A French journalist has been killed after an armored evacuation vehicle in which he was travelling was hit by shrapnel from a Russian shell in the city of Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine.
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BFMTV journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, 32, died on Monday, May 30, when shell shrapnel struck the humanitarian aid bus he was travelling in to Lysychansk, Severodonetsk.
News channel BFMTV said in a statement it was “immensely saddened” to announce the death of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, 32, who had worked for it for six years and was on his second tour of the conflict, adding that the journalist and cameraman was killed on the road to Lysychansk.
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“Our reporter was covering the ongoing war. He was the victim of shrapnel while following a humanitarian operation in an armoured vehicle on Monday,” the 24-hour news station said.
“He was accompanied by his colleague, Maxime Brandstaetter, who was slightly injured during this strike, and their fixer, Oksana Leuta, who was unharmed.” Leclerc-Imhoff had been reporting from the easternmost Ukrainian-held city, which has come under intense attack from Russia.
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The French president, Emmanuel Macron, said the reporter “was in Ukraine to show the reality of the war. Onboard a humanitarian bus, alongside civilians forced to flee to escape Russian bombs, he was fatally shot. I share the pain of the family, relatives, and colleagues of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, to whom I send my condolences.”
France’s new foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, has called for an investigation into Leclerc-Imhoff’s death. “France demands that a probe is carried out as soon as possible and in transparency on the circumstances of this drama,” she said in a statement.
Luhansk’s regional governor, Serhiy Haidai, said on Telegram that the armoured evacuation vehicle came “under enemy fire” as it went to collect 10 people from the area.