2022 saw the departure of two Prime Ministers - with Liz Truss lasting just six weeks in the job
This year saw political turmoil - not only in the UK but further afield. One of the most significant moments of 2022 was the start of the Ukraine war, a crisis which has seen the deaths of tens of thousands since Russia invaded the sovereign nation on 24 February.
Here are 15 moments in pictures that shaped 2022.
1. Ukraine war
The conflict in Ukraine has seen the deaths of more than 40,000 people since Russia invaded on 24 February. The war has left a trail of destruction across the country, with many Ukrainians forced to flee their homes. It has seen Russian President Vladimir Putin widely condemned on the international stage, and the war hasn’t gone as he had hoped, with Ukraine launching successful counter-offensives. Pictured is a destroyed church in the village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine. - Bohorodychne is a village in Donetsk region that came under heavy attack by Russian forces in June 2022. On 17 August the Russian forces captured the village. The Armed Forces of Ukraine announced on 12 September that they took back the control over the village.
Boris Johnson was already under-fire over lockdown gatherings at Downing Street when Sue Gray published her report into what has been dubbed ‘Partygate’. Police investigated dozens of events across government for alleged Covid breaches during lockdown, including Johnson’s birthday celebration and a gathering in his Downing Street flat.
Both Johnson and Rishi Sunak had received £50 fines over the birthday gathering. This image was included in the Sue Gray report.
Downing Street apologised to Buckingham Palace after it emerged parties were held in Number 10 the day before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral the previous year.
A limited version of the report into Whitehall parties during lockdown by Sue Gray was published, criticising a “serious failure” to observe the high standards expected of those working at the heart of government.
3. Boris Johnson meets Zelensky in Ukraine
Johnson made the first of three visits to Ukraine while still Prime Minister in April. The visit had not been announced prior to his arrival, was revealed in a Twitter post by the Embassy of Ukraine to the UK.
The post simply read: “surprise” followed by a winking emoji, and contained an image of Johnson and Zelensky sitting opposite each other at a table.
Johnson had been vocal in his support for Zelensky and Ukraine.
He made a surprise second trip to Ukraine in June. In August, just weeks before he left office Johnson returned and visited Kyiv on Ukraine’s Independence Day. He is pictured meeting Zelensky on 24 August.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has caused the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the end of the Second World War.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme has seen over 100,000 Ukrainians arrive in the UK since it started in March.
4. The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
Celebrations were held across the country to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee from 2 to 5 June. The late monarch had been suffering from mobility problems, but still appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony to wave to the crowds. She also took part in a now-famous video with Paddington Bear, something which became a symbol for mourners when she passed away a few months later.
She became the first British monarch in history to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne. She marked this milestone in February, just days before the Duke of York and his accuser Virginia Giuffre reached an out-of-court settlement over her civil sex claim.