When the body of a MH17 victim fell through this woman’s kitchen


Inna Tipunova looks at her kitchen, which was destroyed when the corpse of a woman dropped through the roof after the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash. (Michael Birnbaum/The Washington Post)

RASSYPNOYE, Ukraine — The air smelled of bleach and the floor bore blood marks, grim remnants of a horrific event: the corpse of a woman who was on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 dropping through the roof into one family’s modest kitchen.

“We never expected people falling from the sky,” said Inna Tipunova, whose kitchen was destroyed  Thursday after the body fell into it.  “They were falling like rain.”

No one took the corpse away for 24 hours, she said in an interview Tuesday, and she returned to the kitchen over and over again during a sleepless night Thursday to look at the scene.

“She was someone’s mother, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister,” Tipunova said. “She was innocent.”

Tipunova blamed the Ukrainian government for the downing of the jet, and for a war that is increasingly claiming lives on both sides, including of civilians trapped in the middle. And, last week, it also claimed the lives of 298 people who were flying above eastern Ukraine.

“Donbas will be destroyed. That’s their goal,” she said of the Ukrainian government’s plans for the region where she lives. But she has no intention of leaving, she said. “I have already lived my life. It is already behind me. I have nowhere to go.”

Michael Birnbaum is The Post’s Moscow bureau chief. He previously served as the Berlin correspondent and an education reporter.
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