A couple kiss during clashes with police following a protest condemning the imprisonment of rap singer Pablo Hasél in Barcelona, Spain. February 2021
A couple kiss during clashes with police following a protest condemning the imprisonment of rap singer Pablo Hasél in Barcelona, Spain. February 2021 Copyright Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo

As 2021 comes to an end, here's a selection of the year's most striking images

By Natalia Liubchenkova
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A selection of the most outstanding photographs which marked 2021.


2021 ... another year marked by COVID-19 pandemic, natural and political cataclysms. 

We put a lot of hope on vaccines to end the pandemic and political decisions to save our planet but despite all the remarkable work done, not all the efforts ended up in triumph.  

Just before turning the page on 2021, here's a look back at the most powerful images that came out of the past 12 months.


Saul Loeb/AFP
Supporters of US President Donald Trump, including Jake Angeli, a member of the QAnon conspiracy group, enter the US Capitol. Washington DC, USA. January 2021Saul Loeb/AFP
Gabriel Bouys/AFP
A man skis in Cibeles square amid a heavy snowfall in Madrid. Heavy snow fell across much of Spain. January 2021Gabriel Bouys/AFP
Abdulaziz Ketaz/AFP
Children play in the Umm Jurn camp for displaced people, near the village of Kafr Uruq, in Syria's northern rebel-held Idlib province. January 2021Abdulaziz Ketaz/AFP
Jay Reeves/AP Photo
Patti Herring sobs as she sorts through the remains of her home in Fultondale, Alabama, USA, after it was destroyed by a tornado. January 2021Jay Reeves/AP Photo
Sergio Lima/AFP
A demonstrator representing a patient without oxygen participates in a protest against Brazilian president and his management of the COVID-19 crisis. Brasilia. January 2021Sergio Lima/AFP
Darko Vojinovic/AP Photo
A crane clears tons of garbage stuck at the foot of the hydropower plant at the Potpecko accumulation lake near Priboj, in southwest Serbia. January 2021Darko Vojinovic/AP Photo
Czarek Sokolowski/AP Photo
People protest against new anti-abortion laws near the ruling Law and Justice party headquarters in Warsaw, Poland. January 2021Czarek Sokolowski/AP Photo
Brendan Smialowski/AFP
Senator Bernie Sanders sits in the bleachers on Capitol Hill before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President in Washington DC, USA. January 2021Brendan Smialowski/AFP
Jim Watson/AFP
Joe Biden, hugs his wife Jill Biden as they arrive at the White House after he was sworn in 46th president of the United States. January 2021Jim Watson/AFP


Sai Aung Main/AFP
Protesters stand with a plastic cover to protect against police water cannon as they take part in a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar. February 2021Sai Aung Main/AFP
Michael Probst/AP Photo
A train passes a railroad crossing surrounded by floodwaters from rain and melting snow in Nidderau near Frankfurt, Germany. February 2021Michael Probst/AP Photo
February 2021 - AFP
Belsat TV journalists Katerina Bakhvalova and Daria Chultsova in the defendant's cage during their trial. They were sentenced to 2 years in prison. Minsk, BelarusFebruary 2021 - AFP
Bulent Kilic/AFP
An expedition to vaccinate the elderly population against COVID-19 arrive in the village of Guneyyamac in eastern Turkey. February 2021Bulent Kilic/AFP
Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo
A couple kiss during clashes with police following a protest condemning the imprisonment of rap singer Pablo Hasél in Barcelona, Spain. February 2021Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo
February 2021 - Michal Cizek/AFP
A dog jumps on the Charles Bridge after a snowfall, in Prague, the Czech Republic. Heavy snowfall across the country has disrupted rail, road and public transportFebruary 2021 - Michal Cizek/AFP


Matt Dunham/AP Photo
A person holds a sign during a march to reflect on the murder of 33-year-old marketing executive, Sarah Everard, in London, UK. March 2021Matt Dunham/AP Photo
Oded Balilty/AP Photo
A Palestinian man carries an olive tree as he crosses into Israel from the West Bank through a gap in the separation barrier, south of Hebron. March 2021Oded Balilty/AP Photo


Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
A horse being airlifted during a test by Swiss army forces on hoisting horses with a helicopter. April 2021Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Pavel Golovkin/AP Photo
Russian communist supporters walk to the mausoleum housing the Soviet founder’s remains to mark the 151st anniversary of his birth. Moscow, Russia. April 2021Pavel Golovkin/AP Photo
Francisco Seco/AP Photo
A protester takes cover behind a tree as police use a water cannon to clear an unauthorised gathering despite coronavirus restrictions in Brussels, Belgium. April 2021Francisco Seco/AP Photo
Silvia Izquierdo/AP Photo
Military police officer Everaldo Pinto, dressed as superhero Captain America, encourages children to protect themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brazil. April 2021Silvia Izquierdo/AP Photo


