A Ukrainian photojournalist and an accompanying soldier were ‘coldly executed’ when they were killed in the first weeks of the Russian invasionaccording to a recently published article investigation of Reporters Without Borders.
The couple reportedly searched Russian-occupied forests for the photographer’s missing camera drone, the agency said, citing the findings of an inquest into their deaths.
The press freedom group said it returned to where the bodies of Maks Levin and serviceman Oleksiy Chernyshov were found on April 1 in the woods north of the capital, Kyiv. The group said they counted 14 bullet holes in the burned carcass of their car still at the scene.
The reportpublished on Wednesday, reads as follows:
The information collected by RSF indicates that the Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin and accompanying friend were executed in cold blood by Russian forcesprobably after being interrogated and tortured, the day of their disappearance, March 13, 2022.
The photos of the crime scene, the evidence RSF found there and RSF’s observations attest that journalist Maks Levin and his friend Oleksiy Chernyshov were executed.
Levin was most likely hit by one of the bullets RSF found at the crime scene.
Physical evidence was found of a Russian presence very close to the crime scene, including food wrappers, plastic cutlery which may still contain traces of DNA.
Some of Levin and Chernyshov’s belongings, including the soldier’s identification papers and parts of his body armor and the photographer’s helmet, were also found, he added.
A Ukrainian team equipped with metal detectors also discovered a bullet buried in the ground where Levin’s body was lying, he added. The group said the find suggests “he was probably killed with one, possibly two bullets fired at close range while he was already on the ground.”
A jerry can of gasoline was also found near where Chernyshov’s burnt body was found, he added.
According to Reporters Without Borders, his findings “show that the two men were undoubtedly coldly executed”.
Levin and Chernyshov were last heard from on March 13. A GPS tracker in their vehicle gave their last location, in the woods north of Kyiv, the group said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is about to mark the day Hitler’s Nazi Germany forces invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.
The date is important in Russia and remembered as the “Day of Remembrance and Sorrow”.
Putin would lay flowers to honor the dead on Wednesday.
To mark the anniversary, the Russian Defense Ministry released documents from the start of World War II purporting to show that Germany intended to claim that the Soviet army bombed churches and cemeteries to justify its invasion. .
“Just like today, in 1941, the Nazis prepared provocations in advance to discredit our state,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
June 22 is one of the most tragic dates in Russian history – the day of remembrance and mourning. On this day, 81 years ago, the Great Patriotic War began.
A divine liturgy and memorial service will be held in the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces. »
Satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies, dated June 21, appear to show damage inflicted on Snake Island after Ukraine claimed to have launched an attack on the small southern territory on Tuesday.
A destroyed tower on the southern end of the island and burnt areas on the northern end can be seen.
Russia said it repelled a Ukrainian attempt to retake the Black Sea island captured by Russian forces on the first day of the invasion.
The Ukrainian military said it launched airstrikes on Zmiinyi Island, also known as Snake Island, causing “significant casualties” to Russian forces.
In a video address posted on Facebook, the army’s Southern Operational Command said it had used “targeted strikes with the use of various forces” on the island.
The command added:
Zmiinyi Island received a concentrated blow with the use of various forces and methods of destruction.
Russian troops stationed on the island suffered ‘significant losses’
The military operation continues and requires information silence until it is over.
Moscow claimed to have repelled the “crazy” attack which saw Ukraine “planning to carry out massive air and artillery fire…before landing and capturing” the island.
In a update posted on its Telegram channel, the Russian Defense Ministry said:
At 5 a.m. on June 20, the Kyiv regime makes another mad attempt to take possession of Snake Island.
This is another false “victory” of the Ukrainian army.
The ministry said 15 Ukrainian attack and reconnaissance drones took part in the airstrike while missile launchers and howitzers fired at the island, and 13 drones were reportedly shot down.
Hello, it’s Samantha Lock back with you as we continue to bring you all the latest news from Ukraine.
Here are all the other major developments as of 8am in Kyiv.
- The military situation of defenders of Ukraine in eastern Donbass is “extremely difficult”, officials said. 568 civilians are believed to be locked up in the Azot chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk, as Russian attacks escalate in a bid to capture Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk. Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Luhansk region, said Lysychansk was being shelled “en masse”.
- Russian forces captured several settlements near Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. The head of the Sievierodonetsk district military administration, Roman Vlasenko, said the frontline village of Toshkivka had been out of Ukrainian control since Monday. Russian forces also reportedly captured Pidlisne and Mala Dolyna, located southwest of Sievierodonetsk, and had success near Hirske’s settlement in Luhansk.
- At least 15 civilians were killed in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region by Russian shelling Tuesday, according to regional governor Oleh Synegubov.
- Mass mobilization is ‘about to happen’ in Russia the Kremlin recruiting people from poorer regions to fight in Ukraine, according to Western officials. Officials also said there was “more chatter” about Vladimir Putin’s health and “more speculation” about who would replace him in Russia. However, there does not appear to be an “immediate threat” to the position of the Russian president from the elite or the general public, they said.
- US Attorney General Merrick Garland visited Ukraine Tuesday to discuss Russia’s war crimes, a Justice Department official said. Garland met with the Attorney General of Ukraine, Iryna Venediktova, and announced the creation of a war crimes team to identify and prosecute perpetrators. “There is no hiding place for war criminals,” Garland said.
- German self-propelled howitzers arrived in Ukraine during the first delivery of heavy weapons promised by Berlin. “We have restocking! announced Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. “The German Panzerhaubitze 2000 with trained Ukrainian crews has joined the Ukrainian artillery family.”
- Turkey should be careful before delivering more weapons to Ukraine, the head of Turkey’s arms production agency said. Ismail Demir’s remarks to the Wall Street Journal show how Ankara is increasingly playing both sides of the war. Turkish-made drones have played a vital role in defending Kyiv.
- The Turkish military delegation will visit Russia this week to discuss a possible safe maritime corridor in the Black Sea to export Ukrainian grain, according to Turkish presidency sources. A meeting between Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations would be held in Istanbul in the coming weeks, possibly with the participation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and UN Secretary General António Guterres. indicated the sources.
- European countries are united in their support for granting Ukraine EU candidate statussaid the Luxembourg Foreign Minister. Jean Asselborn told reporters: “We are working to the point where we tell Putin that Ukraine belongs to Europe, that we will also defend the values that Ukraine stands for.”
- UK government ‘determined’ to impose new sanctions on Russia and will continue to do so until Moscow withdraws completely from Ukraine, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said. She told parliament she would visit Turkey on Wednesday to discuss options to help get the grain out of Odessa. Boris Johnson also warned of the need to resist ‘growing fatigue’ around the war and said any concessions to Vladimir Putin would be a “disaster”.
- Estonia summoned the Russian ambassador on Tuesday to protest against an “extremely serious” violation of its airspace by a Russian helicopter. The Estonian Foreign Ministry said the helicopter flew over a southeast point without permission on June 18.