Frederic Leclerc–Imhoff, a journalist from all nationalities, is the eighth to die since the Russian invasion began on February 24, 2014. "Aboard a humanitarian coach, along with civilians forced to flee Russian bombs, he died," Emmanuel Macron tweeted. Maxime Brandstaetter, his BFMTV colleague, was lightly injured in the leg.
A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated that the Russian army had shelled a vehicle meant to evacuate civilians from the warzone near Severodonetsk in the east. The operation, which was intended to evacuate ten persons, was cancelled later. Monday night, the French anti-terrorist prosecutor announced that a judicial probe was being opened for "war crimes".
Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff was a 2014 graduate of the Bordeaux Aquitaine Journalism Institute. He is a part of Bordeaux-Montaigne University and specialized in television. This Parisian started his career in television as a director of documentaries and reports of medium to short length with Capa.
He was a freelancer who had worked as an image reporter and journalist (JRI) for France Televisions and BFMTV for over six years. According to his CV, this included filming in exile camps, on felted carpets at ministries and the Elysee, and directing urgent trips abroad.
Frederic Leclerc -Imhoff was on the second mission to Ukraine. He retweeted images and reports from Maxime Brandstaetter (journalist who accompanied him), such as this report in which a Ukrainian soldier reminded journalists about safety instructions.
He appeared smiling in a corridor in Mykolaiv on May 20, in the middle a bombardment.
He has posted numerous reports on Twitter in recent years alongside migrants, particularly near Calais in Grande Synthe.
Frederic LeclercImhoff, the governor of Lugansk, said that Frederic LeclercImhoff was struck in the neck while wearing a helmet. The armored truck wasn't directly hit, but shrapnel pierced the armored windshield. Patrick Sauce, senior reporter at BFMTV, said that Frederic was hit by a burst. Maxime was hurt in his leg, and was found in the back of the victim. Oksana Leuta is doing well, the Ukrainian fixer-translator," said the journalist.
"Frederic wasn't a hothead. He weighed every second of his mission," said Marc-Olivier Fogiel (general manager of BFMTV) on the set.
"The three members of the team exchanged like every other morning (to assess risks, editor's notice): Oksana was confident that Frederic would be able go to the place. Maxime had more questions than he could have the day before. But (...) it's also an reporting team, and it's very tight-knit people. They decided to go there," explained the boss at BFMTV.
Marc-Olivier Fogiel reported that his mother reacted, saying "He was very dedicated and I am proud to his choices." He first reacted by asking Maxime and the fixer how they were doing. With a touch of pride, she knew (...) what her son did.
"Frederic was a joyous, enthusiastic, generous, courageous, and wonderful journalist. He was a journalist in the field and died trying to show the truth of the conflict. The society of journalists at BFM TV reacted to his death.