Ukrainian photographer Maksim Levin was “cold-bloodedly executed” along with his friend Oleksiy Chernyshov by Russian forces north of Kiev on March 13, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reported in a 16-page report Wednesday.
“The evidence against the Russian forces is overwhelming,” the group said in a statement on its website.
Reuters could not independently verify the report’s findings. Russia’s 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 coverage of the country since 2013. He disappeared on March 13, the day RSF said he had been executed.
John Pullman, Reuters’s global graphic director, said of Levin in April: “His death is a huge loss for the world of journalism. “Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
RSF said it had examined evidence at the scene that included bullets and Levin’s burnt car, as well as photographs taken of Levin and Chernysov’s bodies when they were discovered on April 1.
The report said Chernysov’s body position and other evidence suggested he may have been burned alive and that Levin may have been killed by one or two close-range shots. He said a photograph of his body showed three visible bullets.
RSF collected data from May 24 to June 3.
Ukrainian prosecutors say Levin was killed by two small arms shots fired by members of Russia’s armed forces. Reuters could not independently verify this information.