European Federation of Journalists

Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin who went missing near Kyiv is found dead

Picture credit: Evgeniy Datsenko.

Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin who went missing since 13 March while documenting the Russian invasion of Ukraine near the capital, Kyiv, has been found dead on 1 April. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) join their Ukrainian affiliates, NUJU and IMTUU, in condemning the deliberate attacks on journalists in Ukraine. Maks Levin is the 7th journalist to lose his life in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

The photojournalist, Maks Levin, 40, was a prominent freelancer. His body was found in the Huta-Mezhyhirska village on Friday, according to the news website, one of the outlets where Maks Levin worked.

On Saturday, the Vyshhorod district prosecutor’s office said in a statement that based on preliminary information, Mr. Levin was shot by Russian armed forces with “small arms fire,” and that a criminal investigation into his death was underway. The colleague Mr. Levin had been traveling with, Oleksiy Chernyshov, has not been found.

“Evidence of war crimes committed by the Russian occupiers is mounting,” said EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez. “There is no longer any doubt that journalists are being deliberately targeted. On the ground, journalists are now operating without distinctive signs so as not to be targeted. We once again call on the international community to set up a special tribunal to investigate these war crimes and prosecute the perpetrators.”

At least six other journalists have been killed since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February:

  • Yevheniy Sakun, an Ukrainian cameraman for LIVE TV killed on 1 March during a rockets attack on the TV tower in Kyiv;
  • Ukrainian journalist Viktor Dedov died on 11 March in Mariupol after his flat was bombed;
  • Brent Renaud, a US journalist shot dead in Irpin, on 13 March;
  • Pierre Zakrzewski, Fox News camera operator, and Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, killed on 14 March while reporting from Horenka.
  • Russian journalist Oksana Baulina, killed after coming under Russian shelling with another civilian while she filmed destruction at a shopping centre in Podil district in Kyiv, on 23 March.