considered by most un members to be part of ukraine, but the site of a Russian base.
Although the men’s uniforms had no insignia, it was later revealed that they were Russian special forces and within days they took over the regional parliament and erected Russian flags.
while moscow claimed that crimea was in the midst of a counter-revolution, independent journalists were prevented from witnessing what was happening. A referendum was allowed, but without independent monitors, and 95% of the ballots supported the union of Russia.
The annexation of Crimea had serious and lasting consequences. not least because it encouraged others to seek independence from ukraine and resulted in pro-russian militants in the eastern donbass region trying to secede.
The resulting war, which continues, left at least 12,800 dead, according to the UN, of whom some 3,300 were civilians.
During the first months of the war, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down, killing 298. An international investigation team blamed pro-Russian forces.
mh370 disappears – March 8
when malaysian airlines flight 370 from kuala lumpur to beijing took off at around 00:42, nothing happened to indicate anything was wrong.
About 15 minutes later, the captain of the Boeing 777-200 said “good evening” to local air traffic control and was told to check in with Vietnamese controllers.
Before he did, the plane disappeared from radar screens, only briefly reappearing hundreds of miles off course in northwestern Malaysia.
When a digital “handshake” emerged with the plane indicating that it was traveling through a corridor encompassing a large portion of the Indian Ocean, a massive search ensued costing millions of dollars.
Even to this day, only a few sporadic remains have been found. Nothing has ever been discovered about the fate of the 239 people on board.
gangnam style reaches 2 billion views on youtube – June 1
The K-pop single, by South Korean musician Psy, was released in July 2012 and quickly took dancefloors around the world by storm.
Her dance moves were attempted with varying degrees of success by political leaders such as David Cameron, Barack Obama, a Head Ban Ki-Moon, and astronauts.
partly due to the song’s popularity being based on the accompanying dance moves and the rise of youtube as a medium through which people began to consume music more and more, the video went viral and got millions of hits a day.
it passed the 1 billion views mark after a few months and even now it is still the 7th most viewed youtube video of all time.
its reach heralded the rise of k-pop and the rising popularity of south korean artists, the so-called korean wave, later followed by acts like bts.
Luis Suárez bites a competitor in the World Cup final – June 24
The man, who at the time was one of the most famous footballers in the world, had a way of biting as he was accused of injuring players in 2010 while playing for Ajax and in 2013 while playing for Liverpool.
at the time of the 2014 world cup final in brazil, due to his antics, he was not only one of the most successful players in the world, he was also one of the most notorious.
He was ranked number one on a list of “most influential European players” and won the premier league golden boot, but had recovered from a difficult time at anfield.
Uruguay needed to win their highly anticipated June 24 match with Italy to advance to the knockout stage, and with the score 0-0 in the 79th minute, Suárez collided with defender Giorgio Chiellini in the box.
Replays showed it bit him on the shoulder. uruguay finally won, eliminating italy.
Fifa was tough on Suárez and sanctioned him for nine international matches. but the Uruguayan FA complained, accusing FIFA of European bias.
The furore helped bring the tournament to life, after earlier fears of potential violence and crime, with the final won by a European team for the first time on continental American soil: Germany.
abu bakr al baghdadi announces the establishment of an Islamic state – June 29
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had been empowered by a series of military successes in Iraq’s power vacuum, culminating in the capture of Mosul a few months earlier.
The fighters, who practiced a radical form of Islam based on antiquated principles and hailed from all over the world, consolidated territories around the Syrian city of Raqqa, imposing a brutal rule on the population.
the group proclaimed bagdadicaliph and changed its name to islamic state (is). In response, he called on Muslims around the world to join him in his self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
these fighters wreaked havoc in the region, raping yazidi women in sinjar, murdering men in northern iraq and northeastern syria, and demolishing precious relics. Western allies responded by launching airstrikes in a campaign that lasted four years.
It took until 2019 before he was defeated in Syria, and Baghdadi killed himself during a US operation in October. he remains a potent force around the world and has inspired numerous terrorist attacks in the years since 2014.
the second israel-gaza war – july 8
Following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas militants, the Israel Defense Forces began a sustained campaign to confront the group in Gaza.
hamas had been in power in the strip since 2007 and had been regularly irritating israel by firing rockets at the country. Israel had responded by imposing a blockade, putting the population under considerable pressure.
During the seven-week war, the IDF said Hamas and its allies fired 4,564 rockets and mortars at Israel, causing millions of dollars worth of damage. Meanwhile, Israeli action against Gaza resulted in the deaths of more than 2,000 Gazans, injured thousands more, and damaged up to a quarter of all homes.
A ground invasion resulted in the destruction of dozens of supply tunnels, but in subsequent years rocket fire resumed and Palestinians continued to protest against the restrictions imposed.
Ebola epidemic in West Africa – September
Ebola had actually started infecting people in Guinea months before the start of 2014, but it was after it spread to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia that the epidemic really took off.
Between July and September of that year, the number of deaths rose from a few hundred to more than a thousand as the epidemic took hold.
The disease peaked in October as authorities scrambled to deal with a disease that killed most of those who became infected.
Ebola was only stopped after an international effort sent doctors and military personnel to the region to help isolate those who needed treatment.
several foreign workers became infected and at least one died. some of the practices developed have helped in subsequent outbreaks, and since then the world has advanced its understanding of the virus and is testing various vaccines.
Scottish referendum – September 18
since devolution and the growing success of the scottish nationalist party, calls had increased for scotland to have a chance to vote if it seceded from the rest of the eu.
Campaigns were launched up to two years before the vote, but as time went on, the arguments became increasingly strident and bitter.
With only days to go, as polls indicated Scotland could secede, those for and against traded blows on issues such as the currency, the trident, North Sea oil and the consequences for Scottish membership. the eu.
The queen was reported to have encouraged people to “think very carefully” about the future they chose.
In the end, the result was not as close as expected: 44.7% voted for Scottish independence and 55.3% voted to remain part of the union.