French journalist killed by shrapnel in eastern Ukraine

A 32-year-old French journalist was killed in eastern Ukraine on Monday when the armored bus he was traveling in was hit by shrapnel, ac...

A 32-year-old French journalist was killed in eastern Ukraine on Monday when the armored bus he was traveling in was hit by shrapnel, according to French and Ukrainian authorities.

French President Emmanuel Macron named journalist Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff and said he was in Ukraine to “show the reality of war”. Mr Macron expressed his condolences on Twitter. “I share the pain of family, loved ones and colleagues,” he said.

At least seven journalists have been killed and at least nine injured in Ukraine since the Russian invasion on February 24. Reporters Without Borders said last week.

BFM TV, the news channel where Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff worked, said he was part of a team of three journalists, including a Ukrainian fixer, who left with a Ukrainian police patrol unit for the city of Lysychansk around noon on Monday. The city has come under heavy Russian bombardment over the past three months.

Mr Leclerc-Imhoff and his colleagues were traveling in an armored bus that police use for evacuations when an artillery shell landed in front of them, sending shrapnel through the windscreen. The shelling took place inside Lysychansk, Oleh Hryhorov, the regional police chief, said by telephone.

BFM TV reported that the other French journalist who was with Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff, Maxime Brandstaetter, suffered a leg injury but that his injuries were not life-threatening. The Ukrainian fixer who accompanied them, Oksana Leuta, was also not injured.

Marc-Olivier Fogiel, managing director of BFMTV, told the air that Mr Leclerc-Imhoff was making a second reporting trip to Ukraine “at his request”, but that he was not a “risk taker”. . The chain specifies that Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff wore a helmet and a bulletproof vest.

Mr. Leclerc-Imhoff, graduate of the Institute of Journalism Bordeaux Aquitainehad worked for the channel for six years.

“The press room is in mourning tonight,” said Mr. Fogiel moved.

French authorities did not say who fired the shell that exploded in front of the bus. Ukrainian authorities said he was shot by Russian forces.

In a statement posted on the Telegram messaging app, Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, said Russian forces fired on an armored evacuation vehicle and shrapnel pierced the armour, hitting M. Leclerc-Imhoff on the neck.

Photos accompanying the statement showed a vehicle window shattered by what appeared to be the impact of shrapnel. Photos showed bloodstains on the seats and a lifeless body on the floor. A small banner reading “humanitarian aid” in capital letters, with a Ukrainian flag, was affixed to the front of the vehicle.

There was heavy fighting inside the city of Sievierodonetsk, a mining and industrial town in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, which is across the river from Lysychansk .

Lysychansk has come under increasing fire, but teams of journalists have continued to travel to the town to document the plight of civilians.

Catherine Colonna, France’s foreign minister, said in a statement that Mr Leclerc-Imhoff’s death was “deeply shocking”.

“France demands that a transparent investigation be carried out as soon as possible to shed full light on the circumstances of this tragedy,” said Ms. Colonna, who was herself on a surprise visit to Ukraine on Monday.

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Newsrust - US Top News: French journalist killed by shrapnel in eastern Ukraine
French journalist killed by shrapnel in eastern Ukraine
Newsrust - US Top News
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