2015 Photo Contest, Spot News, 1st prize

Crime Without Punishment


Jérôme Sessini

Magnum Photos for Time / De Standaard

17 July, 2014

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 bearing 298 people headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down on 17 July 2014, apparently by a Russian-made missile.

About the photographer

Jérôme Sessini

He initiates his own practice, shooting people, landscapes, and daily lives of those around his native Eastern France (with Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Mark Cohen in mind). Ses...

Background story

The body of a passenger lies still strapped in a seat, in a wheat field, in eastern Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at a height of 33,000 feet (10,058 meters), crashed into the countryside in eastern Ukraine, in rebel-held territory near the Russian border, on 17 July. All 298 people on board were killed. Wreckage was scattered over a radius of some two kilometers, near the villages of Rozsypne, Pelahiivka and Grabove.

Evidence began to emerge that MH17 had been brought down by a missile. According to experts, an SA-11 surface-to-air missile of the sort allegedly supplied to the rebels by Russia, was the only weapon capable of such a range, although some suggested a Ukrainian military plane had been involved. Ongoing fighting in the area, and the presence of militiamen at the site, restricted initial investigations into the crash.

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
15.0 mm

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