| 28 November 2023, Tuesday |

Ukraine war: French journalist killed near Bakhmut

A 32-year-old French journalist has been killed while reporting from the war zone in eastern Ukraine.

Arman Soldin, who worked for AFP news agency, died on Tuesday after being hit by rocket fire near Chasiv Yar, just west of Bakhmut.

A team of journalists came under attack at about 16:30 (13:30 GMT) while with a group of Ukrainian soldiers.

French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Soldin’s work on the front lines of the war.

“We share the pain of his loved ones and his colleagues,” he wrote in a tweet.

The chairman of AFP, Fabrice Fries, said the news agency was “devastated” by Soldin’s death, which he said was a “terrible reminder of the risks and dangers faced by journalists every day covering the conflict in Ukraine”.

The agency’s Europe director, Christine Buhagiar, remembered Soldin as “enthusiastic, energetic and brave”, and said he had been “totally devoted to his craft”.

MPs across the political spectrum stood in France’s National Assembly and paid tribute to Soldin.

He was part of the first AFP team to go to Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in February of last year and had lived there since September.

Ukraine’s defence ministry offered its “heartfelt condolences” to Soldin’s family and colleagues saying: “He dedicated his life to informing the world about the truth. His legacy, as well as his cause, will live on.”

Moscow said it was saddened to hear of Soldin’s death. “We need to understand the circumstances of the death of this journalist,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

The White House also paid tribute, saying the world was “indebted” to journalists who had lost their lives “while shining a light on the horrors of Russia’s invasion”.

Soldin, who was born in Bosnia, is the 15th journalist to be killed while reporting on the war in Ukraine since February 2022, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

At least two other French journalists have been killed covering the conflict, Pierre Zakrzewski and Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff.

Bakhmut has been the epicentre of fighting in eastern Ukraine for several months.