French journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was killed in Ukraine while covering an evacuation operation, broadcaster BFMTV announced on May 30.
Leclerc-Imhoff suffered a fatal wound to the neck after shrapnel pierced the armored vehicle he was traveling in while following a humanitarian operation near the battle-hit city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine.
Leclerc-Imhoff’s colleague Maxime Brandstaetter was slightly injured during the strike while their “fixer” Oksana Leuta was not hit, according to BFMTV.
It was Leclerc-Imhoff’s second trip to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion, which began on Feb. 24.
The evacuation was called off due to the attack.
“This tragic event reminds us of the dangers incurred by all journalists who have been reporting on this conflict at the risk of their lives for more than three months now,” BFMTV said.
Leclerc-Imhoff, 32, had been working for BFMTV for six years.
The French Foreign Ministry described Leclerc-Imhoff’s death as “deeply shocking” and demanded “a transparent inquiry.”
“France reaffirms its steadfast and resolute commitment, throughout the world, to press freedom and the protection of journalists and all those whose expression contributes to free information and public debate,” French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said in a statement.
Colonna also said that she had spoken with Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haida, who blamed Russian forces for the strike.
On Twitter, French Emmanuel Macron offered his condolences to Leclerc-Imhoff’s family and colleagues.
“To those who carry out the difficult mission of informing in theaters of operations, I would like to reiterate France’s unconditional support,” Macron said.
In his daily video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered his condolences to the family and colleagues of Leclerc-Imhoff.
According to Zelensky, Leclerc-Imhoff was the 32nd media worker to die in the Russian invasion.
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