European Federation of Journalists

Ukraine: AFP journalist Arman Soldin killed in a shelling attack

Credits: Aris Messinis/AFP

Journalist Arman Soldin was killed on 9 May 2023 in the afternoon in a shelling attack near Chasiv Yar in eastern Ukraine. The 32- year- old was working for the news agency Agence France Presse (AFP). The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) join their affiliates in Ukraine and France in expressing their condolences to Soldin’s relatives, colleagues and friends.

The attack happened at around 4:30 pm on the outskirts of Chasiv Yar, a town close to Bakhmut, the epicentre of the fighting in eastern Ukraine for several months. Four AFP colleagues and a group of Ukrainian military personnel survived the attack uninjured.

Soldin, a French citizen born in Sarajevo, had been living in Ukraine since September 2022, when he started leading a video team’s coverage. He was one of the first AFP correspondents to enter Ukraine after the Russian invasion on 25 February 2022, travelling regularly to the front lines in the east and south.

“His death is a terrible reminder of the risks and dangers faced by journalists every day covering the conflict in Ukraine,” AFP chairman Fabrice Fries said.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic news, only two weeks after the death of Ukrainian fixer Bohdan Bitik. Arman Soldin’s work has been essential in bringing images from Ukraine and informing citizens around the world about the realities of the war. We pay tribute to all the journalists who have risked their lives since the beginning of the conflict,” reacted Maja Sever, EFJ President.

“Today our thoughts are with Arman’s family and friends. No journalist should ever be targeted for doing their job and covering a war is no excuse for that. Today is another sad day for the journalism community. We demand justice for the killing of Arman,” added IFJ President, Dominique Pradalié.

Arman Soldin is the 14th media worker killed on duty since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

Solidarity messages from journalists’ unions in Ukraine and France were also shared on Twitter.

The President of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), Sergiy Tomilenko, tweeted: “Terrible news. A TV reporter @ArmanSoldin for @AFP and @canalplus was killed at the front. This is the second murder of a journalist in the last two weeks in Ukraine, for which Russia should be punished.”

“Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and all those who were close to him. And to all the colleagues and colleagues who have done, are doing and will continue to do their job of reporting at the risk of their lives, in Ukraine and elsewhere,” wrote the SNJ.

CFDT-Journalists said: “The terrible news of the death of our fellow war reporter Arman Soldin is frightening. At the age of 32, he was already an experienced journalist, recognised by his peers. The CFDT journalists send their support to his colleagues and relatives. This war must stop!”

“French journalist of Bosnian origin @ArmanSoldin fell in the exercise of his profession, to inform us. Our condolences to his family and our thoughts are with all our colleagues at Agence France Presse,” SNJ-CGT reacted.