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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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Ideas

Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Elon Musk bought Twitter in the name of absolute freedom. But numerous research shows that social media hate speech leads to actual violence. Musk and others running social networks need to strike a balance.

Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Freedom on social networks can result in insults and defamation

Jean-Marc Vittori

-Analysis-

PARIS — Elon Musk is the world's leading reckless driver. The ever unpredictable CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is now behind a very different wheel as the new head of Twitter.

He began by banning remote work before slightly backtracking and authorizing it for the company’s “significant contributors.” Now he’s opened the door to Donald Trump to return to Twitter, while at the same time vaunting a decrease in the number of hate-messages that appear on the social network…all while firing Twitter’s content moderation teams.

But this time, the world’s richest man will have to make choices. He’ll have to limit his otherwise unconditional love of free speech. “Freedom consists of being able to do everything that does not harm others,” proclaimed the French-born Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.

Yet freedom on social networks results not only in insults and defamation, but sometimes also in physical aggression.

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