A video journalist working for Agence France-Presse, the French news agency, was killed by rocket fire near the town of Chasiv Yar in eastern Ukraine, A.F.P. said on Tuesday. Some of the heaviest battles of the war are being fought in and around the nearby city of Bakhmut.
The journalist, Arman Soldin, 32, and four colleagues were with Ukrainian soldiers when they came under a Grad rocket attack on Tuesday afternoon, the agency said. Mr. Soldin was killed. No one on the rest of the team, which included a security adviser, was injured.
Mr. Soldin is the 17th journalist to be killed in Ukraine since 2022, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. His death came just two weeks after a Ukrainian journalist was killed and an Italian journalist injured in an attack on their way to the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine.
Mr. Soldin was one of the agency’s first journalists to arrive in Ukraine after Russia’s full-scale invasion, and he regularly reported from the front lines. He survived a close rocket attack last week while reporting on soldiers who were digging trenches near Bakhmut.
Mr. Soldin also shared lighter moments from the front lines — last month, he rescued an injured hedgehog found in the aftermath of Russian shelling in Chasiv Yar. Mr. Soldin and his colleagues built a makeshift shelter for the hedgehog, whom they named Lucky; collected insects for him to eat; and “started googling what baby hedgehogs need,” Mr. Soldin wrote on Twitter.
When Lucky finally accepted water from a bottle improvised out of medical equipment, Mr. Soldin rejoiced: “I AM OFFICIALLY A DAD !”
Mr. Soldin, a French national who was born in Bosnia, was “courageous, creative and tenacious. He was above all an excellent journalist who was totally committed to the story,” Phil Chetwynd, A.F.P.’s global news director, said in a statement.
France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, paid tribute to Mr. Soldin on Tuesday, tweeting that he had courageously been at the front from the first hours of the conflict “to establish the facts. To inform us.” He added, “We share the pain of his loved ones and all his colleagues.”