KYIV, Ukraine –
A Ukrainian photojournalist and a soldier who was accompanying him once they have been killed within the first weeks of Russia’s invasion seem to have been “coldly executed” as they have been looking out Russian-occupied woodlands for the photographer’s lacking image-taking drone, Reporters With out Borders stated Wednesday, citing its findings from an investigation into their deaths.
The press freedom group stated it went again to the spot the place the our bodies of Maks Levin and serviceman Oleksiy Chernyshov have been discovered April 1 in woods north of the capital, Kyiv. The group stated it counted 14 bullet holes within the burned hulk of their automobile nonetheless on the scene.
The group stated disused Russian positions, one in every of them nonetheless bobby-trapped, have been discovered shut by. Additionally discovered have been the stays of meals rations, cigarette packets and different litter seemingly left by Russian troopers.
A few of Levin and Chernyshov’s belongings, together with the soldier’s ID papers and elements of his bulletproof vest and the photographer’s helmet, have been additionally recovered, it stated.
A Ukrainian staff with metallic detectors additionally uncovered a bullet buried within the soil the place Levin’s physique had lain, it stated. The group stated that discovering suggests “he was most likely killed with one, maybe two bullets fired at shut vary when he was already on the bottom.”
A jerrycan for gasoline was additionally discovered near the place Chernyshov’s burned physique had been recovered, it added.
Reporters With out Borders stated its findings “present that the 2 males have been probably coldly executed.”
Levin and Chernyshov have been final heard from on March 13. A GPS tracker of their automobile gave their final place, in woods north of Kyiv, the group stated.
It stated Levin had misplaced his drone within the space on March 10 and hadn’t been in a position to get better it as a result of he’d come below Russian hearth. Drones have change into a standard instrument for photojournalists to get aerial pictures and video.
Reporters With out Borders stated Levin had every so often shared info gleaned from his drone, together with about Russian positions, with Ukrainian forces.
“However the usage of his drone was at the start a journalistic endeavour, confirmed by his entourage and proven by the pictures bought to the media because the begin of the Russian invasion,” it stated.
The group speculated that Levin could have been trying to find his drone when he and Chernyshov have been killed.
The group stated it turned over proof it collected and dozens of pictures to Ukrainian investigators.
The group stated it was unable to verify whether or not the lads’s our bodies have been autopsied — a step it referred to as important for the investigation into their deaths.
It additionally appealed for Ukrainian defence and intelligence companies to supply investigators with no matter info they’ve about Russian models that had occupied the realm throughout Moscow’s failed assault on Kyiv within the preliminary levels of the four-month conflict.
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