French BFMTV Journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff Killed in Ukraine as Russian Forces Advance in Donbas

A French journalist was killed in eastern Ukraine as Russian troops entered a important city in Donbas. Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff died after being stabbed in the neck while sitting in a burning evacuation vehicle.

“Journalist, Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was in Ukraine to show the reality of the war,” said French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted on Monday. “On a humanitarian bus, along with civilians forced to flee to escape Russian bombs, he was shot dead. My condolences to the family, loved ones and colleagues of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, to whom I extend my condolences. To those who carry out the difficult mission of informing in the theaters of action, I would like to reiterate France’s unconditional support”.

BFMTV, the French news channel where Leclerc-Imhoff worked, released a statement with “great pain” confirming the murder. “He is accompanied by his colleague Maxime Brandstaetter, who suffered minor injuries in this strike, and their ‘fixer’ Oksana Leuta, who was not affected,” the BFMTV statement read. It continued: “32-year-old Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff has been with our channel for six years. He graduated from the Bordeaux Aquitaine Institute of Journalism. It was his second mission to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion. , starting on February 24th.”

In a post on the social media app Telegram, Luhansk Oblast governor Serhiy Haidai watched over an evacuation that had been halted following the deadly attack. His post was accompanied by extremely graphic photos showing a body lying on the sidewalk and a taxi laden with blood. “Today our armored evacuation vehicle will pick up 10 people from this area and be attacked by the enemy,” Haidai wrote, adding: “A recognized French journalist is documenting the incident. Evacuees received a fatal wound to the neck. A patrol policeman was rescued by a helmet. ”

Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, said the deadly attack took place near Severodonetsk in a tweet. He added: “The list of Russian crimes against media workers in Ukraine continues to expand.

Russian Army Monday’s start of a move to Severodonetsk – the largest city in the Donbas still under Ukrainian control – represents an escalation in the Kremlin’s efforts to gain control of the entire region. Recently, the city has come under heavy shelling, with two civilians reported dead in the latest barges. President Volodymyr Zelensky said about 90% of its buildings were damaged in the fighting. “Taking Severodonetsk was a fundamental task for the occupiers,” added Zelensky. “We do everything we can to keep this advance.”

News of Leclerc-Imhoff’s death is just the latest report on a journalist being killed in Ukraine since the start of Putin’s invasion. On March 13, American filmmaker Brent Renaud was shot dead in Irpin, Kyiv Oblast, while covering the conflict. The next day, the veteran Fox News cameraman was fatally wounded along with Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova in Horenka, a suburb of Kyiv, when their car was set on fire. Two Daily Beast reporters shot in eastern Ukraine but survived the attack.

Catherine Colonna, the French foreign minister, was in Kyiv when reports of Leclerc-Imhoff’s murder emerged. “France demands that a transparent investigation be carried out as soon as possible to shed light on the circumstances of this tragedy,” Colonna said in a statement. “France reaffirms its constant and uncompromising commitment, worldwide, to the freedom of the press and to the protection of journalists and all others who contribute to free information and debate. public.”

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