Russians kill French journalist, 32, who was on evacuation convoy in eastern Ukraine

A Russian shell killed a French journalist on an evacuation convoy in eastern Ukraine on Monday, prompting a tribute from President Emmanuel Macron.

BFMTV journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, 32, died when shell shrapnel struck the humanitarian aid bus he was travelling in to Lysychansk, Severodonetsk.

He was with in the bus with regional governor Serhiy Gaidai, who was helping evacuate civilians from the Luhansk region.

President Emmanuel Macron said: ‘Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was in Ukraine to show the reality of war.

‘On board a humanitarian bus with civilians forced to flee to escape Russian bombings, he was mortally wounded.’

He added: ‘I share the grief of his family, relatives and colleagues.

‘To those who ensure the difficult mission of reporting in combat zones, I want to reiterate France’s unconditional support.’

Evacuations from the Luhansk area of eastern Ukraine were suspended after the strike.

Regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said: ‘Today our armoured evacuation vehicle was going to pick up ten people from the area and came under enemy fire.

‘Shrapnel from shells pierced the armour of the car. A fatal wound to the neck was received by an accredited French journalist who was making material about the evacuation.

‘A patrol policeman was [saved] by a helmet. We are officially stopping the evacuation.’

BFMTV and the Altice media group said there was ‘immense pain’ in announcing their colleague’s death.