Ukrainian photographer Maksim Levin was “executed in cold blood” alongside his friend Oleksiy Chernyshov by Russian forces north of Kyiv on March 13, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in a 16-page report on Wednesday.
“The evidence against Russian forces is overwhelming,” the press freedom group said in an introduction to the report on its website.
Reuters could not independently verify the report’s findings. The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Born in 1981, Levin was a documentary filmmaker who had occasionally contributed to Reuters’ country coverage since 2013. He disappeared on March 13, the day RSF claims he was executed.
John Pullman, Reuters’ global editor for visuals, said of Levin in April: “His death is a huge loss to the world of journalism. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. »
RSF said it examined evidence at the scene, including bullets and Levin’s burnt-out car, as well as photos taken of the bodies of Levin and Chernyshov when they were discovered on April 1.
The report states that the position of Chernyshov’s body and other evidence indicate that he may have been burned alive, and Levin was likely killed by one or two point-blank shots. He said a photo of his corpse showed three visible bullet holes.
RSF collected evidence from May 24 to June 3.
Ukrainian prosecutors said Levin was killed by two small arms shots fired by members of the Russian armed forces. Reuters has not been able to independently verify this information.