HRABOVE, Ukraine -- The smell hits you before you see it.
Jet fuel and death.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 came down in pieces on Thursday in this small town in eastern Ukraine near the border with Russia.
Near the tail, the wreckage is still smouldering. Open luggage lies next to burned bodies. They're roasted a shiny bright pink. If you look away fast enough you can almost fool yourself into thinking they are plastic mannequins.
Almost. It eventually hits you hard in the gut.
Further down the road, the biggest part of the plane landed in what was a wheat field. Here almost nothing survived the inferno. It's just ash and scraps of metal.
The charred ground crunches underfoot. A long splinter of the fuselage lies awkwardly with the windows facing up. On top, someone placed a single rose and a candle.
Just beyond is part of the landing gear. Across the field is a warped engine turbine.
The scraps of metal appear violently torn apart -- sharp, jagged edges.
Somehow some things survived. A tour book for Bali. A child's backpack. A reminder of just how evil this act was. They make you think about the innocent bodies again.
The site is guarded, but not fully protected.
Rebels pace the road, patting their AK-47s. They size up arriving journalists, demanding documents. But then they let you alone to wander the wreckage. They denounce the Kiev "junta" and scoff at President Obama's claim they are responsible for this carnage. They insist the Ukrainian military did it.