50 stunning moments captured by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photography team in 2016

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Russian paratroopers jump from an IL-76 transport plane, November 7.
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Marko Djurica/Reuters

Earlier in 2016, Reuters’ photography staff was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in the Breaking News Photography category, specifically for its coverage of migrant refugees fleeing the war in Syria.

The incredibly talented team is stationed all over the world, documenting everything from the refugee crisis to the beauty of the Northern Lights. Their team of editors has once again compiled the best photographs taken this year, and, with just a few days left in 2016, we’ve picked our top 50 favorites.

From Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, here are some of the most powerful photographs they’ve captured in 2016.

Editor’s note: Many of the images in this slideshow depict graphic violence and injury, and many are upsetting.

Captions by Reuters and Sarah Jacobs.


People watch as fireworks explode over Copacabana beach during New Year celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on January 1.

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Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

A woman with a Ziggy Stardust tattoo visits a mural of David Bowie in Brixton, south London, the day after his death, on January 11.

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Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

A refugee headed towards Europe on February 8.

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Giorgos Moutafis/Reuters

A Buddhist monk lights a candle at Wat Phra Dhammakaya during a ceremony on Makha Bucha Day in Pathum Thani province, north of Bangkok, on February 22.

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Jorge Silva/Reuters

Here’s a view of packed garbage bags in Jdeideh, Beirut, after Lebanon cancelled a plan to export its rubbish to Russia, sending Beirut’s six-month garbage crisis back to square one on February 23.

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Hasan Shaaban/Reuters

A Somali man injured in a night car bomb attack near a hotel in Hamarweyne district sits along a sidewalk near the scene in Mogadishu, Somalia, on February 26.

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Feisal Omar/Reuters

South Korean (blue headbands) and US Marines take positions as amphibious assault vehicles of the South Korean Marine Corps fire smoke bombs during a US-South Korea joint landing operation drill in Pohang, South Korea, on March 12.

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Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei holds a rain cover to protect a Syrian refugee woman from the rain as she performs in a field on a piano brought by the artist, near a makeshift camp on the Greek-Macedonian border on March 12.

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Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

Refugees and migrants form a human chain to cross a river near the Greek-Macedonian border, west of the the village of Idomeni, Greece, on March 14.

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Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

Refugee children play with a stuffed toy in the mud at a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni, Greece, on March 15.

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Alexandros Avramidis/Reuters

Musician Frilal Ortiz carries a double bass in downtown Havana on March 16.

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Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

Air Force One — carrying President Barack Obama and his family — flies over a neighborhood in Havana on March 20.

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Alberto Reyes/Reuters

On March 22, a refugee sets himself on fire during a protest near the village of Idomeni, Greece, demanding the Greek-Macedonian border be opened.

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Kostas Tsironis/Reuters

A man looks out at cherry blossoms in almost full bloom in Tokyo, Japan, on April 1.

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Issei Kato/Reuters

A shopkeeper tries to save his belongings as residents use a bridge covered with floodwater on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, on April 4.

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Fayaz Aziz/Reuters

A mother holds her child after migrants and refugees tried to open the border fence at a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni, Greece, on April 7.

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Marko Djurica/Reuters

Tape is tied around 15-month-old Shivani’s ankle to prevent her from running away while her mother works at a construction site nearby, in Ahmedabad, India, on April 19.

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Amit Dave/Reuters

Fire burns part of an estimated 105 tons of ivory and a ton of rhino horn confiscated from smugglers and poachers at Nairobi National Park near Nairobi, Kenya, on April 30.

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Siegfried Modola/Reuters

Wildfires glow underneath The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on May 7.

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Mark Blinch/Reuters

A girl sits on a boat at a dried-up pond at the drought-hit Kandal province in Cambodia on May 13.

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Samrang Pring/Reuters

A protestor uses a tennis racket to bounce a tear gas canister during a demonstration to protest the government’s proposed labor law reforms in Nantes, France, on June 2.

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Stephane Mahe/Reuters

A Molotov cocktail is thrown by a protester during a protest called by university students against Venezuela’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, on June 9.

