2005 Photo Contest, Spot News, 2nd prize

Yuri Kozyrev


07 September, 2004

Local residents walk through debris of the school gymnasium of School Number One in Beslan, North Ossetia. On 1 September 2004, a group of Chechen separatists occupied School Number One. They herded more than 1,000 teachers, parents and pupils into the school gymnasium, and set up bombs and booby traps to prevent any surprise attack, issuing a series of demands that included withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya and the release of prisoners. After two days of negotiations, bombs inside the school were detonated, in circumstances that were unclear, killing many hostages instantly. Russian special forces stormed the building. School Number One was liberated, but more than 330 people were dead, more than half of them children.

About the photographer

Yuri Kozyrev

Yuri Kozyrev was born in Russia in 1963 and has worked as a photojournalist for the past 20 years, covering every major conflict in the former Soviet Union, including two Chechen...

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