Ukrainian journalist ‘executed in cold blood’ by Russian forces (report)

Ukrainian journalist 'executed in cold blood' by Russian forces: report

The body of Maks Levin was found with that of his friend, soldier Oleksiy Chernyshov, on April 1

Paris:

Russian soldiers killed Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin in March, possibly after torturing him, media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in an investigation published Wednesday.

They reached their conclusions after sending a team to Ukraine to investigate Levin’s death.

RSF told AFP it would file a complaint specifically related to Levin’s murder with the International Criminal Court in The Hague – its sixth such complaint related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Levin’s body was found with that of his friend, soldier Oleksiy Chernyshov, on April 1 in a forest on the edge of Moschchun, a village about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Kyiv.

They had been missing since March 13 after Levin embarked with Ukrainian soldiers in an area that was experiencing heavy fighting.

Paris-based RSF sent investigators from late May to June, including photographer Patrick Chauvel, who had worked with Levin in Donbass in February.

“Evidence collected by RSF indicates that Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin and the friend accompanying him were executed in cold blood by Russian forces, probably after being interrogated and tortured, on the day of their disappearance,” the report said. report.

Investigators recovered bullets from the scene which they believe are commonly used by the Russian military.

Other items such as food wrappers, cutlery, cigarette packets and instructions for the use of rockets also suggested a Russian presence.

The report suggests two possible scenarios.

First, that Levin and his friend, whose body was burned, were shot after being spotted by Russian soldiers.

Second, that they were intercepted in their car and interrogated or even tortured separately – possibly burned alive in Chernyshov’s case – before being shot.

RSF handed over the material evidence and photos of the scene to the Ukrainian authorities.

Levin is one of eight journalists killed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to RSF’s tally.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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