Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius, 45, was killed trying to flee Ukraine’s city of Mariupol besieged by the Russians, the Ukrainian military said Sunday.
“While trying to leave #Mariupol, the occupiers killed Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius, who is the author of the documentary Mariupolis,” the defense ministry’s information agency wrote on Twitter.
Russian filmmaker Vitali Manski, who founded Artdocfest, a film festival in Moscow that had previously invited Kvedaravicius, also announced the death.
Kvedaravicius “was killed today in Mariupol, camera in hand” in this “shitty war of evil against the whole world,” Manski wrote on Facebook.
Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry said it was “shocked” by the news of Kvedaravicius’ death in Mariupol “where he was documenting #Russia’s war atrocities. His previous film “Mariupolis” (2016) told the story of a besieged city with a strong will to live,” it added.
Born in 1976, Kvedaravicius made his name with the documentary “Mariupolis,” filmed in the Ukrainian city and which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2016.
Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol has hampered Russian efforts to consolidate its hold on southern and eastern areas of Ukraine since invading on February 24.
At least 5,000 residents have been killed in the southern port city, according to Ukrainian officials, while the estimated 160,000 who remain face shortages of food, water and electricity.