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Carlos Garcia /Reuters

On June 12, friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were murdered during the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

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Steve Nesius/Reuters

An emu runs to escape an approaching wildfire as it burns near Potrero, California, on June 20.

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Mike Blake/Reuters

Brexit supporters cheer results at a Leave.eu party after polling stations closed in the Referendum on the European Union in London, England, on June 23.

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Toby Melville/Reuters

On June 27, burnt-out prison cells belonging to Islamic State militants are seen in Fallujah after government forces recaptured the Iraqi city.

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Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

A demonstrator protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling is detained by law enforcement near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department on July 9.

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Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton hugs President Barack Obama as she arrives onstage at the end of his speech on the third night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 27.

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Jim Young/Reuters

Pope Francis walks through Auschwitz’s notorious gate with the sign “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work sets you free”) during his visit to the former Nazi death camp in Poland on July 29.

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Filippo Monteforte/Reuters

Lee Eun-Ju of South Korea (right) takes a selfie with Hong Un Jong of North Korea (left) during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 4.

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Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Usain Bolt takes the lead during the Men’s 100M semifinals during the Olympics on August 14.

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Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

President-elect Donald Trump looks out at Lake Michigan during a visit to the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 16, when he was the GOP nominee for president.

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Eric Thayer/Reuters

Relatives of Irfan Ahmed, who, according to local media, died after being hit by a tear gas canister fired by security forces, mourn his death in Srinagar as the city remained under curfew following weeks of violence in Kashmir on August 22.

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Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

A demonstrator looks at a riot policeman during a protest marking the country’s 1973 military coup in Santiago, Chile, on September 11.

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Carlos Vera/Reuters

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and teammate Eric Reid kneel during the playing of the national anthem before a game against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium on September 12.

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Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The charred interior of the parliament is seen after it was burned in post-election protests in Libreville, Gabon, on September 20.

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Edward McAllister/Reuters

A salt lake, which is separated by a road, shows different colors due to algae. This photo was taken in Yuncheng, Shanxi Province, China, on September 25.

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China Stringer Network/Reuters

A woman pours water over a child affected by teargas after clashes between police and street vendors in central Harare, Zimbabwe, on September 27.

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Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

People walk on a street next to destroyed houses after Hurricane Matthew hit Jeremie, Haiti, on October 6.

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Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

A food vendor waits for customers after Hurricane Matthew hit Jeremie, Haiti, on October 18.

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Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

A flooded building is pictured after Hurricane Matthew passed in Lumberton, North Carolina, on October 11.

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Carlo Allegri/Reuters

A migrant waits to disembark from the rescue vessel Responder, a rescue boat run by the Malta-based NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station and the Italian Red Cross, in the Italian harbor of Vibo Marina, Italy on October 22.

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Handout/Reuters

18-year-old Saida Ahmad Baghili, who is affected by severe acute malnutrition, sits on a bed at the al-Thawra hospital in the Red Sea port city of Houdieda, Yemen, on October 24.

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Abduljabbar Zeyad/Reuters

A displaced Iraqi boy leads his animals to safety after escaping from the Islamic State-controlled village of Abu Jarboa during clashes with IS militants near Mosul, Iraq, on November 1.

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Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

Russian paratroopers jump past a rainbow from an IL-76 transport plane during a joint Serbian-Russian military training exercise, “Slavic Brotherhood,” in the town of Kovin, near Belgrade, Serbia on November 7.

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Marko Djurica/Reuters

President-elect Donald Trump arrives to address supporters at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, on November 9.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

A migrant prepares to take a bath outside a derelict customs warehouse in Belgrade, Serbia, on November 10.

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Marko Djurica/Reuters

Police use a water cannon on protesters during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on November 20.

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Stephanie Keith/Reuters

Syrians that evacuated eastern Aleppo reach out for Russian food aid in the government-controlled Jibreen area in Aleppo, Syria, on November 30. The text on the bag reads in Arabic: “Russia is with you.” It also shows the Syrian national flag and the Russian national flag.

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Omar Sanadiki/Reuters

A surfer rides a large wave at El Bocal during the Vaca Gigante (Big Cow) giant wave surf competition in Santander, northern Spain, on December 17.

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Vincent West/Reuters