Amid the escalating Russia-Ukraine war, the Ukrainian photographer and documentary makers Maks Levin has been found dead in Huta Mezhyhirska, Vyshhorod district near the former Soviet nation's capital city, Kyiv. Levin went missing more than two weeks ago, Presidential aide Andriy Yermak said on Saturday, April 2. According to outlet European Journalists, the journalist was heading to the village of Moshchun to cover clashes between Russian and Ukrainian forces.
In a post on Telegram, Yermak said, "He went missing in the conflict area on March 13 in the Kyiv region. His body was found near the village of Huta-Mezhyhirska on April 1." Reporters Without Borders said in a tweet today that Levin was unarmed and wearing a press jacket, and that he was the sixth journalist to be killed since Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24.
Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office stated according to preliminary findings, the late journalist was "fatally shot twice with small-arms fire, by servicemen" of the Russian armed forces. The Prosecutor General has also stated, "The pre-trial investigation is underway, measures are being taken to establish all the circumstances of the crime. Prosecutors of the Kyiv region continue to document all crimes of the aggressor's country in order to bring the perpetrators to justice."
The 40-year-old journalist, who was a father of four, had been working with many Ukrainian and international media, including the BBC, and the Associated Press.
Over a week ago, a Russian journalist for investigative news outlet The Insider was killed in Russian shelling at a residential neighbourhood in the capital city. Oksana Baulina had also worked for opposition leader Alexey Navalny's anti-corruption group. On March 15, a Fox News cameraperson Pierre Zakrzewski was killed on the spot when the car he and his colleague were travelling in came under Russian shelling near Horenka, just outside Kyiv. On March 13, a New York Times journalist Brent Renaud was shot dead near Irpin.
Several other cases of abduction of journalists in the occupied regions of Ukraine have been reported over the last month. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemned the deliberate targeting of journalists by the Russian military and denounced the torture and pressure exerted on journalists and their families to make them cooperate. Testimonies of journalists held captive tell of horrible conditions of detention.