On May 13, 2023, French journalist Mathieu Perreault was killed while covering the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The 39-year-old reporter, who worked for the French news outlet Le Monde, was hit by rocket fire in the town of Avdiivka, which has been the site of heavy fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists.
Perreault was covering the conflict as part of a team of journalists from Le Monde and other French media outlets. The team had been in Avdiivka for several days, reporting on the humanitarian crisis in the town and the ongoing fighting between Ukrainian and separatist forces.
In a statement, Le Monde expressed its “deep sadness” at Perreault’s death and praised him as “an exceptional journalist and a committed reporter.” The statement went on to say that Perreault “knew how to bear witness to the events he covered with sensitivity, rigor, and humanity. His commitment to journalism was total.”
Perreault’s death has sparked an outpouring of grief and tributes from journalists and media organizations around the world. Many have praised him for his courage and dedication in covering dangerous and complex conflicts, and for his commitment to telling the stories of the people affected by them.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in 2014, has claimed the lives of thousands of people and caused widespread destruction and displacement. Despite a ceasefire agreement signed in 2022, fighting has continued in many areas, and journalists and other civilians continue to be at risk from shelling and other attacks.
Perreault’s death is a tragic reminder of the dangers faced by journalists working in conflict zones and other dangerous environments. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 42 journalists have been killed in Ukraine since the conflict began, making it one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists.
The international community has condemned the killing of Perreault and called for an investigation into his death. French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his “deep sadness” at the news and called for those responsible for the attack to be held accountable. The Ukrainian government also condemned the attack and expressed its condolences to Perreault’s family and colleagues.
Perreault’s death is a loss not only for his family and colleagues, but for the wider journalistic community and the cause of press freedom around the world. As journalists continue to face risks and challenges in their work, it is important to remember and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of the truth.