Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, French journalist, killed in the attack on a humanitarian convoy in Ukraine

Journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was killed in Ukraine during a trip in a humanitarian convoy, the French news channel BFM TV announced Monday.

BFM TV said in a statement that Leclerc-Imhoff, 32, was fatally hit by shrapnel while “covering a humanitarian operation in an armored vehicle” near the self-imposed town of Sievierodonetsk as the epicenter of Russia’s quest to capture the entire Ukrainian region of Donbass.

“He was accompanied by his colleague Maxime Brandstaetter, slightly injured in this strike, and their “fixer” Oksana Leuta, who was not touched,” said BFM TV. Leclerc-Imhoff worked at the broadcaster for six years and was on his second trip to Ukraine since the country’s war began.

“This tragic event reminds us of the dangers faced by all journalists who risk their lives to cover this conflict for more than three months now,” said BFM TV.

Russia Ukraine French journalist killed
French news channel BFM TV said the 32-year-old French journalist was killed on Monday May 30, 2022 in Ukraine, fatally hit by shrapnel while covering a Ukrainian evacuation operation. (BFM TV via AP)

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Earlier Monday, Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk, announced the death of Leclerc-Imhoff and blamed the Russian forces for having fired on the vehicle which was moving to pick up people to be evacuated. He shared graphic photos of the aftermath of the attack, including the journalist’s body and bloodstains inside the vehicle.

Due to the attack, Haidai said the evacuation was called off.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said France demanded a “transparent investigation” into the circumstances of his death, according to the Associated Press. Another Ukrainian official, Oleg Nikolenko, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the “list of Russian crimes against media workers in Ukraine continues to grow”.

French President Emmanuel Macron honors Leclerc-Imhoff in a tweet, saying he was in Ukraine to “show the reality of war”. He also sent his condolences to his family, loved ones and colleagues and expressed the country’s “unconditional support” to those who carry out the “difficult mission of informing in theaters of operations”.

Several journalists were killed while covering the war in Ukraine, including a Fox News cameraman and a local producer working for the network who were killed in the same attack that injured network correspondent Benjamin Hall in March.

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