“It was full-on trench warfare in the heart of a European City, barricades had been built everywhere with tyres on fire to act as a smoke screen.”
Getty Images Photographer Jeff Mitchell witnessed harrowing scenes in the Ukraine in 2014, calling the scene “full-on trench warfare.”
His photographs of the event are powerful – and just one reason why he was recognized by the 2014 UK Picture Editors Guild Awards for his work.
Alongside several of his colleagues (full list below) at an awards ceremony in London, Mitchell was named Nikon UK Press Photographer of the Year and News Photographer of the Year.
He also won the Photo Essay category for his work in the Ukraine, which he describes, from his arrival in Kiev:
“On collecting my luggage from the eerily quiet terminal I made my way to a taxi rank, where on asking the taxi driver to take me to the Maidan he looked in disbelief and mimicked shooting a gun at me and shook his head.
What I witnessed that evening and in the coming days was incredible, a battle was in full flow with protestors trying to retake a portion of the Maidan that they had lost to the riot police a few days earlier.
It was full-on trench warfare in the heart of a European City, barricades had been built everywhere with tyres on fire to act as a smoke screen, it was an attempt to combat the response to the riot police using live ammunition on the protestors. The square was in complete turmoil, resulting in some of the deadliest of clashes in the country’s history as the anti-government protestors went head to head with the police in an attempt to oust President Viktor Yanukovych.”
2014 UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards – Getty Images’ Winners
Nikon UK Press Photographer of the Year: Jeff Mitchell (Winner)
Getty Images Royal Photographer of the Year : Chris Jackson (Commended)
News Photographer of the Year: Jeff Mitchell (Winner)
Christie’s Arts and Entertainment Photographer of the Year: Mike Marsland (Commended)
Photo Essay of the Year: Jeff Mitchell (Winner), Matt Cardy (Commended), Christopher Furlong (Commended)
Nikon UK Videographer of the Year: Laurence Griffiths (Highly Commended)See the full list of all the winners