AFP news agency videographer and journalist Arman Soldin was killed on Tuesday by rocket fire on the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut.
The French news agency said Soldin, who coordinated its video coverage in Ukraine, was with an AFP team that came under rocket fire while with a group of Ukrainian soldiers.
His colleagues, who were uninjured, said he died when a rocket landed close to where he was lying.
Bakhmut, which is regarded as a key military objective for Russia, has been at the heart of fierce fighting for months as Ukrainian forces attempt to halt Russia’s advance into its territory.
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“The whole agency is devastated by the loss of Arman,” AFP chairman Fabrice Fries said.
“His death is a terrible reminder of the risks and dangers faced by journalists every day covering the conflict in Ukraine.”
AFP said Sarajevo-born French national Soldin had begun working for AFP as an intern in its Rome bureau in 2015 and was later hired in London.
He was part of the first AFP team to be sent to Ukraine following the start of Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022.
Soldin had been living in Ukraine since September, leading the team’s coverage and travelling regularly to the front lines in the east and south.
In recent days, he had posted terrifying footage of the fighting around Bakhmut on his Twitter account.
“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 in a statement.
“Arman’s death is a terrible reminder of the risks and dangers of covering this war. Our thoughts tonight are with his family and friends, and with all our people on the ground in Ukraine.”
Media advocacy groups Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), said that Soldin’s death meant that at least 11 journalists or fixers and drivers working for media teams had been killed covering the war
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