From Mosul to Irma: How RT brought you 2017’s most powerful footage (VIDEOS)
This year brought almost unprecedented White House staff reshuffling, further turmoil in the Middle East and a great many questions over Brexit. Hollywood became engulfed by sex scandals, North Korea ramped up its missile program, while allegations of Russian hacking in the US presidential election also continued to hit the headlines.
Behind the scenes, journalists were once again tasked with the role of gathering and verifying footage emerging from conflict zones, political protests, and emergency situations. Here are the most awe-inspiring and shocking videos that brought viewers to the heart of those stories.
RT 360 spacewalk
2017 saw RT join forces with Russian space agency Roscosmos, to produce a world first: a 360-degree video of a spacewalk. Cosmonauts Sergey Ryazansky and Fedor Yurchikhin captured the breathtaking scenery while repairing the outside of the International Space Station in August.
Take control and see the astronauts at work, with a pretty amazing view from their office.
Grenfell Tower inferno
The London borough tower block became the scene of horror on June 14 when a fire tore up the sides of the 24-storey building. The blaze began in a faulty fridge before quickly spreading to the outside cladding of the building. A total of 71 people were killed.
Footage of the aftermath revealed smouldering remains of apartments and the scale of the fire, which burned for more than 50 hours. In August an inquiry was set up to examine the circumstances that lead to the tower inferno.
Las Vegas shooting
US gun laws again came in for scrutiny following yet another mass shooting, this time in Las Vegas. On October 1 Stephen Paddock fired down on an open air concert from his 32nd floor bedroom at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Some 58 people were killed and 527 others wounded in what is now the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
Eyewitness accounts on social media and police body cam footage from the scene, revealed the panic as 64-year-old Paddock fired more than 1,000 rounds into a crowd.
Spain’s Guardia Civil moved to quash an unofficial independence referendum organized by parliament of Catalonia.
The decision of the local government to allow polling stations to open on October 1 prompted Spanish police to crack down on voting. Heavy-handed actions, including confiscating ballots boxes and clashes with protesters, by members of the Guardia Civil led to accusations of police brutality. The Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy defended law enforcement officers by saying they were performing their duty.
Charlottesville car attack
In August a ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, boiled over into violence resulting in the death of Heather Heyer. Called in opposition to the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces, the rally saw white nationalists come face to face with counter protesters. Heyer, a local paralegal, was struck by a vehicle driven into a crowd of counter demonstrators.
The incident was caught on camera from a number of angles, including an overhead drone. James Alex Fields Jr, suspected of being behind the wheel of the vehicle, faces a charge of first degree murder.
Barreling across the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Irma struck 12 island groupings such as Saint Martin, Cuba and the British Virgin Islands before reaching the mainland US in September.
The storm is estimated to have cost multiple billions worth of damage and claimed a number of lives, including 72 in the US. RT Digital spoke to survivors of the hurricane and charted the clean-up efforts of individual islands.
United Airlines passenger
The American airline landed itself in hot water in 2017 when a PR disaster went viral. There was global outrage after passenger footage showed security officers dragging a passenger from a flight in Chicago which had been overbooked.
At the time of the incident United Airlines referred to it as a “reaccommodation,” after the passenger refused to give up his seat upon request. Footage of the bloodied man being dragged screaming off the plane was viewed millions of times online.
United CEO Oscar Munoz later issued an apology for the “truly horrific event.”
A suicide bomb blast in the Manchester Arena claimed the lives of 22 people on May 22. Perpetrated by British-born Salman Abedi, the attack took place just as people were leaving an Ariana Grande gig at the venue.
The night’s harrowing events were captured on dashcam and cell phones filmed by people inside the 21,000 seater venue.
The cost of liberating Mosul from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) became apparent in footage which revealed the Iraqi city in ruins. The Iraq and US backed-campaign to rid the city of IS fighters officially came to an end in July after months of bombing.
Human Rights Watch researcher Belkis Wille told RT Digital the area had paid an “incredibly high cost” for freedom from the extremist group.
Drone footage from western Mosul’s hospital district shows the extent of destruction that the city suffered during the nine months it was under siege from ISIS.
North Korea missile launch
Kim Jong Un’s administration continued to flex its military muscles through multiple ballistic missile tests. The nation began the launches in April, leading to fears it could one day carry out long-range attacks.
On November 29, North Korea released footage of its latest test involving the Hwasong 15 intercontinental ballistic missile. It splashed down in the Sea of Japan.
Mother of all bombs
America unleashed its most powerful-ever non-nuclear bomb on IS fighters in Afghanistan back inApril.
The 21,000lb bomb was dropped on a tunnel complex in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border. According to Afghan officials, more than 90 members of IS were killed in the massive blast.