It was reported on Tuesday that a French journalist for the news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) was killed in a rocket attack near the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. Arman Soldin, AFP’s video coordinator in Ukraine, was with a reporting team of four colleagues, who were with Ukrainian soldiers when they came under fire around 4:30 pm local time. AFP announced on Twitter that Soldin had been killed in the attack on the outskirts of the town of Chasiv Yar, near Bakhmut.
In addition to being a French citizen with Bosnian heritage, Solin was also an experienced journalist who had traveled to the frontlines regularly. Since September 2022, he had been AFP’s video coordinator in Ukraine and covered the conflict from the beginning. According to AFP, the region has been at the epicenter of fighting for several months, and our journalists regularly travel there to report on tensions.
It has been known that several journalists have been killed since Russia began its full-scale invasion, including Fox News photojournalist Pierre Zakrzewski, consultant Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, journalist and documentarian Brent Renaud, and photojournalist Maks Levin.
According to AFP CEO Fabrice Fries, “The whole agency is devastated by the death of Arman. His death is a reminder of the risks journalists face on a daily basis when covering the Ukraine conflict.”
After hearing of Soldin’s death, friends and colleagues reacted with condolences and grief. On Twitter, colleagues described Soldin as “brave, tenacious, and filled with enthusiasm for life.”
“We share the pain of his family and colleagues,” Macron wrote on Twitter, referring to Soldin as a “remarkable journalist.” Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN called Soldin “a courageous journalist.”
Soldin was the kind of journalist who went the extra mile, risking his life to report on the conflict in Ukraine. His last Twitter post showed him rescuing a baby hedgehog from a crater in Chasiv Yar. Soldin hand-fed the hedgehog back to health at base after he found it at the bottom of the crater from Russian shelling.
AFP’s deputy news editor for Moscow and Kyiv, Jonathan Brown, said on Twitter, “Arman was the kind of guy who saved hurt hedgehogs in war zones. He had a great personality and was a great journalist. We miss him. We are mourning him. Rest in peace.”
Journalists dealing with conflicts around the world face a great deal of danger and risk. Soldin’s death is a tragic reminder of those dangers and risks.