AFP Journalist Killed in Ukraine

Arman Soldin, 32, was video coordinator for Agence France-Presse
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2023 1:41 AM CDT
AFP Journalist Killed in Ukraine
AFP journalist Arman Soldin walks in a trench as he covers the war in Ukraine, March 18, 2023.   (Aris Messinis/AFP via AP)

French international news agency Agence France-Presse says its Ukraine video coordinator was killed Tuesday during a rocket attack near the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the AP reports. Arman Soldin, 32, was with a team of AFP journalists traveling with Ukrainian soldiers when the group came under fire from Grad rockets, the agency said. The rest of the AFP team was uninjured. The late afternoon attack took place in the vicinity of Chasiv Yar, a town near Bakhmut. Russian forces have been trying to capture the city for nine months, making Bakhmut the focus of the war's longest battle.

“His death is a terrible reminder of the risks and dangers faced by journalists every day covering the conflict in Ukraine," said AFP chairman Fabrice Fries. Soldin was born in Sarajevo, now the capital of Bosnia, and was a French citizen, according to AFP. He arrived in Ukraine to cover the war the day after the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, and had traveled regularly to the front lines in recent months. AFP said it was “devastated” at Soldin's death and “all of our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.”

In May 2022, French journalist Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff, who was working in Ukraine for BFM-TV, was killed near Severodonetsk in the east. At least 10 media workers have been killed while covering the war in Ukraine, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists. RSF Director Christophe Deloire praised the daily courage of those covering the war and called Soldin's death “a tragedy of all those who defend the independence and reliability of information.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a speech Tuesday night in Washington, expressed condolences to Soldin's family and loved ones.

(More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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