Saturday, June 10, 2023
34 C
Brunei Town
- Advertisement -

Tributes pour in for AFP journalist killed in Ukraine

PARIS (AP) – Colleagues of Arman Soldin, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist slain in Ukraine, gathered solemnly at the press agency’s Paris headquarters on Wednesday, a day after his death, to remember the 32-year old.

A widely broadcast photo of Soldin (AP; pic below), pictured in protective gear and smiling broadly with a cat on his shoulder, has plucked at the heartstrings of the French nation. “Arman was so enthusiastic, so energetic, so alive that it seems unreal to be here and talk about it this morning,” said the agency’s deputy news director Juliette Hollier-Larousse.

Soldin, who was working as the Ukraine video coordinator, was killed in a Grad rocket attack near the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

He was with a team of AFP journalists travelling with Ukrainian soldiers when the group came under fire. The rest of the team escaped uninjured.

The Paris prosecutors’ office, which handles counterterrorism cases, said on Wednesday evening that it was launching an inquiry into war crimes over the journalist’s death.

At the editorial meeting, AFP news director Phil Chetwynd said that the shock reverberated across the whole company, saying that “Arman was someone who is loved by his colleagues”.

“To lose him in these circumstances is incredibly painful for all of us,” Chetwynd said, even though “we all know the risks”. Chetwynd said the logistical priority now was to return Soldin’s body to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, so “we can safely take it out of the country and return it home to his family”.

He added, “It’s just something we never, ever want to have to contact the family about.

“It goes to some of our worst fears and concerns. So really, all our thoughts are with his family today.”

Governor of the eastern Donetsk region Pavlo Kyrylenko said in a Telegram update that Soldin was killed near Chasiv Yar, a western suburb of the embattled city of Bakhmut. Russian forces have been trying to capture the city for nine months, making Bakhmut the focus of the war’s longest battle.

“I sympathise with the family and friends of the journalist and thank all who, risking their own lives, continue to tell the truth about our war,” Kyrylenko said.

Tributes have come from far and wide for the Sarajevo-born journalist, who lived for many years in France.

Denis Becirovic, a member of the Bosnian presidency, called him “a journalist dedicated to his profession” who “since the beginning of the war in Ukraine bravely reported to the public about events from this country”.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest article

- Advertisement -