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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

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

American and Southwest Airlines have been refusing to allow Cubans on board flights if they've been blacklisted by the government in Havana.

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

Boarding a plane in Camaguey, Cuba

Santiago Villa

On Sunday, American Airlines refused to let Cuban writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez board a Miami flight bound for Havana. It was at least the third time this year that a U.S. airline refused to let Cubans on board to return to their homeland after Havana circulated a government "blacklist" of critics of the regime. Clearly undemocratic and possibly illegal under U.S. law, the airlines want to make sure to cash in on a lucrative travel route, writes Colombian journalist Santiago Villa:

-OpEd-

Imagine for a moment that you left your home country years ago because you couldn't properly pursue your chosen career there. It wasn't easy, of course: Your profession is not just singularly demanding, but even at the top of the game you might not be assured a stable or sufficient income, and you've had to take on second jobs, working in bars and restaurants.

This chosen vocation is that of a writer or journalist, or perhaps an artist, which has kept you tied to your homeland, often the subject of your work, even if you don't live there anymore.

Since leaving, you've been back home several times, though not so much for work. Because if you did, you would be followed in cars and receive phone calls to let you know you are being watched.

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