Investigating sexual violence as war crimes — "He Came Back"
Our War Crimes Investigations Unit released its new documentary, “He Came Back”. The film is about two cases of sexual violence committed by Russian soldiers during the occupation of Kherson and Kyiv oblasts in 2022 — and the process of identifying the offenders. Watch it on our YouTube channel.
Skip to content
Edit post

Ukrainian activist in Russian captivity receives Anne Frank Special Recognition Award

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 20, 2023 3:31 PM 2 min read
Maksym Butkevych, Ukrainian human rights advocate and journalist, before Russian captivity. (No Borders Project)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

The Netherlands' Embassy in the U.S. presented Ukrainian activist and journalist Maksym Butkevych, who is now in Russian captivity, with the 2023 Anne Frank Special Recognition Award "for his work to uphold human rights and combat xenophobia and racism."

Butkevych enlisted in the Ukrainian military following Russia's full-scale invasion and was captured in Luhansk Oblast in June 2022. Russian-led proxies in the Donbas sentenced him to 13 years in prison in March on trumped-up charges of "brutal treatment of the civilian population."

According to international law, the so-called "prison sentence" by Russian-led militants has no legal grounds.

Butkevych's father, Oleksandr, accepted the award on his behalf during a ceremony at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., explaining Maksym's motivation to join the Ukrainian army, the embassy wrote.

"War is a trauma, a tragedy, a misfortune, it makes people cruel. I hope it does not make us so cruel that we'll put human rights on the second or third agenda," Maksym said before his capture, as cited by the embassy.

"We are waging a war precisely for this, to retain the opportunity to embody the values we stand for, which differentiate us from the aggressor."

Before the full-scale invasion, Butkevych co-founded Hromadske radio, the ZMINA Human Rights Center, and the No Borders Project, the latter of which aids asylum-seekers.

Relatives sound alarm as prominent activist in Russian captivity painted ‘Nazi’
Maksym Butkevych, a well-known human rights defender in Ukraine, has had anti-militarist views all his conscious life. But when Russia launched a brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, he put pacifism aside and joined the Ukrainian army. “There are times when one needs to be ready to de…
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

12:54 AM

Germany blocks sanctions on Russian gas.

European Union countries failed to approve a new sanctions package targeting the Russian gas industry after German authorities intervened to block the deal at the last minute.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
4:11 PM

Putin names ceasefire demands, including Kyiv's complete withdrawal from four Ukrainian regions.

Speaking on the eve of the global peace summit in Switzerland on June 15-16, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukrainian troops must leave Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, and Kyiv must abandon any ambition to join NATO. Russia doesn't aim for peace, but for the continuation of the war, the occupation of Ukraine, and the destruction of Ukrainian people, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement.
12:36 PM

Ukraine retrieves bodies of 254 fallen soldiers.

The Geneva Conventions dictate that people who lost their lives during war are entitled to a dignified burial. Over 2,400 fallen soldiers have been repatriated to Ukraine in the last two years.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.