The toll of the MH17 shoot-down can be calculated in numbers: 298 men, women, children and infants from 13 countries. But the incident’s real cost cannot be understood without looking at a rural stretch of eastern Ukraine, where burned and shattered bodies have turned a field of wildflowers and tall grasses into a scene of unimaginable horror.
The images below look almost surreal, but they show the real violence perpetrated on a planeload of innocent human beings.
The photographs are graphic and disturbing, but they are not intended to be manipulative, and they are not displayed for their shock value. Rather, they serve as testimony. In the context of an event for which no one yet accepts responsibility and the details of which are the subject of fierce, partisan debate, they confirm an indisputable truth: This is what happened.
Warning: Some of the following images are graphic in nature and might be disturbing to some viewers. International Business Times
A body appears among the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet that was carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down in eastern Ukraine in this picture taken Friday. Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images
A rescue worker uses sticks Friday to mark the locations where bodies of victims have been found at the site of the crash in rebel-held eastern Ukraine of a Malaysian Airlines jet carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters and would-be rescuers walk near the body of a passenger Friday at the site of the crash in rebel-held eastern Ukraine of a Malaysian Airlines carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images
Bodies lie among the wreckage of MH17 in this photograph taken Thursday. The flight was carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images