Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky writes a letter to the family of murdered American journalist Brent Renaud
“The Ukrainian people, who are fighting against the Russian regime to defend their homeland and democracy in the world, mourn with you,” he wrote.
I offer my sincere condolences to the family of Brent Renaud who lost his life documenting the cruelty and harm inflicted on the people 🇺🇦 by Russia. May Brent’s life and sacrifice inspire the world to fight for the forces of light against the forces of darkness. pic.twitter.com/bvQjM470OU
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 14, 2022
Renaud, 50, an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker from Little Rock, was shot dead in a car while at a checkpoint in Irpin, a besieged kyiv suburb, on Sunday, Ukrainian officials said. He was the second journalist killed in the conflict, as confirmed by the Committee to Protect Journalists, highlighting the dangers of wartime reporting.
Two more journalists were killed on Monday while reporting outside Kyiv, according to statements by Fox News and Ukrainian officials on Tuesday. The two, Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and fellow Ukrainian Oleksandra Kuvshynova, were traveling Monday in a car with Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall when she was hit by incoming fire.
Hall was hospitalized with injuries, but no further updates were given on his condition. Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement the company is working to gather additional details and added, “Please keep Ben and his family in your prayers.”
“This is a stark reminder for all journalists who risk their lives every day to report from a war zone,” she said.
An American journalist, who said he was in a car with Renaud when the two were shot near a military checkpoint, was injured and taken to a hospital in kyiv. Juan Arredondo Recount According to the Italian media Internazionale of the hospital, Renaud received a “bullet in the neck” and was “left behind”.
Arredondo said he and Renaud were heading towards people filming the Irpin evacuation when someone offered to drive them to a bridge used by refugees. “We went through the checkpoint and they started shooting at us,” he told Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli. “The driver turned around and they kept shooting.”
The circumstances surrounding the incident could not be independently verified. Kyiv Regional Police Chief Andriy Nebitov blamed the shooting on Russian forces.
Nebitov said on Facebook that Renaud paid with his life for trying to show the “cruelty and cruelty” of the Russian invaders.
On Sunday, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan that Renaud’s death was “shocking and horrific.” Without mentioning Renaud’s name, Sullivan said, “We will consult with the Ukrainians to determine how this happened and then measure and execute the appropriate consequences accordingly.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked Monday about the Biden administration’s reaction to Renaud’s death. “In terms of next steps or what the next consequences would be, I have nothing to plan for you at this time,” she said.
Renaud’s death caused an outpouring of grief and outrage among his friends, colleagues, and free press organizations.
Renaud was an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker who filmed in conflict zones around the world. Those who knew him remembered him as an empathetic and courageous person who risked his life again and again to report on veterans, migrants and drug addicts – vulnerable people whose stories he told with candor and a eye for the truth, his friend and colleague Christof Putzel told the Washington Post on Sunday.
“It’s such a loss, not just for me, his family, but it’s a loss for our profession,” he said.
Renaud had an “innate humanity and empathy that allowed him to connect with people,” Putzel said. “Nothing was more important to him than truth and history, and that’s why he constantly put his life on the line.”
Renaud was reporting on the global refugee crisis for Time Studios when he was killed, according to a statement from Edward Felsenthal, editor and CEO of Time magazine. “Our hearts are with everyone close to Brent,” Felsenthal said. “It is essential that journalists can safely cover this invasion and ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.”
A tribute to Renaud’s work published by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, where he was a 2019 fellow, states that “if there is even one thing about Sunday that makes sense, it is that Brent Renaud died telling the stories of people caught up in some of humanity’s darkest situations.
Zelensky also praised Renaud’s “courage and determination” on Monday. “He traveled to the most dangerous war zones to film the truth and the unprecedented evil, also inflicted on our nation by the aggressor state,” the Ukrainian leader wrote in his letter.
“May Brent’s life, service and sacrifice inspire generations of people around the world to fight for the forces of light against the forces of darkness.”
Jeremy Barr and Brittany Shammas contributed to this report.