AFP journalist killed in rocket attack in Ukraine
A journalist working for French news agency Agence France-Presse was killed in Ukraine during a rocket strike near the eastern city of Bakhmut on Tuesday, AFP said.
The big picture: Arman Soldin, a 32-year-old Bosnian-French video coordinator, "is at least the 15th journalist to be killed while reporting on the war since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022," per nonprofit the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
- Bakhmut is now mostly under Russian control and AFP noted in its announcement that the city has been "the epicenter of the fighting in eastern Ukraine for several months."
Details: Soldin was working with Ukrainian soldiers and other AFP journalists when he was "killed by rocket fire near Chasiv Yar near the Donetsk town's "outskirts close to Bakhmut" at about 4:30pm Tuesday, per a report from the news agency.
- He died "when a rocket struck close to where he was lying," AFP added.
- The CPJ in a statement that noted the rocket attack occurred in an area "regularly shelled by Russian forces" called on Russian and Ukrainian authorities "to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of Soldin’s death."
Of note: Soldin regularly reported from the frontlines in Ukraine after arriving soon after Putin's forces invaded the country.
- Last week, he tweeted that he felt "pure terror" after being "caught under a rain" of rockets that exploded nearby as he reported on Ukrainian soldiers digging trenches near Bakhmut.
What they're saying: French President Emmanuel Macron praised Soldin on Tuesday for his "courage."
- AFP chair Fabrice Fries in a statement Tuesday said Soldin's death was "a terrible reminder of the risks and dangers faced by journalists every day covering the conflict in Ukraine."
Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from French President Emmanuel Macron, AFP chair Fabrice Fries and further context.