Brent Renaud, an award-winning US filmmaker whose work has appeared in the New York Times and other media outlets, was killed by Russian forces in the hotspot town of Irpin, outside of Kyiv. A US photographer, Juan Arredondo, was wounded.
Renaud, 51, was hit in the neck and died after coming under Russian fire at work on Sunday, according to local police and several Ukrainian sources.
Jane Ferguson, a PBS Newshour reporter who was nearby when Renaud was killed, tweeted: “I have just left the roadside spot near Irpin where the body of American journalist Brent Renaud lay under a blanket. At that time, Ukrainian medics could not do anything to help him. Outraged Ukrainian police officer: ‘Tell America, tell the world what you did to a journalist.’”
Clifford Levy, deputy editor of the New York Times, issued a statement on Twitter clarifying that, contrary to previous reports, Renaud was not on duty for the newspaper.
“[The New York Times] is deeply saddened by the death of an American journalist in Ukraine, Brent Renaud. Brent was a talented photographer and filmmaker, but he wasn’t based in Ukraine for The New York Times. Early reports that he worked for the Times circulated because he wore a Times press pass they issued for an assignment many years ago.”
Levy added: “Brent’s death is a terrible loss. Brave journalists like Brent are taking enormous risks to bear witness and tell the world about the devastation and suffering caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
The police chief of the Kyiv region, Andrei Nebitov, said in a statement: “The occupiers are cynically killing even journalists from the international media who are trying to uncover the truth about the atrocities committed by Russian troops in Ukraine.”
Arredondo, 45, a World Press Photo winner and an associate professor at Columbia University, said he and Renaud went to Irpin to film refugees fleeing the city and were fired upon by forces near a checkpoint been.
Filmed as he described what happened while he was being treated at the hospital, he suggested they had been ambushed.
“We crossed the first bridge in Irpin. We wanted to film all the departing refugees. We got in a car … someone offered to take us to the other bridge and we went through a checkpoint and they started shooting at us,” Arredondo said. “So the driver turned around and they kept shooting… and there were two of us. My friend is Brent Renaud and he was shot and left behind.
When the interviewer asked how Renaud was doing, Arredondo replied, “I don’t know. I saw that he had been shot in the neck. And we broke up.”
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN: “If an American journalist has indeed been killed, it is a shocking and appalling event. It is another example of the brutality of Vladimir Putin and his troops, who have attacked schools and mosques, hospitals and journalists.
“And that’s why we’re working so hard to inflict severe consequences on him and try to help the Ukrainians with whatever form of military support we can find to be able to repel the attack by these Russian forces.”