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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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Society

Now They're Diagnosing Burnout's Never-Quit Cousin: Burn-On

Feeling overworked but not yet burned out? Often the problem is “burn-on,” an under-researched phenomenon whose sufferers desperately struggle to keep up and meet their own expectations — with dangerous consequences for their health.

Now They're Diagnosing Burnout's Never-Quit Cousin: Burn-On

Burn-out is the result of sustained periods of stress at work

Beate Strobel

At first glance, Mr L seems to be a successful man with a well-rounded life: middle management, happily married, father of two. If you ask him how he is, he responds with a smile and a “Fine thanks”. But everything is not fine. When he was admitted to the psychosomatic clinic Kloster Diessen, Mr L described his emotional life as hollow and empty.

Although outwardly he is still putting on a good face, he has been privately struggling for some time. Everything that used to bring him joy and fun has become simply another chore. He can hardly remember what it feels like to enjoy his life.

For psychotherapist Professor Bert te Wildt, who heads the psychosomatic clinic in Ammersee in Bavaria, Germany, the symptoms of Patient L. make him a prime example of a new and so far under-researched syndrome, that he calls “burn-on”. Working with psychologist Timo Schiele, he has published his findings about the phenomenon in a book, Burn-On.

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