A French journalist killed in Ukraine, while reporting on a humanitarian convoy

Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, a French journalist working for the BFM-TV channel, was killed on Monday, May 30, in Ukraine and his colleague injured, while they were accompanying civilians on board a humanitarian bus. This death brings to eight the number of reporters killed since the start of the Russian invasion.

“Journalist, Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was in Ukraine to show the reality of the war. On board a humanitarian bus, alongside civilians forced to flee to escape Russian bombs, he was fatally shot.French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter. “To those who carry out the difficult mission of informing in theaters of operation, I would like to reiterate France’s unconditional support”he added.

“Informing should not cost any life”, tweeted the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne. The head of French diplomacy, Catherine Colonna, claimed in a tweet that the reporter had been “killed by a Russian bombardment on a humanitarian operation while exercising his duty to inform”condemning a “double crime targeting a humanitarian convoy and a journalist”.

A second journalist “slightly injured”

BFM-TV specified that the 32-year-old image reporter (JRI) was hit by a “shrapnel while following a humanitarian operation”. This was the second mission to Ukraine for the videographer, who had worked for the channel for six years.

“The armored truck was not hit directly, but shrapnel went through the armored windshield. A shrapnel hit Frederic », told Patrick Sauce, reporter for the news channel. Journalist Maxime Brandstaetter, who accompanied the JRI on this report, was “slightly injured” according to BFM-TV. “Maxime was in the back, he was injured in the leg. Oksana Leuta, the Ukrainian fixer-translator, is doing well »Mr. Sauce added.

“Frédéric was not a hothead. He weighed every minute of his mission”, said visibly moved Marc-Olivier Fogiel, general manager of BFM-TV, on the set of the channel. The three team members “exchanged like every morning [pour évaluer les risques] : Oksana and Frédéric felt that the mission was secure enough to be able to go there. Maxime, he had more questions, as he could have had the day before or the next day. But (…) it’s also that, a reporting team, it’s very close-knit people, they decided to go there “exposed the boss of BFM-TV. “The first reaction [de sa mère, au téléphone] was to ask how Maxime and the fixer were doing. She knew what her son’s job was (…) with a form of pride ”he concluded.

Zelensky ‘promised he would help’

Catherine Colonna, who was in kyiv on Monday, “required” “a transparent investigation as soon as possible to shed light on the circumstances of this tragedy”.

The Foreign Minister met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and discussed the journalist’s death with him:

“I asked him to do everything possible so that the Ukrainian authorities help us and allow the return [du corps] to his family as soon as possible, once the legal formalities have been completed. He promised me he would help. »

“We strongly condemn this assassination. The list of Russian crimes against media professionals in Ukraine continues to grow », lamented Oleg Nikolenko, spokesperson for the Ukrainian foreign ministry, on Twitter. According to this official, “The Russian army bombed a vehicle which was to evacuate civilians from the war zone, near Sievierodonetsk”.

The governor of the Luhansk region had warned in the afternoon on the Telegram network that the operation, which aimed to evacuate ten people, had been canceled as a result.

“Immense respect for war reporters”

Tributes from the political world to the death of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff poured in on Monday, especially on Twitter. Gilles Le Gendre, ex-boss of the deputies of La République en Marche, writes that “the death of reporter Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff in Ukraine shocks and moves us”.

Jordan Bardella, acting president of the National Rally, evokes a “great sadness to learn of the death of a French journalist, Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, in the Russian bombardment of a humanitarian convoy in the Donbass. Huge respect for war reporters, who defend the freedom to inform at the risk of their lives”.

Alexis Corbière, deputy of La France insoumise de Seine-Saint-Denis, recalls that “Freedom of the press is the essential mark of our collective freedoms. At the forefront of this great task, so difficult and so abused, there are always the courageous war reporters. Tribute to Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff and all his relatives and colleagues. »

Fabien Roussel, National Secretary of the French Communist Party, writes: “The Horror of War and the Death of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff. He exercised this essential profession which informs, testifies and deciphers. »

The former EELV presidential candidate, Yannick Jadot, ” address [ses] condolences to the family, loved ones and colleagues of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, journalist killed in Ukraine to inform us of the ongoing genocide ». Anne Hidalgo, socialist mayor of Paris, writes on Twitter that“He was in Ukraine to exercise his profession: to inform us. Respectful and saddened thoughts. »

“We all share the pain of the family, friends and colleagues of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff”, writes Michel Barnier, former candidate for the Republican primary.

The world

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