French journalist Armand Soldin, working for Agence France-Presse, was killed in a missile attack in Chasiv Yar, near the town of Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, he is the 15th journalist to be killed since Russia launched its full invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Agence France-Presse reported that Solden was with a team of AFP journalists traveling with Ukrainian soldiers when the group came under Grad rocket fire around 4:30 pm (1330 GMT) on Tuesday.
The team took cover, the agency said, but Soldin, 32, was killed when a missile landed near where he was lying.
“The entire agency has been devastated by the loss of Arman,” President Fabrice Fries told AFP. “His death is a terrible reminder of the challenges and risks journalists face every day covering the conflict in Ukraine.”
The rest of the agency’s team is safe.
Shasiv Yar is located near Bakhmut, which Russian forces have been trying to capture for nine months, and consider it a staging post for other parts of eastern Ukraine.
Agence France-Presse said Soldin was born in Sarajevo, now the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was a French citizen. He joined the agency as an intern in Rome in 2015 before being posted to London. He arrived in Ukraine to cover the war the day after the start of the full invasion of Russia.
Solden, who led the agency’s video reporting in Ukraine, has been regularly on the front lines in recent months.
French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Soldin on Twitter, praising his “courage”.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry offered its “deepest condolences” to Soldin’s family and colleagues in a statement on Twitter.
“He dedicated his life to telling the truth to the world. His legacy and his cause will live on.”
Ukrainian producer Bohdan Petek, who worked for the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, was shot dead last month in an attack by suspected Russian snipers near the southern city of Kherson. The Italian journalist who worked with him was injured.
An AFP journalist, one of our members, Armand Soldin, was killed in Ukraine. Undaunted, from the first hours of the conflict, he was at the front to establish the facts. cast the detective. We share the pain of his loved ones and all of his colleagues.
– Emmanuel Macron May 9, 2023
[Translation: A journalist from AFP, one of our fellow countrymen, Arman Soldin, has been killed in Ukraine. With courage, within the first few hours, he was at the front to establish the facts. To keep us informed. We share the pain of his loved ones and all his colleagues.]
Colleagues said Soldin knows best how to tell the lives of people caught up in the conflict in Ukraine, desperately trying to survive amidst the chaos.
In Kyiv, a tender moment between a recruited father and his young son who has fled abroad finds them bonding in an online strategy game.
Earlier this month, he rescued an injured hedgehog from his hole and treated him. Call it lucky.
“Arman’s fantastic work sums up everything that makes us so proud of AFP journalism in Ukraine,” said Phil Chetwynd, Acting Director of Global News.
Arman’s death is a stark reminder of the stakes and dangers of covering this war. Our thoughts tonight are with his family, friends, and everyone on the ground in Ukraine.