France has demanded transparent investigation after a French journalist was killed in Ukraine's Severodonetsk. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said the incident was 'deeply shocking', adding that a full investigation must be conducted as soon as possible.
Journalist FrÃ©dÃ©ric Leclerc-Imhoff, who was working for French broadcaster BFMTV, died when a shell shrapnel pierced the armoured vehicle he was travelling in near Severodonetsk. The 32-year-old suffered a neck would that turned out to be fatal. One of his colleagues, Maxime Brandstaetter, also sustained injuries.
The French scribe was accompanying civilians who were fleeing from the region that witnessed fierce fighting between the Russians and the Ukrainian forces.
Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed the death of the journalist. "I share the grief of FrÃ©dÃ©ric Leclerc-Imhoff's family, friends and colleagues, to whom I send my condolences ... I would like to reiterate France's unconditional support for those who carry out the difficult task of providing information in theatres of operation," the president said.
The Ukraine-aligned governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, earlier said the Russians fired on an armoured vehicle that was carrying evacuees.
"Shrapnel from the shells pierced the vehicle's armour, fatally wounding an accredited French journalist in the neck ...The patrol officer was saved by his helmet," Haidai said, according to Euronews.
Journalist Deaths in Ukraine War
Russia also intensified attacks in cities across the Luhansk region. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has said the liberation of the eastern Donbas region is an "unconditional priority" for Moscow.
A Ukrainian camera crew had died in the early phase of the war when Russia shelled Kyiv's TV tower. Again in March, American journalist Brent Renaud died in the city of Irpin. Fox News journalist Pierre Zakrzewski and an Ukrainian journalist who was part of his team were also killed in the battle near Kyiv.