Media watchdog groups are expressing concern over the future of missing Ukrainian journalists after a Ukrainian photojournalist was found dead on Saturday.
Ukrainian photographer Max Levin, who had been missing for more than two weeks, was found dead near the capital, Kyiv.
“He went missing on March 13 in the conflict zone in the Kyiv region. His body was found on April 1 near the village of Huta-Mezhihirska, ”said Andrey Yermak, aide of the president, in a post on Telegram on Saturday.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned Levine’s death, calling on both sides of the conflict to investigate the murder.
CPJ program director Carlos Martínez de la Serna said in a statement on Saturday that the Russian and Ukrainian authorities “must ensure that those responsible are held accountable and the safety of journalists covering the war from the ground is guaranteed.” “
The Washington-based National Press Club said Levin was killed by Russian forces while working north of Kyiv. It said Levin is the ninth journalist to be killed for covering up the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24.
“We want his death to be investigated as a war crime. Targeting civilians, including journalists, is a war crime,” National Press Club President Jane Judson and National Press Club Journalism Institute President Gil Klein said in a joint statement on Sunday.
Russia denies targeting civilians or journalists, saying such reports are “fake news”.
According to the Ukrainian military, a Lithuanian filmmaker, Mantas Kvedaravicius, was killed on Saturday in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Mariupol is surrounded by Russian forces in south-eastern Ukraine.
Since the start of the conflict, several journalists have also been injured in attacks by Russian forces.
Ukrainian journalist Andrey Tsaplienko, a correspondent for 1+1 news channel, was hit by shrapnel on March 25 while covering a humanitarian corridor near the northern city of Chernihiv.
Several other Ukrainian journalists have been reported missing in recent days.
CPJ reported Friday that Ukrainian journalist Konstantin Ryzhenko has been missing since March 30. On the same day, Russian troops searched Ryzhenko in the town of Kherson in southern Ukraine, and his family has lost contact with them since then.
According to media reports, Kherson is currently under the control of the Russian army.
A day after his disappearance, a note appeared on Rezenko’s Telegram account, which said, “If you are reading this text, it means something happened.”
The post explicitly explained that Ryzhenko, who serves as editor-in-chief of Kherson News City The local news website scheduled that post for publication if he was detained or lost access to his phone or the Internet.
“Ryzhenko’s disappearance is one of the growing list of Ukrainian journalists who have gone missing since the start of the Russian offensive,” Gulnoza Said, program coordinator for CPJ Europe and Central Asia, said in a statement on Friday.
Another Ukrainian journalist, Irina Dubchenko, was detained by the Russian military on March 26 and taken to the eastern city of Donetsk, according to the Ukrainian National Union of Journalists and members of her family.
Donetsk is controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
Dubchenko, who has worked for several Ukrainian outlets, including the news website Depo.ZaporizhzhiaNewspaper Saturday And the UNIAN news agency was allegedly arrested in the city of Rozivka, where she was taking care of her grandmother.
Her sister, Alexandra, told the Ukrainian Journalists’ Union that when Russian troops searched her home on 26 March, they said they “know everything”. [Dubchenko’s] Journalistic activities. ,