Photo Essay

  • A woman cries as police troops guard a burnt trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, May 3, 2014. More than 30 people died during clashes that erupted Friday between pro-Russians and government supporters in the key port on the Black Sea coast, located 330 miles from the turmoil in the east. Odessa had been largely tranquil since the February toppling of President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia.
  • Kids of the Nova Geracao (New Generation) soccer team perform exercises during a training session before a local tournament at the Borel slum in Rio de Janeiro May 3, 2014.
  • Fans celebrate as Palermo returns to Serie A after winning the game against Novara, on May 3, 2014, in Palermo, Italy.
  • Bavarian mountain riflemen in traditional outfits attend a parade in the southern village of Miesbach on May 4, 2014. About 5,000 mountaineers from Bavaria joined the traditional annual parade to honor Patron Bavariae, the Patron of Bavarian mountain rifleman.
  • A pro-Russia protester storms the governor's business premises in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on May 3, 2014. A couple hundred pro-Russian protesters in the eastern city of Donetsk stormed the governor's business premises and the state security headquarters, ransacking files and smashing windows. The attack reflected growing disorder in the area, targeting as it did a security building that was already largely under rebel control.
  • People walk past signs for a London Underground improvement program during a busy afternoon on Oxford Street in London May 3, 2014. A second tube strike was planned for May 5.
  • An armed pro-Russian activist patrols a street near the seized regional government headquarters in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, May 3, 2014. A gunfight started between pro-Russian activists and what witnesses say are Ukrainian police, near the building of the regional military commissariat.
  • Bodies of victims killed in ethnic violence lie covered in the rain on the banks of the River Beki, as security officers patrol the area on a boat at Khagrabari village, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Saturday, May 3, 2014. Police in India arrested 22 people after separatist rebels went on a rampage, burning homes and killing dozens of Muslims in the worst outbreak of ethnic violence in the remote northeastern region in two years, officials said Saturday.
  • A pro-Russian armed man walks near a check point at the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine on May 3, 2014. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has told his U.S. counterpart John Kerry that the U.S. should use its influence to make Ukraine's government immediately stop military operations in southeast Ukraine, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
  • A child climbs past defaced election posters during an election rally for President Jacob Zuma's African National Congress (ANC) in Bekkersdal township south of Johannesburg, May 3, 2014. South Africa went to the polls on May 7.
  • President Barack Obama is watched by a member of his security detail (foreground) as he speaks during the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington on May 3, 2014.
  • Ukrainian Interior Ministry security force members stand guard outside a trade union building in Odessa, May 3, 2014. At least 42 people were killed in street battles between supporters and opponents of Russia in southern Ukraine that ended with pro-Russian protesters trapped in a flaming building, bringing the country closer to war. The riot in the Black Sea port of Odessa that ended in a deadly blaze in a trade union building was by far the worst incident in Ukraine since a February uprising that ended with the pro-Russian president fleeing the country.
  • A bolt of lighting illuminates the night sky in Jammu, India, May 4, 2014. After a week of scorching heat, several parts of north India witnessed storm and rains Sunday, according to local reports.
  • Afghan survivors arrive to receive aid near the site of a landslide at the Argo district in Badakhshan province on May 4, 2014.
  • An Afghan woman who survived a landslide waits for aid near the site of the disaster at the Argo district in Badakhshan province on May 4, 2014.
  • An aerial view of ships waiting to dock at a port in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Luanda on May 4, 2014.
  • A trader attempts to extinguish fire with a bucket of water at the City Stadium open air market in Kenya's capital Nairobi, May 4, 2014. Property of unknown value was destroyed in the fire that is suspected to have been caused by a cooking stove that exploded at a restaurant, police said. Traders at the market for second-hand items escaped with minor injuries.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters walk with their weapons as they are deployed in al-Manasher district, near the Bureij neighborhood of Aleppo on May 4, 2014.
  • A woman cries inside the burnt trade union building, in Odessa, Ukraine, May 4, 2014, where people died in in a fire that tore through the building. More than 40 people died in riots two days earlier, some from gunshot wounds, but most in a horrific fire.
  • A supporter of South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party holds up a portrait of party leader Julius Malema during the final EFF electoral campaign rally in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, on May 4, 2014. South Africans went to the polls on May 7 to elect provincial leaders and legislators. The lawmakers will then elect a president from the party which garners the most number of votes.
