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Report finds Ukrainian journalist, soldier killed by Russian forces in March

Reporters Without Borders investigators found that Russian forces executed a Ukrainian journalist and soldier who were traveling together just weeks after the war began.

The bodies of Ukrainian journalist Maks Levin and his friend, soldier Oleksiy Chernyshov, were found on April 1. They were last heard from on March 13.

The couple were thought to have entered a remote wooded area north of Kyiv occupied by Russian troops to recover Levin’s drone, which had been lost in the area on March 10.

Levin had used his drone to photograph the Russian positions. The photographs were primarily used for his own journalistic investigations, but he occasionally shared images with Ukrainian forces, according to the report.

“Maks went to this forest to try to recover his drone, to recover evidence in the form of images. His execution by Russian soldiers was a crime against freedom of expression,” said Patrick Chauvel, co-author of the report.

Also found at the scene were the soldier’s papers, a bulletproof vest and a helmet belonging to Levin. The remains of Levin and Chernyshov’s burned vehicle, which was riddled with 14 bullet holes, were also at the scene.

The execution “may have been preceded by interrogations or even acts of torture”, declared the secretary general of Reporters Without Borders, Christophe Deloire.

Reporters Without Borders has not confirmed whether it has already carried out an autopsy on the bodies.

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Post expires at 4:13am on Sunday July 3rd, 2022