Arman Soldin, The Ukraine video coordinator for the news agency AFP, was tragically killed on Tuesday, near Chasiv Yar in eastern Ukraine due to rocket fire. The attack took place around 4:30 pm (1330 GMT) on the outskirts of the town near Bakhmut. The AFP journalists were accompanying a group of Ukrainian soldiers when they were targeted by Grad rockets.
Arman Soldin, 32, was killed when a rocket struck close to where he was lying. The rest of the team was uninjured.
Soldin was a French national who started working for AFP as an intern in its Rome bureau in 2015 and was later hired in London. He was part of the news agency’s first team to be sent to Ukraine after the beginning of the Russian offensive on February 24, 2022, arriving on the following day.
He had been living in Ukraine since September leading the team’s video coverage and travelling regularly to the front lines in the east and south.
Tributes pour in for Soldin
AFP chairman Fabrice Fries said that the news agency was devastated by the loss of Arman Soldin. Fries highlighted that Soldin’s death “is a terrible reminder of the risks and dangers faced by journalists every day covering the conflict in Ukraine.”
Taking to Twitter, French President Emmanuel Macron hailed Soldin’s bravery and said, “With bravery, from the first hours of the conflict he was at the front to establish the facts. To inform us.”
Ukraine’s Defence Ministry also condoled the journalist’s death and said, “He dedicated his life to informing the world about the truth. His legacy, as well as his cause, will live on.”
The White House also paid tribute to Soldin, with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying the world was “indebted” to the journalists who lost their lives covering the conflict.
“Arman’s brilliant work encapsulated everything that has made us so proud of AFP’s journalism in Ukraine,” the agency’s Global News Director Phil Chetwynd said.
Remembering the 32-year-old, colleagues said Soldin knew in particular how to recount the lives of ordinary people caught up in war-torn Ukraine, desperately trying to survive amid the chaos.
According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), his death means that 11 journalists or fixers and drivers for media teams have been killed covering the war.