The year 2014 ended in mourning, with the attack on a school in Peshawar in Pakistan by the Taliban and the death of dozens of children. 2014, an often tragic year was marked by war, drama, and a few happy events.
Throughout the year, journalists, technicians, euronews reporters have filmed,narrated and analyzed these events. We have highlighted some of them, and invite you relive those critical moments of 2014.
Let’s start with Ukraine. A country long divided between East and West, two aspirations, two different dreams and then a decision of the president which lit the fuse of revolution. A crisis that degenerated into civil war at the gates of Europe which has not yet been resolved.
Ukrainians began 2014 in upheaval because President Viktor Yanukovych had decided against a long-promised deal on closer ties with the EU.
Sustained protests led to new repressive laws, galvanising opposition. Government offices were stormed, the laws were annulled but the violence grew. Unidentified snipers added to the Maidan Square death toll.
Yanukovych said: “I’m not going to leave Ukraine or go anywhere. I’m not going to resign. I’m a legitimately elected president.”
After condemning what he called a coup, the Moscow-backed Yanukovych left Kyiv and vanished. Parliament stripped him of the presidency and Arseniy Yatsenyuk became interim Prime Minister.
The assembly freed the imprisoned former premier Yulia Tymoshenko, one of the leaders of the previous uprising, the peaceful Orange Revolution. But this one continued to go the other way, the country more than ever divided along eastern pro-Russian and western pro-European lines.
Parliament removed Russian as one of the two official languages, relenting later but the harm was done.
In several cities of the Donbass region, pro-Russian opposition movements broke into official buildings.
Pro-Russian gunmen and others in unmarked uniforms, presumed to be Russian, seized buildings and airports in Crimea. In a referendum condemned by Kyiv and the bulk of the international community, the region voted 97% to secede, and the Crimean peninsula was absorbed into the Russian Federation.
Kyiv persisted against rebels in eastern fighting, while Petro Poroshenko became the new president in May.
Multi-lateral de-escalation talks were held but worse was to come with the deadly downing of a civilian airliner.
Total deaths in the conflict passed 4,000 by September. A truce was signed in Minsk but deadly violations continued.
Pro-Western parties swept parliamentary elections in October.