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Who was the Ukrainian photographer?

Maks Levin, 40, a father of four who worked for Ukrainian and international media, is one of eight journalists killed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to RSF’s tally

Maks Levin, a journalist based in Ukraine, was found dead after being missing for more than two weeks. News18

Media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in an investigation published Wednesday that Russian soldiers killed Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin in March, possibly after torturing him.

It comes after RSF sent a team to Ukraine to investigate Levin’s death.

RSF said it would file a complaint specifically related to Levin’s murder with the International Criminal Court in The Hague: its sixth such complaint concerned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Levin’s body was found with that of his friend, soldier Oleksiy Chernyshov, on April 1 in a forest on the edge of Moschchun, a village about 20 kilometers from Kyiv.

They had been missing since March 13. Levin embarked with Ukrainian soldiers in an area that was experiencing heavy fighting.

Levin, 40, a father of four who worked for Ukrainian and international media, is one of eight journalists killed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to RSF’s tally.

Let’s take a closer look at Levin:

Levin’s profile on the site Lens culture describes him as a photographer for one of the main Ukrainian news platforms as well as a stringer for Reuters.

According to the website, Levin had worked as a photojournalist since 2006.

Since 2012, he was involved in the development as a new media platform by filming videos, writing texts and posting them online.

Levin had photographed the war in eastern Ukraine from the very beginning, including the capture of the Donetsk state regional administration; presidential elections in the Donetsk region that took place in fact under military conditions; the first “Caucasian” soldiers in Donetsk, the capture of Sloviansk; Battalion “Aydar” and Battalion “Donbass” in Popasna, Lisichansk, Kurakhovo, Ilovaysk, Myrna Dolyna; Debal’tsevo and Mariupol after the bombardment.

In 2014, Levin, together with the “Donbass” volunteer battalion, was surrounded in Ilovaisk (Donetsk region) and managed to flee Ilovaisk together with three other journalists, according to the website.

Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers were killed in this battle.

Levin was also co-organizer of the exhibition “Maydan: Human Factor”, participating in the exhibitions “Ukraine 24. War&Peace” in Los Angeles, “Conflict Zone: Ukraine” in Chicago, “Donbass War and Peace” in the European Parliament. in Brussels, “Donbass: War and peace” in Prague, exhibition of group photos documenting the battle of Ilovaisk in 2014 at the Taras Shevchenko National Museum in Kyiv.

Levin has also directed his own documentary projects about autistic children and single fathers.

“Executed in Cold Blood”

Paris-based RSF sent investigators from late May to June, including photographer Patrick Chauvel, who had worked with Levin in Donbass in February.

“Evidence collected by RSF indicates that Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin and the friend accompanying him were executed in cold blood by Russian forces, probably after being interrogated and tortured, on the day of their disappearance,” the report said. report.

Investigators recovered bullets from the scene which they believe are commonly used by the Russian military.

Other items such as food wrappers, cutlery, cigarette packets and instructions for the use of rockets also suggested a Russian presence.

The report suggests two possible scenarios.

First, that Levin and his friend, whose body was burned, were shot after being spotted by Russian soldiers.

Second, that they were intercepted in their car and interrogated or even tortured separately – possibly burned alive in Chernyshov’s case – before being shot.

RSF handed over the material evidence and photos of the scene to the Ukrainian authorities.

With contributions from agencies

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