Qusay Dawud/AFP
Heavy smoke and fire rise from Al-Sharouk tower as it collapses after being hit by an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City. May 2021Qusay Dawud/AFP
Thomas Coex/AFP
Palestinian Muslim worshippers pray near the rubble of a destroyed mosque in Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip. May 2021Thomas Coex/AFP
Bernat Armangue/AP Photo
A migrant is comforted by a member of the Spanish Red Cross at the Spanish enclave of Ceuta near the border of Morocco and Spain. May 2021Bernat Armangue/AP Photo
Jose Castanares/AFP
Aerial view of a sinkhole that was found by farmers in a field of crops in Santa Maria Zacatepec, state of Puebla, Mexico. May 2021Jose Castanares/AFP


Juan Barreto/AFP
A demonstrator falls as they are hit by water cannon during clashes with riot police amid the protests against the government of Colombian President in Bogota. June 2021Juan Barreto/AFP
Ng Han Guan/AP Photo
Performers gather around the Communist Party flag during a gala show ahead of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, China. June 2021Ng Han Guan/AP Photo


Christof Stache/AFP
A worker is cleaning in front of the destroyed building of the country guest house 'Jaegerstuebchen' in Laach, Germany. July 2021Christof Stache/AFP
Francois Walschaerts/AFP
Cars piled up by the water at a roundabout in the Belgian city of Verviers after heavy rains and floods lashed western Europe. July 2021Francois Walschaerts/AFP
Morry Gash/AP Photo
China's Wang Zongyuan and Xie Siyi compete during synchronised 3-metre springboard at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. July 2021Morry Gash/AP Photo
Diego Ramos/AFP
Health workers cross the Camana River to vaccinate elderly citizens against COVID-19, in Arequipa, Peru. July 2021Diego Ramos/AFP


Shakib Rahmani/AFP
Afghan people sit inside a US military aircraft to leave Afghanistan at the military airport in Kabul after the Taliban military takeover of Afghanistan. August 2021Shakib Rahmani/AFP
Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP
A local resident holds an empty water hose during an attempt to extinguish forest fires approaching the village of Pefki on Evia island, Greece. August 2021Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP


New York, USA. September 2021 - John Minchillo/AP Photo
A firefighter places his hand on engraved names on the south memorial pool during a ceremony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.New York, USA. September 2021 - John Minchillo/AP Photo
Mauro Pimentel/AFP
Aerial view show a deforested area of Amazonia rainforest in Labrea, Amazonas state, Brazil. September 2021Mauro Pimentel/AFP
Buenos Aires, Argentina. September 2021 - Natacha Pisarenko/AP Photo
Luciana found her plans for a big traditional 15th birthday party scrapped due to the pandemic, but her birthday present - a pig Chanchi - turned out to be a loving companionBuenos Aires, Argentina. September 2021 - Natacha Pisarenko/AP Photo


Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP
The pack rides during the 118th edition of the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic cycling race, between Compiegne and Roubaix, northern France. October 2021Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP
Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo
A house is covered by ash from a volcano that erupted on La Palma in Spain's Canary Islands. October 2021Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
A man works at the Rhone Glacier partially covered with insulating foam to prevent it from melting due to global warming. Near Gletsch, Switzerland. October 2021Fabrice Coffrini/AFP


London, the UK. November, 2021. Daniel Leal/AFP
Protestors demonstrate against the British Government's policy on immigration and border controls, following the death of 27 migrants crossing the English channelLondon, the UK. November, 2021. Daniel Leal/AFP
Wojtek Radwanski/AFP
A Kurdish family from Dohuk in Iraq are seen in a forest near the Polish-Belarus border while waiting for the border guard patrol, near Narewka, Poland. November 2021Wojtek Radwanski/AFP
Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP
Police disperse demonstrators as clashes erupt during a demonstration against COVID-19 measures, including the country's health pass. Brussels, Belgium. November 2021Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP
Agung Supriyanto/AFP
Mount Merapi, Indonesia's most active volcano, spews ash and lava from its peak. November 2021Agung Supriyanto/AFP


December 2021 - Esteban Felix/AP Photo
Chilean President-elect Gabriel Boric, centre, greets supporters as he leaves the La Moneda presidential palace after meeting with President Pinera in Santiago, ChileDecember 2021 - Esteban Felix/AP Photo
Ernesto Benavides/AFP
A woman sunbathes at the beach in cordoned-off spaces to avoid crowds amid the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Lima, Peru. December 2021Ernesto Benavides/AFP
Michael Clubb/AP Photo
A car sits in the debris of a destroyed house in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, two days after a monstrous tornado carved its way through the area. December 2021Michael Clubb/AP Photo
Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo
Abandoned cats wander in search of food at a road covered by ash and blocked by lava near the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in Spain's Canary Island. December 2021Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo
Oded Balilty/AP Photo
Issa Kassissieh, dressed as Santa Claus, tours with a camel ahead of the upcoming Christmas holiday, outside Jerusalem's Old City walls. December 2021Oded Balilty/AP Photo
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