A 32-year-old French journalist was killed on Monday in jap Ukraine when the armored bus he was driving in was hit by shrapnel from a shell, in accordance with French and Ukrainian authorities.
President Emmanuel Macron of France named the journalist as Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff and mentioned 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 mentioned final week.
BFM TV, the information channel the place Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff labored, mentioned he was a part of a group 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 underneath heavy Russian shelling for the final three months.
Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff and his colleagues had been touring in an armored bus that police have been utilizing for evacuations when an artillery shell landed in entrance of them, sending a bit of shrapnel by way of the windscreen. The shelling occurred inside Lysychansk, Oleh Hryhorov, the regional police chief, mentioned by phone.
BFM TV mentioned 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, mentioned 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 mentioned 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,” mentioned 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 mentioned 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, mentioned Russian forces had fired at an armored evacuation car and that shrapnel had pierced the armor, hitting Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff in the neck.
Photos accompanying the assertion confirmed the window of a car smashed by what gave the impression to be the impression 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 car.
There has been heavy combating contained in the city of Sievierodonetsk, a mining and industrial city in the jap Ukraine’s Donbas area which lies throughout the river from Lysychansk.
Lysychansk has come more and more underneath hearth, however groups of journalists have continued to journey into the town to doc the plight of civilians.
Catherine Colonna, France’s international minister, mentioned in a press release that Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff’s dying 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,” mentioned Ms. Colonna, who was herself on a shock go to to Ukraine on Monday.