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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Acclaimed Ukrainian Photographer Maks Levin Hasn’t Been Seen Since March 13

The veteran photojournalist was covering the Russian invasion north of Kyiv, after spending years chronicling Ukraine’s longstanding battles in its eastern regions against pro-Russian separatists.

Close up portrait of a soldier taken by war photojournalist Maks Levin

Ukrainian troops

Anna Akage

Maks Levin, a leading Ukrainian combat photographer and documentary filmmaker, has disappeared while covering the war north of Kyiv. Levin, 41, last made contact on March 13 while working in an active combat zone.

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It later became known that in the area where Levin was working, intense combat operations began, and colleagues fear he may have been injured or captured by Russian troops.


Gulnoza Said of the Committee to Protect Journalists called on anyone with information about Maks Levin to come forward: “Far too many journalists have gone missing while covering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and all parties to the conflict should ensure that the press can work safely and without fear of abduction.”

Bird's eye view of destroyed buildings, photo by Maks Levin

Bird's eye view of destroyed buildings

​Maks Levin

From Maidan to Crimea

Levin is a former photographer for Livy Bereg, a Ukrainian media that Worldcrunch has been working with since 2019. He has also worked for Reuters, the Associated Press and the BBC. Most recently he was working for the World Health Organization.

First coming to conflict photography during the Maidan Revolution in 2013, Levin went on to cover the annexation of Crimea, occupation of Donbas, survived the Ilovaysk Cauldron, the bloodiest and cruelest battle of the entire occupation of the region.

Together with his friend and colleague Markiyan Lyseyko, he established a large documentary project Afterilovaisk, where for eight years they collected information, photos, videos, and audio recordings of the fighters and volunteers who died in the Ilovaysk Cauldron.

​Father and friend

Maks Levin has four sons, and is also the founder of the paternity club Men's Rights Ukraine.

Like many Ukrainian-based photographers and journalists, his work is a reminder for the world that Russia's "silent" war against Ukraine has actually been going on for eight years in the eastern regions of the country.

Below is a sample of his past work, as his family, friends, and colleagues wait and hope for his safe return home.

Photo of war photojournalist Maks Levin walking toward the camera

A recent photo of Levin on assignment

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Kharkiv Revisited: Inside Russia's New Assault On The "Hero City" Of Ukraine

The nation's second-largest city, Kharkiv was quiet for weeks after Ukrainian forces took control. But now it is again under attack as Russia pushes to capture the city that's considered the "gateway" to Ukraine. Die Welt reports from the frontline.

Damages due to Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine

Alfred Hackensberger

KHARKIV — "Come, I want to show you something," Denys Vezenych says, opening the door of his dental office.

The 40-year-old begins to tell the story in the waiting room: "It was April 16 when the Russian artillery shell hit. The windowpanes were broken, the walls had holes everywhere and the roof was destroyed. But I renovated everything."

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The repairs cost him several thousand euros. "You have to think positively, because life goes on," he explains with a smile. But this attitude is not so present generally in Saltivka, a neighborhood in northeastern Kharkiv. The dental practice may be like new, but the rest of this area in the northeastern Ukrainian city is completely destroyed.

The Russian army has done a great job in its three-month offensive on Ukraine's second largest metropolis. Countless flats have been burned out, the facades of houses have been shot to pieces, entire shopping centers have been bombed. Debris still lie in the streets everywhere.

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