France’s Agence France-Presse (AFP) revealed that its video coordinator in Ukraine was killed during a rocket attack near Bakhmut on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.
Arman Soldin was working with the team of AFP journalists embedded with Ukrainian troops in the area when they came under rocket fire. He was 32 years old.
The attack occurred near Chasiv Yar, a town not far from Bakhmut, the city Russia has been trying to capture for nine months.
In a statement on Tuesday, AFP chairman Fabrice Fries said Soldin’s death is a “terrible reminder” of the dangers reporters in Ukraine face while covering the conflict. The news agency said it was “devastated” by Soldin’s death and offered its prayers for his family.
Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Soldin was a French citizen. Just one day after Russia invaded, Soldin was sent to Ukraine to cover the conflict. In recent months, Soldin was traveling regularly to the front lines.
According to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, at least ten members of the news media have been killed while covering the war.
In May of last year, French journalist Frederic Leclerk-Imhoff was killed near the eastern city of Severodonetsk.
Just weeks into the conflict, Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian reporter Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed in a mortar attack near Kyiv. Fox foreign correspondent Benjamin Hall was severely injured but survived.
Reporters Without Borders Director Christophe Deloire hailed the courage of journalists covering the Ukraine war and described Soldin’s death as a “tragedy” for those defending the “independence and reliability of information.”
In a speech in Washington Tuesday night, Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered his condolences to Soldin’s family and friends, adding that there are “countless journalists” in Ukraine who are “working to expose and report on the truth in extremely dangerous settings.”
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday the prosecutor’s office in Paris that handles counterterrorism said it would be launching a war crimes inquiry into Soldin’s death.