  • An Iraqi man collects salt, to be sold in markets, from a salt pond in Najaf on May 4, 2014.
  • Transgender people dance during the 18th Gay Pride Parade in Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo May 4 2014.
  • A participant crosses an obstacle during the Strong Race competition near Tukums on May 4, 2014. About 6,500 people competed in this extreme race, which includes cross-country running, elements of agility and power discipline.
  • Rescuers and police stand next to damaged coaches of a passenger train after it derailed near Nidi village in the western Indian state of Maharashtra on May 4, 2014. At least 13 passengers were killed and 30 others injured when four bogies of a passenger train derailed near the village on Sunday, railway officials said.
  • A model waits for the rating of the jury during the 'Day style' contest of the OMC Hairworld World Cup on May 4, 2014 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
  • Afghan survivors wait for aid near the site of a landslide at the Argo district in Badakhshan province on May 4, 2014.
  • Israeli Aliza Amar visits the grave of her brother Kemal Matzliach, who was killed during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war in Sinai, as Israeli soldiers, in the background, salute after placing small Israeli flags on the grave of fallen soldiers at the Kiryat Shaul Military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 4, 2014.
  • Debris rises in what Free Syrian Army fighters and Islamic rebels said was an operation to strike Al-Sahaba checkpoint, which is considered a gateway to Al-Dayf valley, and remove forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Maarat Al-Nouman, Idlib province May 5, 2014.
  • Relatives mourn 21-year-old nurse Yulia Izotova at her funeral in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine on May 5, 2014. Witnesses say Izotova was killed by shots from a Ukrainian military column on the road from Slaviansk to Kramatorsk, joining a small but gradually growing list of dead in a month-old uprising.
  • Russian servicemen practice during a rehearsal for a victory parade on Moscow's Red Square May 5, 2014. Russia celebrates victory over Nazi Germany on May 9.
  • An Indian street vendor reacts to a fellow vendor as they try to protect their goods with plastic sheets during an unexpected rain in New Delhi, India, May 5, 2014. The unseasonal rain brought respite from the scorching heat to residents in parts of the Indian capital.
  • Paratroopers land at the Bledow Desert, near Chechlo, in Malopolska Region, Poland, May 5, 2014. About 100 American 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and Canadian 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry parachutists exercised at the Bledow Desert along with Polish soldiers of the 6th Airborne Brigade.
  • Secretary of State John Kerry kicks a soccer ball around during an airplane refueling stop at Sal Island, Cape Verde, en route to Washington, DC, May 5, 2014.
  • A bullet is lodged in a drinks vending machine at a kiosk located in a crossroad that was the center of fierce fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian armed men near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine on May 5, 2014. Pro-Russian separatists ambushed Ukrainian forces on Monday, triggering heavy fighting on the outskirts of the rebel stronghold of Slaviansk, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov was quoted as saying.
  • Afghan survivors mourn for their relatives at the site of a landslide at the Argo district in Badakhshan province on May 5, 2014. Grief-stricken and destitute Afghan villagers vented anger with their government as they scrambled for emergency aid, three days after deadly landslides engulfed their homes. Some 300 homes in Aab Bareek, a village in the Argo district of Badakhshan, a remote and mountainous northeastern province, were buried under up to 50 meters of earth and debris.
  • Israeli soldiers attend the official Memorial Day ceremony at the military cemetery Kiryat Shaul on May 5, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Israel marks the Remembrance Day to commemorate over 25,000 fallen soldiers since 1948, just before the celebrations of the 66th anniversary of its creation according to the Jewish calendar.
  • A burned out car lies in the wake of the Logan County wildfire near Guthrie, Oklahoma May 5, 2014. A wildfire stoked by high winds and temperatures near 100 Fahrenheit killed at least one man, destroyed several houses and forced people to flee near the Oklahoma town of Guthrie on Sunday, officials and local media said.
  • Russia's military rehearse for 66th anniversary parade, on May 5, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • A pink statue of a man fishing next to his bike sits on the rocks at Waterfoot, Northern Ireland, May, 6, 2014, in preparation for the Giro d'Italia. Many towns and villages across Ireland have been going pink in preparation for the Giro d'Italia which has three stages in Ireland running from May 9-11.
