Ukraine: American journalist killed in Ukraine

US film-maker Brent Renaud killed by Russian forces in Ukraine

An American journalist was shot while covering the Ukraine-Russia conflict, according to the Kyiv regional police chief. 

“A 51-year-old world-renowned media correspondent was shot in Irpen today,” police chief Andriy Nebytov wrote on Facebook, referring to a city located to the west of Kyiv that has been hit hard in the war. “Another journalist is injured. Now they are trying to remove the victim from the war zone.”

The social media post identified the journalist who died as award-winning documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud. The post shared images of Renaud’s passport and a press pass for the New York Times. 

The deputy managing editor of The New York Times tweeted Sunday that Renaud was not on duty for the newspaper while he was in Ukraine. 

The Times “is deeply saddened to learn of the death of an American journalist in Ukraine, Brent Renaud,” Cliff Levy said. “Brent was a talented photographer and filmmaker, but he was not on assignment for @nytimes in Ukraine.”

“He was wearing a Times press badge that had been issued for an assignment many years ago,” a statement from The Times said.

photo 2022 03 13 13 17 49

Irpen, located to the west of Kyiv, has been hit hard during the Ukraine-Russian conflict.

Injured photographer Juan Arrendondo reports on the incident from his hospital bed.

A second US journalist, photographer Juan Arrendondo, said in a video interview from an Italian news agency and shared by Ukraine’s Parliament saying that Russian forces near a checkpoint opened fire on a car with foreign journalists inside as they were on the way to film people evacuating the area. Mr Arrendondo said Brent Renaud was “shot and left behind” but he was not sure what happened to him at the time of the interview.

Arredondo, 45, a World Press Photo winner and adjunct professor at Columbia University, said he and Renaud had gone to Irpin to film refugees escaping the town, and they were fired on by forces near a checkpoint. Filmed describing what had occurred while he was receiving hospital treatment, he suggested they had driven into an ambush.

“We crossed the first bridge in Irpin. We were going to film all the refugees leaving. We got into a car … Someone offered to take us to the other bridge and we crossed a checkpoint and they started shooting at us,” Arredondo said. “So the driver turned around, and they kept shooting … and there was two of us. My friend is Brent Renaud and he’s been shot and left behind.”

When the interviewer asked how Renaud was, Arredondo replied: “I don’t know. I saw he’d been shot in the neck. And we got split.”

Of course, we are all reminded of the great risks journalists take to report on frontlines, it also brings back floods of memories of journalists killed by forces on all sides.

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