Claire Harbage

Updated at 6:47 a.m. ET

Pro-Trump extremists stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday, halting the Electoral College certification and sending the U.S. Capitol into lockdown.

In a year dominated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the virus' massive disruptions did not signal an end to other major events. Conflicts continued, resumed and broke out. Natural disasters upended lives. Attempts at peace bore some fruit. The Brexit transition continued. And around the world, protesters came into the streets to demand greater freedoms and an end to racial injustice.

Here is a look back at some of the key events that took place outside the United States and helped define this tumultuous year.

Cross the treeless, frozen tundra of southwest Alaska, over ice-covered lakes and ponds near the Bering Sea, and you'll find the first community in the U.S. counted for the 2020 census.