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2023: In pictures

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2023: In pictures

POLITICO takes a look back at 12 months of international politics, world events, climate crises and an ongoing war.


Pablo Pakhomenko/EFE via EPA

As the curtains draw on a tumultuous year, 2023 leaves behind a tapestry of unraveled events, painting a world shrouded in uncertainty and grappling with an ominous glimpse of the future. In a kaleidoscope of occurrences that defy easy categorization, selecting defining images for an annual overview becomes a difficult task.

To encapsulate the essence of the year, our overview is organized into six distinct categories, each representing a facet of the stories POLITICO has tackled these last 12 months: war, climate, Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States, and global.


Ukrainian volunteers run through urban warfare training with members of the British Armed Forces at a military camp in Southeast England.
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Palestinian children look skyward at the sound of air strikes in Gaza City in October.
Samar Abu Elouf/New York Times

The Israeli Iron Dome system intercepts missiles launched from the Gaza Strip in May.
Atef Safadi/EFE via EPA

Hadas Kalderon, whose children were taken hostage, and who had other family members killed, breaks down in tears while sifting through what is left in the burned home of her late mother in Israel.
Dan Kitwood/AFP via Getty Images

Police officers, below, use a water cannon to disperse anti-government protesters blocking the entrance to Jerusalem during a July protest against justice system reforms.
Abir Sultan/EFE via EPA


The Mayon volcano in the Philippines spews ash and lava during a June eruption.
Francis R. Malaysia/EFE via EPA

A Greek flag flutters in the wind during a wildfire in Chasia in the outskirts of Athens.
Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP via Getty Images

Due to unusually wet and warm weather, the River Danube burst its banks in Budapest on December 28, 2023.
Ferenc Isza/AFP via Getty Images

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joins protesters during the “Oily Money Out” demonstration organized by Fossil Free London and Greenpeace.
Henry Nicholls/AFP via Getty Images


Georgian police use tear gas and water cannon against protesters as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in the capital Tbilisi to oppose a controversial “foreign agents” bill.
Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

France faced nationwide protests and strikes on April 13, 2023, to denounce the French government’s pension reform.
Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Relatives mourn and pray by coffins of 65 victims of a devastating migrant shipwreck off Italy’s southern coast laid out in a sports hall of Crotone.
Stringer/ANSA/AFP via Getty Images

Incoming Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk addresses participants of a rally in Warsaw to oppose the conservative government ahead of general elections on October 15.
Wojtek Radwanski/AFP via Getty Images


Britain’s King Charles III holds his Coronation Ceremony inside Westminster’s Abbey in central London on May 6, 2023.
Pool photo by Victoria Jules/AFP via Getty Images

A member of the Grenadier Guards faints during the Colonel’s Review ahead of The King’s Birthday Parade.
Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

A migrant man who disembarked from a lifeboat after being picked up at sea while crossing the English Channel from France rests on the beach at Dungeness on the southeast coast of England.
Henry Nicholls/AFP via Getty Images

Members of performance troupe Red Rebel Brigade march in central London at a demonstration by the climate change protest group Extinction Rebellion.
Susannah Ireland/AFP via Getty Images


Helicopters fly around the Statue of Liberty in New York City on December 13, 2023.
Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

Former U.S. President Donald Trump departs during a break in the civil fraud trial against the Trump Organization, at the New York State Supreme Court.
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in the United States on November 15, 2023, for his first visit in six years, after U.S. President Joe Biden said his goal in their bilateral talks that week was to restore normal communications with Beijing.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Demonstrators in support of Israel gather to denounce antisemitism and call for the release of Israeli hostages on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Migrants make their way across a lily weed-choked part of the Rio Grande to enter the United States.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images


SpaceX carried out the second test launch of Starship on November 18, 2023, the largest rocket ever built that Elon Musk hopes will one day colonize Mars.
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake, Morocco’s strongest ever, flattened entire villages on September 8, 2023,
and left tens of thousands of people homeless, leaving nearly 3,000 people dead and more than 5,600 injured.
Fadel Senna/AFP via Getty Images

Participating world leaders and delegates pose for a family photo during the COP28 United Nations climate summit in Dubai on December 1, 2023.
Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

Russian state-run news agencies on August 23, 2023 said that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner group that led a mutiny against Russia’s army in June, was on the list of passengers of a plane that crashed in the Tver region
Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

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