A Lithuanian documentary filmmaker has been killed in the besieged southern city of Mariupol, according to his colleagues and the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s information agency.
The agency said on Sunday that the award-winning filmmaker, Mantas Kvedaravicius, had been killed in an attack by Russia “while trying to leave Mariupol.”
A Lithuanian news agency, 15min, reported that Mr. Kvedaravicius was rushed to a hospital but could not be saved. The reports could not be independently confirmed.
Mr. Kvedaravicius, 45, had spent years covering the conflict in Ukraine. His film “Mariupolis,” which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2016, offers a searing portrait of the southern port city, which battled Russian-backed fighters in 2014.
In a 2016 interview with the Odessa Review, a monthly magazine, Mr. Kvedaravicius said that he had wanted to capture “how regular people carry on with their everyday lives mere steps away from a war zone, gunshots, explosions and death.”
“The factories, the sea, the omnipresent soldiers, the sounds of the violin blending with the sound of the exploding shells — all of this forms the surrealism of an ordinary city during wartime,” he told the Odessa Review.
Since Russia’s invasion, Mariupol has emerged as an emblem of the humanitarian crisis sweeping Ukraine. Weeks of Russian bombardment on the city has trapped thousands of civilians with limited their access to food, water and electricity.
In 2011, Mr. Kvedaravicius was awarded the Amnesty International Film Prize for “Barzakh,” his film about Russia’s war in Chechnya.
As reports of Mr. Kvedaravicius’ death circulated on Sunday, fellow filmmakers and journalists posted messages of mourning and condolences on social media.
“RIP dearest talented Mantas. A terrible loss for Lithuanian cinema community and all the world,” Giedre Zickyte, a fellow Lithuanian documentary director and producer, wrote on Facebook. “Our hearts are broken.”
Vitaly Mansky, a Russian film director, wrote that Mr. Kvdaravicuis was killed “with a camera in his hands” while working to document a “war of evil, against the whole world.”
The news of Mr. Kvdaravicius’s death came after the death of a prominent Ukrainian photojournalist filmmaker, Maks Levin, whose body was found near the capital of Kyiv on Saturday, according to the office of Ukraine’s prosecutor general.