In response to the deaths of Lithuanian documentary filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius and Ukrainian photojournalist Maksim Levin, both of whom were killed in Ukraine over the weekend, PEN America released the following statement:

“The killings of Mantas Kvedaravicius and Maksim Levin represent devastating losses. Both sought–in the face of mortal danger–to document the crimes of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Notably, they had both been doing so since Russia’s initial invasion in 2014. As the horrifying photos recently coming out of the Ukrainian town of Bucha so painfully demonstrate, photojournalists and documentary filmmakers play an essential role in capturing the images that rattle the world’s conscience and shock us to action. Kvedaravicus and Levin will be remembered for their remarkable courage and for the vital contributions they have made to exposing the devastating, ongoing impact of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Our hearts are with their families. These attacks on civilians, including journalists, must end.”

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. 

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected]