PARIS (AP) — The French news broadcaster BFM TV said a 32-year-old French journalist was killed Monday in eastern Ukraine, fatally hit by shell shrapnel while covering a Ukrainian evacuation operation.
BFM TV said its journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was killed as he was “covering a humanitarian operation in an armored vehicle” near Sievierodonetsk, a key city in the Donbas region that is being hotly contested by Russian and Ukrainian forces. He had worked for six years for the French television channel.
"La rédaction de BFMTV et le groupe Altice média ont l'immense douleur de vous annoncer la disparition de l'un des nôtres. Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, journaliste reporter d'images, a été tué ce lundi sur la route de Lyssytchansk dans la région de Severodonetsk, en Ukraine," a post on the network's website states.
To read the article (in French), click here.
Here's the network's tweet about Leclerc-Imhoff:
French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Leclerc-Imhoff on Twitter.
He “was in Ukraine to show the reality of the war. Aboard a humanitarian bus, alongside civilians forced to flee to escape Russian bombs, he was fatally shot,” Macron tweeted.
Macron expressed condolences to his family, relatives and colleagues and spoke of “France’s unconditional support” to “those who carry out the difficult mission of informing in theaters of operations.”
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna called the journalist’s death “deeply shocking.”
“France demands that a transparent inquiry be launched as soon as possible to shed full light on the circumstances of this tragedy,” she added.
Earlier Monday, the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, announced Leclerc-Imhoff’s death in a Telegram post, saying that Russian forces fired on an armored vehicle that was traveling to pick up people for evacuation.