THIS MESSAGE (MATERIAL) IS CREATED AND (OR) DISTRIBUTED BY A FOREIGN MASS MEDIA PERFORMING THE FUNCTIONS OF A FOREIGN AGENT AND (OR) A RUSSIAN LEGAL ENTITY PERFORMING THE FUNCTIONS OF A FOREIGN AGENT.
Ukrainian photographer Maksim Levin and Ukrainian soldier Aleksey Chernyshov, who accompanied him, whose bodies were found in April in the Kyiv region, were killed by the Russian military, possibly after interrogation and torture. As a result of the investigation, the international non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) came to such conclusions.
RSF officials investigated Levin’s murder from 24 May to 3 June. In particular, they visited the forest, where they found the bodies of the journalist and his companion, analyzed the photographs taken by the Ukrainian side and seized material evidence.
Among other things, investigators examined Levin’s burnt-out car, where they counted 14 bullet holes. They were also able, according to the report, to find a bullet that hit Levin himself, as well as traces of the presence of the Russian military – food packaging and plastic cutlery, which may still contain traces of DNA.
According to RSF, on March 13, Levin, accompanied by Chernyshov, went to the forest, which at that time was under the control of the Russian military. They were looking for a photographer’s drone that had been lost a few days earlier and were spotted by Russian soldiers.
Further, according to one of the hypotheses of the investigators, the Russians could take the photographer and his companion for the Ukrainian military and open fire, and then burn the bodies and the car. According to another version, the Russian military stopped the car of Levin and Chernyshov, took them to the forest for interrogation, and then killed and burned the evidence.
According to RSF, soldiers of the 106th Airborne Division or special forces soldiers who were in the area at that time could be involved in the murder of the photographer.
The organization shared all the information collected with the Ukrainian authorities.
Maxim Levin collaborated with Ukrainian publications, as well as with Reuters, Associated Press, BBC. On March 13, he stopped communicating. His body was found on April 1 in a forest near the village of Moshchun, Buchansky district, Kyiv region.
According to the Ukrainian authorities and Reporters Without Borders, 32 journalists have died since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.