PARIS – The French international news agency Agence France-Presse says its Ukrainian video coordinator was killed Tuesday during a rocket attack near the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut.
Arman Soldin, 32, was with a team of AFP journalists traveling with Ukrainian soldiers when the group came under fire from Grad rockets, the agency said. The rest of the AFP team was unharmed.
The afternoon attack took place in the vicinity of Chasiv Yar, a town near Bakhmut, the agency said. Russian forces have been trying to capture the city for nine months, making Bakhmut the focus of the longest battle of the war.
«His death is a terrible reminder of the risks and dangers journalists face every day covering the conflict in Ukraine,» AFP President Fabrice Fries said.
Soldin was born in Sarajevo, now the capital of Bosnia, and is a French citizen, according to AFP. He arrived in Ukraine to cover the war the day after the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, and had traveled regularly to the front lines in recent months.
AFP said it was «devastated» by Soldin’s death and «all our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.»
In May 2022, French journalist Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff, working in Ukraine for BFM-TV, was killed near Severodonetsk in the east.
At least 10 media workers have been killed while covering the war in Ukraine, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
RSF director Christophe Deloire praised the daily courage of those covering the war, calling Soldin’s death «a tragedy for all those who defend the independence and reliability of information.»
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a speech Tuesday night in Washington, expressed his condolences to Soldin’s family and loved ones.
“Countless journalists are working to expose and report the truth in extremely dangerous environments,” Blinken said. «Today, we are devastated to learn of the death of AFP video journalist Arman Soldin in eastern Ukraine.»