A 32-year-old French journalist was killed on Monday in eastern Ukraine when the armored bus he was using in was hit by shrapnel from a shell, in response to French and Ukrainian authorities.
President Emmanuel Macron of France named the journalist as Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff and stated he was in Ukraine to “show the reality of the war.” Mr. Macron expressed his condolences on Twitter. “I share the pain of the family, loved ones and colleagues,” he said.
At least seven journalists have been killed and at the least 9 have been injured in Ukraine since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, Reporters Without Borders stated final week.
BFM TV, the information channel the place Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff labored, stated he was a part of a staff of three journalists, together with a Ukrainian fixer, that left with a Ukrainian police patrol unit for the town of Lysychansk round noon Monday. The metropolis has been below heavy Russian shelling for the final three months.
Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff and his colleagues have been touring in an armored bus that police have been utilizing for evacuations when an artillery shell landed in entrance of them, sending a chunk of shrapnel by the windscreen. The shelling occurred inside Lysychansk, Oleh Hryhorov, the regional police chief, stated by phone.
BFM TV stated that the opposite French journalist who was with Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff, Maxime Brandstaetter, was wounded in the leg however his accidents weren’t life-threatening. The Ukrainian fixer who was with them, Oksana Leuta, additionally was not injured.
Marc-Olivier Fogiel, BFMTV’s managing director, stated on air that Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff was making a second reporting journey in Ukraine “at his request,” however that he was not a “risk-taker.” The channel stated that Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff was carrying a helmet and a bulletproof vest.
Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff, a graduate of the Institut de Journalisme Bordeaux Aquitaine, had been working for the channel for the previous six years.
“The newsroom is in mourning this evening,” stated an emotional Mr. Fogiel.
The French authorities didn’t specify who had fired the shell that exploded in entrance of the bus. The Ukrainian authorities stated it had been fired by Russian forces.
In a press release launched on the messaging app Telegram, Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk area, stated Russian forces had fired at an armored evacuation automobile and that shrapnel had pierced the armor, hitting Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff in the neck.
Photos accompanying the assertion confirmed the window of a automobile smashed by what seemed to be the influence of shrapnel. The pictures confirmed bloodstains on the seats and a dull physique on the bottom. A small banner studying “humanitarian aid” in capital letters, with a Ukrainian flag, was affixed to the entrance of the automobile.
There has been heavy combating contained in the city of Sievierodonetsk, a mining and industrial city in the eastern Ukraine’s Donbas area which lies throughout the river from Lysychansk.
Lysychansk has come more and more below hearth, however groups of journalists have continued to journey into the town to doc the plight of civilians.
Catherine Colonna, France’s overseas minister, stated in a press release that Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff’s demise was “deeply shocking.”
“France demands that a transparent investigation be undertaken as soon as possible to shed full light on the circumstances of this tragedy,” stated Ms. Colonna, who was herself on a shock go to to Ukraine on Monday.