  • Egypt's presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi is greeted by supporters during a campaign rally in Benha, north of Cairo, Egypt, May 6, 2014. Leftist politician Sabahi, a third-place finisher in the 2012 election won by Islamist Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted last year, is the only opponent running against former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. The Egyptian election commission set the first round of voting for May 26 and 27, with results expected by June 5.
  • (L-R) Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James Winnefeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark Welsh, and Chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen. Frank Grass appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee to testify on Defense Department proposals relating to military compensation in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on May 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Spanish David Ferrer returns the ball to compatriot Albert Ramos during their men's second round match of the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament played at the Caja Magica complex in Madrid, Spain, May 6, 2014.
  • Afghan displaced villagers gather near the site of a landslide at the Argo district in Badakhshan province on May 6, 2014.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2-L) receives Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades (L) with military honors at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 6, 2014. The Cypriot president is on an official visit in Berlin.
  • A general view shows the Israeli air force museum in Beersheba from an Israeli Air Force plane during an aerial show as part of celebrations for Israel's Independence Day to mark the 66th anniversary of the creation of the state, May 6, 2014.
  • Smithsonian National Zoo biologist Leigh Pitsko releases a male lion cub for its swim test in the zoo habitat moat, in Washington May 6, 2014. Four, unnamed 10-week old lion cubs were tested today for their ability to swim and remove themselves from their zoo habitat moat.
  • Afghan women arrive at the site of a landslide, after the dead body of a woman was found, at the Argo district in Badakhshan province on May 6, 2014.
  • Filipino firemen use a water cannon to extinguish a fire in a residential slum area in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, May 6, 2014. The Quezon City Fire Department said the fire left more than one hundred families homeless and two residents hurt.
  • A red cross member looks on during Pope Francis' general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on May 7, 2014.
  • A young Buddhist monk flexes his muscles during morning prayers at Thikse Monastery in Ladakh on May 7, 2014. The Buddhist-dominated Ladakh region stands at a height of 11,499 feet and is famous among tourists for its monasteries, landscapes, mountains and rich cultural heritage.
  • An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier keeps watch after a helicopter takes off near the landslide site in the Argo district of Badakhshan province on May 7, 2014. Aid agencies have rushed tons of supplies to more than 4,000 displaced by the landslide in Aab Bareek, a village in the Argo district of Badakhshan in the northeast of the country, that was partially destroyed when the side of mountain collapsed last Friday.
  • Russian servicemen walk in formation as they take part in a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade during a snowfall in central Moscow, May 7, 2014. Russia celebrates victory over Nazi Germany on May 9.
  • Flames engulf a house owned by former tennis pro James Blake in this photograph provided by the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office in Tampa, Florida May 7, 2014. Four people were found dead on Wednesday in a burning Tampa, Florida, mansion owned by Blake, police said. Blake was not inside when firefighters arrived on Wednesday morning, said Debbie Carter, a spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department. Officials said Blake was renting the home to someone else. An investigation by sheriff's investigators and the county fire marshal is under way to determine the cause of the blaze and how the four people died, officials said.
  • A model wears a creation from Yolan Cris during Barcelona Bridal fashion week in Barcelona, Spain, May 7, 2014.
  • Eliraz Sine (C), a 22-year-old Israeli settler from the northern West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, is brought to court in suspicion of "inciting violence against soldiers" on May 7, 2014 at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court. Israel plans to use detention without trial against Jewish extremists suspected of anti-Arab hate crimes, a minister said today, as its failure to secure prosecutions drew mounting criticism.
  • A bouquet of flowers is placed atop the burnt out shell of a car at a location where clashes between pro-Russia gunmen and the Ukrainian army took place, 2.5 miles north of Slovyansk, Ukraine, May 7, 2014.
  • Supporters of South Africa's ruling African National Congress arrive to attend the final ANC election campaign rally at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg on May 4, 2014. South Africa's ruling ANC swept aside a weak economy, fierce criticism of its president and questions about the party's future at a massive Soweto rally, in a pre-election show of force. South Africans went to the polls on May 7 to elect provincial leaders and legislators.
