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Knowledge is the true organ of sight, declares the ancient Indian Panchatantra, not the eyes. But sometimes the path to believing depends on seeing, which in turn depends on those who bear witness. Weeks like this, as conflict flares in both Eastern Europe and the Middle East, almost require a warning label: the most important images are the hardest to look at. They are certainly among the hardest to capture, which is why we owe a debt to the photographers who go, at great personal risk, to the front lines of the headlines.
The extraordinary photos included with this week’s cover story on Ukraine and featured on TIME.com were taken by French photographer Jerome Sessini.