French journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was killed in eastern Ukraine where he was covering Russia’s ongoing invasion, French President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday.
The journalist, who worked for TV channel BFMTV, was killed when he was struck in the neck by a piece of shrapnel. He was near Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, covering an evacuation operation, local officials said.
Macron expressed his condolences to Leclerc-Imhoff’s relatives. “To those who undertake the difficult mission of providing information about theaters of operation, I want to restate the unconditional support of France,” he added.
According to BFMTV, another of their journalists, Maxime Brandstaetter, was slightly wounded and a local fixer was uninjured. Both are now safe, the outlet said in a press release.
“The Altice Media Group and the editorial staff of BFMTV share the grief of his family and friends. This tragic event reminds us of the dangers faced by all journalists who report on this conflict, while risking their lives,” said BFMTV journalist Karine de Ménonville during a live broadcast.
Newly-appointed French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, who visited Kyiv on Monday, demanded a “transparent investigation” into the “tragedy.” She also reasserted France’s commitment to press freedom and the protection of journalists.
A spokesperson for Ukraine’s foreign ministry also decried the killing: “We strongly condemn this killing. The list of Russian crimes against media workers in Ukraine keeps expanding.”
Leclerc-Imhoff is the eighth journalist killed in the line of work since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Christopher Miller contributed reporting.