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Today marks one year since Russian occupiers murdered Maks Levin

13.03.2023, 15:55

Today, March 13, marks one year since the Russian invaders killed Ukrainian photojournalist and documentarist, Maks Levin.

Maks Levin has been one of the most famous documentarists of the Ukrainian war since 2014. His dream was to take a photo that would end the war. But he did not have the time: on March 13, 2022, Russian soldiers killed Levin in Kyiv oblast. He was 40 years old.

Maxim Levin went missing on March 13, 2022, on the front line in the Vyshgorod district near Kyiv, where he was doing his job, documenting the Russian war crimes.

On April 1, 2022, the police found him murdered in a forest near Huta-Mezhyhirska village, Vyshgorod district, near Kyiv. According to the prosecutors, Russian soldiers killed him with two shots from a light weapon.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky awarded Levin the Order "For Courage" III degree posthumously.

The Bagration Street in Kyiv has been renamed to Maksym Levin Street.

In the summer of 2022, the The War Is Not Over Yet – a photo exhibition about Russia's media crimes in Ukraine – opened in Boyarka, Maks Levin's hometown. The organizers brought it to the hometown of the deceased photojournalist Maks Levin on his birthday, July 7.

Reporters Without Borders found that Maks Levin had been executed by Russian soldiers.

On March 2, 2023, Suspilne aired the investigative film by RSF, titled "The Case of Maks Levin. Anatomy of an Execution". French war reporter Patrick Chauvel, who had worked with Levin, conducted his own investigation into the murder of the Ukrainian photojournalist in May 2022 together with RSF. The head of RSF’s investigation desk, Arnaud Froger, and the French reporter managed to get to the crime scene. What they recorded there allows them to outline the events of Maks Levin's last hours.

While inspecting the crime scene, RSF found nine items of evidence, including bullets and papers. Furthermore, they talked to close relatives, friends, and colleagues of Maks Levin. RSF has handed over all the testimonies and evidence to Ukrainian law enforcers.

"Maks was not killed in battle. He was dragged out of the car and executed. Before the shot, he was stripped of his body armor. There is no doubt that the Russians knew that they were going to execute the journalist, because Maks's body armor and helmet had the word PRESS written on them," Patrick Chauvel said.

Maxim Levin was born in 1981 in Kyiv oblast. He had been filming the war for eight years, since its very beginning. He covered the Revolution of Dignity, was on the Maidan in the days of the fiercest fighting. In August 2014, together with his colleagues Markiyan Lyseiko, Ivan Lyubysh-Kirdey and Gosha Tykhy, he miraculously escaped the Ilovaisk encirclement. After that, he co-authored "Afterilovaisk" – a documentary project about the military and civilians who survived that tragedy. Maks Levin worked with, Hromadske, Reuters, BBC, the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Radio Liberty.

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