Ukrainian journalist Maks Levin ‘executed in cold blood’

Levin, a Ukrainian photojournalist who worked with a number of major Western news outlets, including Reuters and the BBC, disappeared on March 13 while covering the Russian attack on the Ukrainian capital Kiev. His body was discovered on April 1.

RSF said it sent two investigators to Ukraine from May 24 to June 3 and concluded that Levin, and a friend he was with, were “executed in cold blood”.

“The evidence against the Russian forces is overwhelming,” the NGO said in a summary.

The organization said it found several bullets and cartridge cases at the scene, the identity papers of the friend and soldier who accompanied Levin, and identified 14 bullet impacts to the car they were traveling in. RSF said it also found several items with possible DNA evidence showing the presence of Russian soldiers near the crime scene and, crucially, found a bullet right next to where Levin’s body was found.

“Analysis of the crime scene photos, the on-site observations and the material evidence found clearly point to an execution that may have been preceded by interrogation or even torture,” RSF Secretary General Christophe Delore said of the report. “In the context of a war marked by propaganda and censorship by the Kremlin, Maks Levin and his friend paid with their lives for their struggle for reliable information.”

RSF said it has submitted its findings and all evidence to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office.

On April 2, the office of the Ukrainian Attorney General said the journalist’s body had been found in the Vyshgorod district, just north of Kiev, adding that “soldiers of the Russian armed forces killed the unarmed Maksym Levin with two gunshots.” “.

Russia has consistently denied targeting civilians, including journalists, since it began its invasion of Ukraine, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

CNN was unable to independently verify RSF’s findings.

Levin started working as a photojournalist in 2006, according to his bio on LensCulture, a photography resources website. He worked for the Ukrainian news channel and was “known” in his field, having worked with Reuters, BBC, TRT World and Associated Press, according to the attorney general’s office.

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