Moscow (Sputnik Press-Office) — Photographers from 127 countries entered the competition. Melnikov was declared the winner in the Photojournalism category for his work 'At the last second', created in south-east Ukraine.
The picture was taken on July 2nd 2014. The photograph shows residents of the village of Lugansk fleeing from an airstrike by the Ukrainian armed forces. Melnikov's photography has been entered into a series of work called ‘Black Days of Ukraine', which he created during his travels in Donbass. The internationally acclaimed photojournalist stayed there for over a month to document the dramatic events in Ukraine's recent history.
"I saw with my own eyes and through the camera tried to convey the horror of what is happening there. This is the strength of my photo reports — in the tragic reality. I have ambivalent feelings — I am proud of the prize, as a journalist and professional at the same time I'm really sorry for the people and civilians whose lives are in trouble now. Lighting military conflicts and tragedies through photos — it is an important job that a lot of journalists makes annually around the world, often risking their lives", said Melnikov.
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