Agence France-Presse’s Armand Soldin has been shot in Chasev Yar and is the 15th journalist to be killed since Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine.
French journalist Armand Soldin, who worked for the AFP news agency, was killed in a missile attack in Chasiv Yar, near the eastern Ukrainian city of Pakhmut, the 16th journalist to die since Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine in February. 2022.
Agence France-Presse said Solden was with a team of AFP journalists who were traveling with Ukrainian soldiers when the group came under Grad rocket fire around 4:30 pm (13:30 GMT) on Tuesday.
The agency said the team took cover but Soldin, 32, was killed when a missile landed near where he was lying.
“The entire agency is devastated by the loss of Arman,” said AFP chief Fabrice Fries. “His death is a terrible reminder of the stakes and dangers journalists face every day covering the conflict in Ukraine.”
The rest of the agency’s team was unharmed.
Shasiv Yar is located near Bakhmut, which Russian forces have been trying to capture for nine months, and consider it a stepping stone to other parts of eastern Ukraine.
Agence France-Presse said Soldin was born in Sarajevo, now the capital of Bosnia, and is a French citizen. He joined the agency as an intern in Rome in 2015 before being assigned to London. He arrives in Ukraine to cover the war the day after Russia begins its all-out invasion.
Solden, who led the agency’s video reporting in Ukraine, has regularly traveled to the front lines in recent months.
French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Soldin on Twitter, praising his “courage”.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense offered its “heartfelt condolences” to Soldin’s family and colleagues in a statement on Twitter.
“He dedicated his life to telling the world the truth. His legacy and his cause will live on.”
Soldin is the fifteenth journalist to be killed while working in Ukraine since the invasion began in February 2022, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists. Two other journalists died in circumstances that are still unclear.
Ukrainian producer Bohdan Petek, who worked for the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, was shot dead in a suspected Russian sniper attack near the southern city of Kherson last month. The Italian reporter who was working with him was injured.
Journaliste de l’Agence France-Presse, l’un de nos members, Arman Soldin, an été tué en Ukraine. Avec courage, dès les premières heures du conflit il était au front pour établir les faits. Detective casting. We partageons la douleur de ses proches et de tous ses confrères.
– Emmanuel Macron May 9, 2023
[Translation: A journalist from AFP, one of our fellow countrymen, Arman Soldin has been killed in Ukraine. With courage, within the first few hours he was at the front to establish the facts. To keep us informed. We share the pain of his loved ones and all his colleagues.]
Colleagues said Soldin especially knew how to recount the lives of people caught up in the conflict in Ukraine, desperately trying to survive amid the chaos.
In Kiev, he finds a tender moment between a conscript father and his young son who has fled abroad, bonding in an online strategy game.
Earlier this month, he rescued an injured hedgehog from a ditch and nursed it back to health. He named her Lucky.
“Arman’s fantastic work summed up everything that made us so proud of AFP journalism in Ukraine,” said Phil Chetwynd, the agency’s director of global news.
Arman’s death is a terrible reminder of the stakes and dangers of covering this war. Our thoughts tonight are with his family and friends, and with all of our people who are on the ground in Ukraine.”
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”