French-Ukrainian peacekeeper dies in road traffic accident in Lebanon

(B2) A soldier deployed in Lebanon, as part of the United Nations mission (UNIFIL) or Operation Daman for the French, died this Friday (13 March) in a road traffic accident.

A legionnaire

Corporal Volodymyr Rybontchouk is a legionnaire of the 1st Régiment étranger de génie (Foreign Engineer Regiment) (1st REG) based in Laudun-l’Ardoise, in the south of France. A member of an engineering platoon of the FCR, the Force Commander Reserve (FCR) of the United Nations Mission in Lebanon, he died “during a route reconnaissance mission“, the French HQ said in a statement.

Four other passengers in the vehicule

Shortly after departure in the morning, the Armoured Personnel Carrier (VAB) “on which it was serving as a gunner radio hit a side wall, left the roadway and overturned following a loss of control“, the French HQ said. The vehicle was travelling in a curve on a paved road, “steeply sloping and very wet due to heavy rainfall during the night“. This accident “did not involve any other vehicle or pedestrian“, said the French army. The four other passengers in the vehicle were taken care of. But “their condition does not cause concern“.

Ukrainian origin

Born on 30 June 1995 in Kryjopil, a city in western Ukraine, not far from Moldova, Corporal Volodymyr Rybonchuk joined the Foreign Legion at the age of 20, shortly after Christmas, on 29 December 2015. He spent his entire career in this 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment. He was deployed abroad: in the United Arab Emirates in 2017, as an Armoured Forward Vehicle Operator, then in Mali and Niger as part of Operation Barkhane from January to early June 2018. He then served as a Rapid Protection Engineering Vehicle Operator.


Nicolas Gros-Verheyde

Rédacteur en chef du site B2. Diplômé en droit européen de l'université Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne et auditeur 65e session IHEDN (Institut des hautes études de la défense nationale. Journaliste depuis 1989, fonde B2 - Bruxelles2 en 2008. Correspondant UE/OTAN à Bruxelles pour Sud-Ouest (auparavant Ouest-France et France-Soir).