Journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was killed in Ukraine while traveling in a humanitarian convoy, French news broadcaster BFM TV announced Monday.  

BFM TV said in a statement Leclerc-Imhoff, 32, was fatally hit by shrapnel as he was “covering a humanitarian operation in an armored vehicle” near Sievierodonetsk, a city which has emerged as the epicenter of Russia’s quest to capture all of Ukraine’s Donbas region. 

“He was accompanied by his colleague Maxime Brandstaetter, who was slightly wounded in this strike, and their “fixer” Oksana Leuta, who was not hit,” BFM TV said. Leclerc-Imhoff worked at the broadcaster for six years and was on his second trip to Ukraine since the start of the war in the country. 


“This tragic event reminds us of the dangers faced by all journalists who have been risking their lives to report on this conflict for over three months now,” BFM TV said. 

French news broadcaster BFM TV said the 32-year-old French journalist was killed Monday May 30, 2022 in Ukraine, fatally hit by a shell shrapnel while covering a Ukrainian evacuation operation. (BFM TV via AP)

/ AP

Earlier on Monday, Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk, announced Leclerc-Imhoff’s death and blamed Russian forces for firing at the vehicle that was traveling to pick up people for evacuation. He shared graphic photos of the aftermath of the attack, including of the journalist’s body and blood stains throughout the interior of the vehicle. 

Because of the attack, Haidai said the evacuation was called off. 

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said France demands a “transparent inquiry” into the circumstances of his death, according to the Associated Press. Another Ukrainian official, Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, said the “list of Russian crimes against media workers in Ukraine keeps expanding.” 

French President Emmanuel Macron honored Leclerc-Imhoff in a tweet, saying he was in Ukraine to “show the reality of war.” He also sent condolences to his family, relatives and colleagues and expressed the country’s “unconditional support” to those carrying out the “difficult mission of informing in theaters of operations.” 

Several journalists have been killed covering the war in Ukraine, including a Fox News cameraman and a local producer working for the network who were killed in the same attack that left network correspondent Benjamin Hall injured in March. 


Christopher BritoChristopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for CBS News, focusing on sports and stories that involve issues of race and culture.