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Journalist, soldier killed in Ukraine were ‘coldly executed,’ press group says


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A photojournalist and a soldier who were killed by Russian forces in Ukraine were “coldly executed,” a press group said.

Maks Levin and serviceman Oleksiy Chernyshov, both Ukrainian, were killed by Russian forces weeks after the invasion started but new details about where their bodies were discovered suggest they were executed, Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday.

Levin’s body was found lying in the dirt, with a single bullet buried in the soil underneath, the group said.

Ukrainian photographer and documentary maker Maks Levin poses in Kyiv on October 10, 2019.

Ukrainian photographer and documentary maker Maks Levin poses in Kyiv on October 10, 2019.
(Photo by Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)

“He was probably killed with one, perhaps two bullets fired at close range when he was already on the ground,” the group determined.

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Levin’s clothes and a media helmet were found nearby.

Chernyshov’s body was burned and was discovered near a jerrycan for gasoline, the group said.

Ukrainian servicemen carry the casket bearing the remains of journalist Maks Levin  on April 4, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Ukrainian servicemen carry the casket bearing the remains of journalist Maks Levin  on April 4, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
(Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

These findings “show that the two men were doubtless coldly executed,” Reporters Without Borders said.

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Their bodies were initially found on April 1 near the village Huta Mezhyhirska, north of Kyiv. 

They were last heard from on March 13, days after Levin reported being under fire from Russian soldiers on March 10.

A man touches the coffin as he pays respects to journalist Maks Levin during his funeral on April 4, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

A man touches the coffin as he pays respects to journalist Maks Levin during his funeral on April 4, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. 
(Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

A funeral was held for Levin on April 4, 2022, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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Reporters Without Borders clarified they were unable to confirm whether the bodies had been autopsied.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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