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Ukrainian journalist found dead near Kyiv after going missing over two weeks ago

Maks Levin reported to have been killed by ‘two shots’ from Russian soldiers; at least seven media personnel have been killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24

Ukrainian photographer and documentary maker Maks Levin, who was found dead near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on April 1, 2022. (Screen grab / YouTube)
Ukrainian photographer and documentary maker Maks Levin, who was found dead near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on April 1, 2022. (Screen grab / YouTube)

Ukrainian photographer and documentary maker Maks Levin has been found dead near the capital Kyiv after going missing more than two weeks ago, presidential aide Andriy Yermak said on Saturday.

“He went missing in the conflict area on March 13 in the Kyiv region. His body was found near the village of Guta Mezhygirska on April 1,” he said on Telegram.

The Institute of Mass Information, a non-governmental organization, cited preliminary findings from the prosecutor’s office saying that the journalist was killed by “two shots” from the Russian military.

“On April 1, after long searches in the area of ​​ the village of Huta Mezhyhirska in Kyiv region, the police found photojournalist, documentary photographer Maks Levin dead,” said Ukraine’s LB.ua media outlet, Levin’s employer for the past decade.

“Maks, accompanied by Oleksiy Chernyshov, a serviceman and former photographer, went to Huta Mezhyhirska on March 13 to document the consequences of the Russian aggression. They left a car and headed towards the village of Moshchun,” LB.ua added.

“Since then, the connection with both men was lost. Later it became known that intense fighting broke out in the area where Maks was going to work. The whereabouts and fate of Oleksiy Chernyshov have not been established yet.”

Levin, a 40-year-old father of four, had been working with Ukrainian and international media.

According to Ukrainian News State Agency Ukrinform, Levin had contributed to Reuters, BBC, TRT World, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Breaking news Poland, and other major international publications.

Most of his works were related to the war in Crimea in 2014 and events that followed, according to Ukrinform.

During fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014, Levin had managed to escape encirclement in a town where hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers were killed.

At least seven media personnel have reportedly been killed in Ukraine since Russian troops invaded on February 24. These include Russian, Ukrainian, American and Irish nationals.

Private cars burnt by the Russian forces and left by refugees on the road outside Irpin close to Kyiv, Ukraine, March 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

On March 15, Pierre Zakrzewski, an Irish cameraman for Fox News, was killed after the vehicle he was in was struck near Kyiv. Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova was killed in the same incident.

Two days earlier, Brent Renaud, an acclaimed American filmmaker was killed after Russian forces opened fire at his vehicle near the capital.

Other media personnel killed in the war-stricken country include Ukrainian journalists Shakirov Dilerbek Shukurovych and Yevhenii Sakun, and Russian journalist Oksana Baulina.

Many of the journalists killed were covering battles near Kyiv and near the city of Irpin.

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