Maksym Shvartsman

OCTOBER 17, 1987 — JULY 15, 2023


Through the eyes of Maksym, the whole world saw the splendor of Bukovyna. He could speak for days about movies and directors, and everybody would care to listen. His jokes were skillful, his knowledge was encyclopedic. He was a natural. His friends believe that somewhere up there, in the sky, he’s now pulled a brilliant focus and is shooting history in the making. The view is better from above and the scope is too. In his line of work, Maksym almost always was the most qualified person in the room; he knew his media craft better than any journalist or speaker.

«War has a special kind of torture for those who wait… I have done my share of waiting for my Defender. He will now defend all of us from heaven», wrote Maryna, the wife of Maksym.

Maksym has fallen for the freedom and independence of the Ukrainian nation. An enemy shell cut his life short in the area near Bakhmut. He was a foot soldier, and his squad got under enemy artillery fire when they were on a combat mission.

Maksym enlisted as a volunteer on the second day of the full-scale invasion. He said he had switched his camera for an assault rifle, so that his kids could sleep peacefully. He got through training and was deployed to hot spots of the front along with his brigade. His call sign was «Marvel».

Maksym was born in a small town Kalanchak, Kherson oblast. Moved to Chernivtsi in 2010. He worked as a cameraman for several local TV stations. Since 2019, Maksym has been a photo correspondent for media agency ACC. «He could not accept the occupation of his native Kalanchak, where the russians came in without a fight. This is the place where his mother’s resting place is; this is where his home once was», his wife reminisces.

Colleagues remember Maksym as a passionate professional. He didn’t mind climbing up the roof of the House of Officers at 5 in the morning to shoot a video about Chernivtsi. He never said «I’m not filming that» or «we can’t film it the way you want». He was ready to embrace creative experiments and was never afraid to go beyond the frame.

«I do not know whether I’ll be lucky to meet another person like Maksym in my lifetime. Pride of the nation, brightest mind of Chernivtsi», a friend of Maksym speaks of him. According to his friends, he was outgoing and shy at the same time. Any publicity did not sit well with him. He could share his photographs with his close circle, but exhibitions and public display of his works did not feel right for him. He never had a social media profile.

Maksym was a soldier of the military unit A7185. He was laid to rest at the Heroes Avenue of the Chernivtsi central cemetery.