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Final Edit Online
JULY 2005

Final Edit EditorPhoto editor Sadie Quarrier talks about weighing the merit of compelling images.
Cut It?
"During the course of researching this story," says photo editor Sadie Quarrier, "I came away with what I believed to be a major point: Russian soldiers invaded villages and massacred many innocent civilians in the name of snuffing out terrorism. For this reason, I fought hard to get this picture into the layout. Without it, I felt we were leaving out an important piece of Chechen history. But when you're working with only 14 pages, you've got to be careful about what goes in and what comes out. We were very moved by the picture of the wounded rebel being carried away (pages 84-85) as well as the image of the mass grave (pages 86-87). We tried making this photo small to strike a compromise that would at least allow us to use all three images, but it needed size to read well. Ultimately, we had to make a choice. I hope it was the right one."Or Keep It?
"This photograph is a subtle but haunting way of alluding to the massacres without showing the gore of what happened," Quarrier continues. "The woman in black seen through the dirty windshield is riveting, almost sinister. When I look at the image I feel innately that something has gone wrong. And if I were seeing it for the first time, it would make me want to read the caption to find out more."

The Image We Rescued From the Cutting-Room Floor

This photo was one of hundreds shot on assignment for a National Geographic story. Learn why it was a runner-up for the article "Bitter Days for Chechnya".
 
July Final Edit Photo
 

Escaping a Massacre
Photograph by Stanley Green, AGENCE VU

Stunned women and children look for help on a roadside after fleeing the village of Samashki, site of one of the worst atrocities of the Chechnya conflict. On April 7, 1995, as many as 3,000 Russian troops entered the village, a suspected hideout for resistance fighters. Ignoring protests from the residents that the fighters had left, the Russians proceeded to light the village on fire and gun down unarmed civilians. Some one hundred villagers died. "This is warfare," a Russian general told the press after the incident. Discovery of about 3,000 corpses in mass graves throughout Chechnya suggests that Russian forces regularly massacred civilians during the two Chechen wars since 1994. A recent report from the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe declares that the human rights situation in Chechnya remains "catastrophic."
Check out "Chechnya: How Did It Come to This?," the feature story for which this photo was originally chosen.

Zoom In on more images from Chechnya.
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