Newsman Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff has been killed Monday by a Russian grenade thrown against a humanitarian convoy in Donbass, French President Emmanuel Macron has confirmed.
Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff was in Ukraine to show the reality of the war. He was fatally injured while onboard a humanitarian bus, alongside civilians, forced to flee to escape the Russian bombs, Macron wrote, while French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne tweeted that “informing the public should not cost a person their life.”
France's Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, who was in Kyiv at the time of the attack, called for the immediate opening of a transparent investigation. Leclerc-Imhoff was in an armored vehicle en route to Lyssytchansk when a shell exploded. France demands launching an investigation as soon as possible to establish all circumstances of BFM journalist Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff’s death, Colonna said in a statement. Colonna also spoke of a double crime that targeted a humanitarian convoy and a journalist”.
The victim had been working for six years for BFM TV. The outlet reported that the 32-year-old journalist was a cameraman on his second trip to the war-torn area. Leclerc-Imhoff was wearing a bullet-proof vest when he was hit in the neck.
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko today strongly condemned this murder.
The list of Russian crimes against media professionals in Ukraine continues to grow, he added. The Russian army shelled a vehicle that was supposed to evacuate civilians from the war zone, near Severodonetsk, he added.
Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko said Leclerc-Imhoff's body was evacuated to the nearby Ukrainian-held city of Bakhmut, from where it will be taken to the central city of Dnipro for an autopsy.
Fred - as he was called by friends and colleagues - was accompanied by journalist Maxime Brandstaetter, who was slightly wounded, according to the broadcaster, and by local producer Oksana Leuta, who was unhurt.
Frédéric was no hothead. He weighed every minute of his mission, testified BFM-TV director Marc-Olivier Fogiel, deeply shocked by what happened.
The Bordeaux Aquitaine school of journalism, where he graduated in 2014, remembered him as a passionate, rigorous and sensitive student.” According to a tally by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Leclerc-Imhoff's death brings to eight the number of journalists killed since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine Feb. 24, while the Committee to Protect Journalists, an international media advocacy group, said over a dozen journalists had been killed while reporting on the Ukraine conflict.