A Ukrainian photojournalist who went missing over two weeks ago while documenting the Russian invasion of Ukraine near the capital, Kyiv, has been found dead, according to the office of Ukraine’s prosecutor general.
The photojournalist, Maks Levin, 40, was a prominent freelancer who had spent years covering the conflict in Ukraine. There had been fears for his safety after he and a colleague went missing in mid-March while reporting near the front line of Russian fighting in the Vyshhorod area.
His body was found in a village in the Vyshhorod district north of Kyiv on Friday, according to the Institute of Mass Information, a Ukrainian civil society organization focused on press freedom. He is survived by his wife, four sons and his parents.
The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that based on preliminary information, Mr. Levin was shot by Russian armed forces with “small arms fire,” and that a criminal investigation into his death was underway.
The colleague Mr. Levin had been traveling with, Oleksiy Chernyshov, has not been found, according to the Institute of Mass Information.
Days before his disappearance, Mr. Levin had posted a series of harrowing images on his Facebook page showing the mass evacuation of residents, many of them draped in white cloth to signal their civilian status.
“It’s like a horror movie,” he wrote in a message accompanying the post.
As news of his death circulated on Saturday, there was an outpouring of grief from fellow journalists who had worked alongside Mr. Levin. Many had spent the last two weeks appealing for news of his whereabouts.
According to the LB.ua, a Ukrainian news outlet where Mr. Levin worked for more than a decade, he was born in 1981 in the Kyiv region. He had extensively documented the conflict in Ukraine beginning in 2014, with his work published in several Ukrainian and international news outlets, and also worked on photo projects with a number of humanitarian organizations.
Mr. Levin collaborated with Reuters, the BBC, and The Associated Press, among other news outlets.
“Every Ukrainian photographer dreams of taking a photo that will stop the war,” Mr. Levin once explained, according to LB.ua.