  • A polling official, left, marks the index finger of a woman voter with indelible ink before she casts her vote during the eighth phase of voting of the Indian parliamentary elections in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh state, India, May 7, 2014. The multiphase voting across the country runs until May 12, with results for the 543-seat lower house of parliament expected on May 16.
  • A Palestinian child wearing traditional clothes attends a rally marking the 66th anniversary of Nakba Day, in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 7, 2014. Palestinians annually mark "nakba," or "catastrophe" the term they use to describe their defeat and displacement in the war that followed Israel's founding in 1948.
  • Newly released forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are greeted by their comrades after their release by rebels in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr May 7, 2014. They were freed as part of a larger deal which saw the last remaining Syrian rebels in central Homs city evacuate their positions and free captives in several locations in northern Syria.
  • Venezuela's national guard reacts after a Molotov cocktail was thrown by anti-government students at them during clashes at Metropolitan University in Caracas, May 7, 2014.
  • A man takes a nap underneath trees at a park in Beijing on May 8, 2014.
  • A woman wearing a mask greets anti-government protesters marching in the city center from inside a shop in Bangkok May 8, 2014. Thailand's anti-corruption agency may decide on Thursday whether to pursue charges against ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra that could see her banned from politics, ending any hopes she may have of staging an electoral comeback. Yingluck was thrown out of office on Wednesday by the Constitutional Court for abuse of power, the latest twist of a nearly decade-long struggle for power between Thailand's royalist establishment and Yingluck's brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
  • Syrian government officials walk on a road, back dropped, by damaged buildings from fighting with Free Syrian Army fighters in the old city of Homs, Syria, May 8, 2014. Syrian President Bashar Assad's government in the north prepared to regain control of the central city of Homs following last week's cease-fire agreement after a fierce, two-year battle with the rebels trying to oust him.
  • A woman reacts to the killing of Rashid Rehman, a lawyer who was shot by unidentified gunmen a day earlier, outside his residence in Multan on May 8, 2014. Gunmen posing as clients shot dead the prominent human rights lawyer defending a professor accused of blasphemy, officials said Thursday, underscoring the danger facing those trying to put an end to religious intolerance in majority-Muslim Pakistan. Wednesday's killing of Rashid Rehman in the southern city Multan was the first time a lawyer has been killed for taking on a blasphemy case, police said.
  • View of the barricades surrounding the Donetsk Administration building after a press conference to inform the media about the referendum at the occupied administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 8, 2014.
  • Protesters run forward as they prepare to throw petrol bombs towards police during violent clashes in Santiago, Chile, May. 8, 2014. Tens of thousands of students protested in Chile in a mostly peaceful protest that was marred at the end by violent clashes with police. This was first march demanding education reform since President Michelle Bachelet took power on promises of deep changes.
  • A surfer holding her board wades through the surf as clouds above are lit by the setting sun at Mollymook Beach on the south coast of New South Wales on May 8, 2014.
  • A policewoman uses her mobile phone as navy honor guards stand near of a World War II memorial during celebrations to mark Victory Day in the Black Sea port of Odessa om May 9, 2014. Ukraine is celebrating the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany during World War II. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)
  • Protestors demonstrate against the kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria, outside the Nigerian Embassy in London on May 9, 2014. The United States is considering a request by Nigeria to provide surveillance aircraft and intelligence to find more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist militants, a senior U.S. official told Reuters on Thursday.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (front 2nd R), Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (front R) and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (front C) watch the Victory Day parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, 2014. Putin praised the Soviet role in defeating fascism on Friday, the anniversary of the World War II victory over Nazi Germany, and said those who defeated fascism must never be betrayed.
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This Week in Pictures: May 3-May 9

Updated

The tense standoff between pro-Russian separatists and government supporters in eastern Ukraine that had remained relatively peaceful since Russia annexed Crimea in March turned violent this week, when supporters of Russia stormed government buildings in Odessa and Donetsk. The deadliest clash occurred when more than 40 people were killed in a burning trade building in Odessa that was attacked on May 3.

South Africans went to the polls this week, 20 years after the inauguration of the country’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, in an election the secured the power of the African National Congress despite misgivings about the country’s current president, Jacob Zuma. Voting continued in India, which is holding the world’s largest election that will have taken a month to complete when it wraps up next week, and Afghans mourned loved ones lost in a landslide in Badakhshan province, in the country’s north. 

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography