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Ukrainian photojournalist Maksym Levin in the Donetsk region, Ukraine January 25.
Ukrainian photojournalist Maksym Levin in the Donetsk region, Ukraine January 25 (Stanislav Kozliuk / Reuters)

A Ukrainian photojournalist who worked for several major Western news agencies including Reuters and the BBC has been killed by Russian forces near Kyiv, Ukraine’s attorney general’s office said on Saturday.

The body of Maksym (Maks) Levin – who was embracing the ongoing conflict – was found with two gunshot wounds in the Vyshgorod district just north of the capital, the attorney general’s office said. in a Facebook postciting preliminary reports.

“According to preliminary information, soldiers of the Russian Armed Forces killed the unarmed Maksym Levin with two shots,” it stated. The office told CNN.

A residential building destroyed by shelling is seen in Borodyanka, Ukraine, on March 3.
A residential building destroyed by shelling is seen in Borodyanka, Ukraine, on March 3. (Maksym Levin/Reuters)

Photographer Markiian Lyseiko told CNN that he was last in contact with his friend, known as Maks, on March 12, the day before he went missing in a district north of Kyiv, where he had reported skirmishes. and the fleeing of civilians.

During their last conversation, Lyseiko said that Levin had asked him to come to the Ukrainian capital so they could talk about the war together.

Lyseiko, who has worked alongside Levin since 2014 documenting the war in Donbas, where they joined Ukrainian soldiers for weeks, described his friend in an interview with CNN on the day. March 24 is an energetic and tenacious reporter who often looks like him “without fear.”

A Ukrainian soldier escapes a helicopter strike near Demydiv, Ukraine on March 10.
A Ukrainian soldier flees a helicopter strike near Demydiv, Ukraine on March 10. (Maksym Levin/Reuters)

Since the war broke out eight years ago, Levin wanted to show the world what was happening in Ukraine, especially with Russia, Lyseiko said.

“The best way to understand Maks is to look at his work,” says Lyseiko. “When you watch Maks movies or see his photos, you understand him, no words needed.”

The Vyshgorod District Prosecutor’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation into alleged violations of the “laws and customs of war,” the attorney general’s office said, adding that “measures are being taken.” carried out to determine all the circumstances of the crime”.

Levin started working as a photojournalist in 2006, according to his profile on LensCulture, a photography resource website. He worked for the Ukrainian news agency LB.ua and is “well known” in his field, having worked with Reuters, BBC, TRT World and the Associated Press, according to the attorney general’s office.

In an online statement, LB.ua said Levin is survived by four sons, a civilian partner and elderly parents. LB.ua said that, in addition to journalism, Levin also conducts dozens of photo and video projects for humanitarian organizations such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF and UN Women.

In his biography, Levin describes himself as a “documentary photographer/videographer, a father, a human being”.

Ukrainian servicemen take up positions at Vasylkiv Air Base near Kyiv on February 27.
Ukrainian servicemen take up positions at Vasylkiv Air Base near Kyiv on February 27. (Maksym Levin/Reuters)

Reuters news agency on Saturday said it was “deeply saddened” by Levin’s death.

John Pullman, Reuters’ global managing editor of imagery, said in a statement to CNN: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the news that Maksym Levin, a longtime Reuters contributor, in Ukraine, passed away.

“Maks has been providing fascinating photos and videos from Ukraine to Reuters since 2013. His death is a great loss to the press. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time,” said Pullman.

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