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Ukrainians at the Berlinale call for Maksym Butkevych's release from Russian captivity

24.02.2023, 16:17
Photo: Docudays UA
Photo: Docudays UA

At the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), representatives of the Ukrainian film industry called on the international culture community to demand Russia release Ukrainian human rights activist and journalist Maksym Butkevych from captivity.

Docudays UA, and international documentary festival devoted to human rights, which was often hosted and moderated by Butkevych, reported this on Facebook.

"In early March 2022, Maksym Butkevych suspended his work in aiding refugees, his journalistic, humanitarian, educational, and human rights activities, and enlisted in the Armed Forces. In the summer, during combat operations near the captured villages Zolote and Hirske, Luhansk oblast, Maksym was captured by the occupiers. Since June 2022, we have not heard anything about the whereabouts of our friend and colleague..." Docudays UA noted.

As IMI reported, in June 2022, human rights activist, journalist, and co-founder of ZMINA human rights center and NGO "Hromadske Radio" Maksym Butkevych has been taken prisoner by the Russians near ​​the captured Zolote and Hirske villages in Luhansk oblast. Russian propagandists announced the capture of Butkevych on June 24, publishing a video of his interrogation.

Maksym Butkevych is a Ukrainian human rights activist and journalist. Coordinator and co-founder of the "Without Borders" project, aimed at helping asylum seekers and Ukrainian immigrants and countering hate speech. Co-founder of ZMINA human rights center and Hromadske Radio. Previously, he worked for the BBC World Service and a number of all-Ukrainian TV channels, has been a guest lecturer at NaUKMA for several years, and was also a board member of Amnesty International's Ukrainian representative office and the community council under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In September 2022, the Ministry of Defense of Russia confirmed holding human rights activist and Ukrainian Armed Forces soldier Maksym Butkevych as prisoner. He is currently in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk oblast.

In November 2022, Maksym Butkevych won the "Stories of Injustice" award from the Czech organization People in Need. Maksym's father, Oleksandr, received the award for him in Prague.

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