4 days in Donetsk 4 days in Donetsk
The following is a personal account of my journey to the crash site of flight #MH17 I'm an international news cameraman who covers news events. While filming footage that is broadcast around the world I also try to take few images on my iPhone. This is my personal story illustrated with the images that I been able to take at the scene.
Before entering the Donetsk region of Ukraine we mark our cars with large letters "TV". The front, back, sides and the roof of our cars are marked.
Ukraine countryside is stunningly beautiful. Wheat, corn and sea of sunflower fields welcome us. It takes us over eight hours to reach our destination.
Abandoned military check-points are the first sigh of an ongoing conflict. Later we pass through many manned check-points. We can not photograph the manned check-points.
Signs of recent fighting. Burned out cars, destroyed military equipment and shattered forests. We are nearing the front lines.
Ukrainian army convoy. Well over two dozen trucks, APC's and heavy artillery pass us by.
The images are blurred. Taken through a car window at dusk. We don't get out of our cars and don't film openly.
Ukrainian army soldier checking us out. The situation is tense and everyone is under scrutiny.
Villagers come outside their homes to see the military convoy passing through their village.
View from the seventh floor of the Donetsk regional government building.
Fortified check-point manned by the Donetsk separatists.
We arrive at the main crash site location. Cars belonging to journalist parked on the side of the road.
The tail section of the plane.
Fragments of plane.
TV crew filming at the crash site.
Scattered among wheat fields.
Heavily armed and masked separatists at the crash site.
Emergency crews tents at the crash site.
At crash site.
A part of MH17 near a village.
Flowers laid by locals.
A makeshift shrine in memory of those who perished.
Part of plane suspended in a tree.
Setting up equipment for live broadcast from the crash site.
Reporting from the site.
Burned out field.
Press awaiting a briefing.
Local women attend prayer at the crash site.
Arriving in Amsterdam airport. Flowers laid in memory of those lost.
Prayer at Amsterdam airport.
Remembering those that perished.