Arman Soldin: AFP journalist killed in rocket fire near eastern Ukraine’s Bakhmut

(CNN) A French journalist working for the worldwide information company Agence France-Presse (AFP) was killed by rocket fire near the embattled metropolis of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday.

Arman Soldin, 32, was AFP’s video coordinator in Ukraine and was killed in a rocket assault on the outskirts of the city of Chasiv Yar, near Bakhmut, AFP announced on Twitter, citing colleagues who witnessed the incident.

“We are devastated to learn of the death of AFP video journalist Arman Soldin in eastern Ukraine today,” AFP mentioned. “All of our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.”

Soldin was with 4 colleagues on the time of the assault, however the different journalists weren’t injured, the information company mentioned.

Their reporting group was with Ukrainian troopers after they got here below fire round 4:30pm native time on Tuesday, based on AFP.

Soldin, a French citizen with Bosnian origins, was an skilled reporter who had repeatedly traveled to the entrance traces, the information company mentioned. He had been AFP’s video coordinator there since September 2022 and lined the battle from the early days of Russia’s invasion.

“Our journalists travel regularly to this area to report on clashes in the region, the epicenter of fighting in Ukraine for several months,” AFP mentioned in its assertion.

Soldin is among the a number of recognized journalists killed for the reason that begin of Russia’s full-scale invasion, together with Fox News photojournalist Pierre Zakrzewski and guide Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, journalist and documentarian Brent Renaud, and photojournalist Maks Levin.

Following information of his demise, there was an outpouring of grief and condolences from his mates and colleagues.

“The whole agency is devastated by the loss of Arman,” mentioned Fabrice Fries, CEO of AFP, based on the information company. “His death is a terrible reminder of the risks and dangers faced by journalists on a daily basis when covering the conflict in Ukraine.”

Earlier this month Soldin stored his video camera rolling as he and his group of journalists got here below rocket fire near the entrance line.

“Being caught under a rain of Grad yesterday with a bunch of trench-diggers is probably one of the worst things that I’ve experienced since being in Ukraine, with rockets exploding less than 50 meters away,” he wrote. “Pure terror.”

Colleagues who had labored with Soldin in Ukraine described him as a “brave and tenacious journalist” and “full of enthusiasm for life” in feedback posted on Twitter.

One video posted in tribute confirmed him laughing and singing the 80s pop track “Forever Young” whereas driving with colleagues in April 2022.

In one in all Soldin’s final Twitter threads, he posted a sequence of movies about rescuing a child hedgehog that the group had discovered on the backside of a crater from Russian shelling in Chasiv Yar. Soldin took the hedgehog again to base and hand-fed it again to well being.

“Arman was the kind of guy who saved hurt hedgehogs in war zones. He was an incredible and vibrant personality and a great journalist. We miss him. We are mourning him. Rest in peace,” mentioned Jonathan Brown, AFP’s deputy information editor for Moscow and Kyiv, on Twitter.

French President Emmanuel Macron mourned Soldin’s demise, saying on Twitter: “We share the pain of his family and all his colleagues.”

“With courage, from the first hours of the conflict he was at the front to establish the facts. To inform us. We share the pain of his loved ones and all his colleagues.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya called Soldin a “remarkable journalist” who “paid with his life for his courage.”

“My condolences to his loved ones. Respect for all those who take enormous risks to speak the truth about the horrors of war in Ukraine,” he mentioned.

CNN’s Xiaofei Xu, Duarte Mendonca and Jo Shelley contributed.

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