Award-winning American journalist Brent Renaud was killed by Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Irpin, police in Kyiv said in social media posts on Sunday. Another American journalist, Juan Arredondo, was wounded, reported by CNN.
In a tweet, Kyiv region police identified the dead man as Renaud, who was 50. Police posted a photo of his body and his American passport as evidence, as well as a photo of an outdated New York Times press badge with Renaud’s name.
Renaud was a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer and journalist who lived and worked in New York and Little Rock, Arkansas, according to his biography on the Renaud Brothers website.With his brother Craig, Renaud spent years “telling humanistic verite stories from the World’s hot spots,” including projects in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Egypt and Libya, according to his website bio.
Andriy Nebitov, the head of the Kyiv region police, said in a Facebook post that Russian forces shot Renaud, adding that “the occupants cynically kill even journalists of international media, who’ve been trying to tell the truth about atrocities of Russian military in Ukraine.”
“Of course, journalism carries risks, but the US citizen Brent Renaud paid with his life for an attempt to shed light on how underhand, cruel, and merciless the aggressor is,” Nebitov added.
Renaud is the first foreign journalist known to be killed in the war in Ukraine. A Ukrainian camera operator, Yevhenii Sakun, was reportedly killed when Kyiv’s TV tower was shelled earlier this month.
Press freedom groups denounced Sunday’s violence as a violation of international law.
“Russian forces in Ukraine must stop all violence against journalists and other civilians at once, and whoever killed Renaud should be held to account,” the Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement.
Time magazine told CNN that Renaud, an acclaimed filmmaker, was in Ukraine in recent weeks to work on “a Time Studios project focused on the global refugee crisis.”
“Our hearts are with all of Brent’s loved ones,” the publication said. “It is essential that journalists are able to safely cover this ongoing invasion and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.”
Arredondo, a Colombian-American photographer, appeared in a social media video from Okhmatdyt hospital in Kyiv and recounted the shooting. He said he and Renaud were driving through a checkpoint in Irpin on the way to film refugees leaving the city when Russian forces opened fire.
Arredondo said there were “two of us,” and Renaud was “shot and left behind,” adding that Renaud was shot in the neck. “We got split and I got pulled into the (stretcher).” Asked how he got to the hospital, he replied, “an ambulance, I don’t know.”
Arredondo, a filmmaker and visual journalist who is also an adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School, posted photos from Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on Saturday, noting in an Instagram post that he is “#onassignment.”
The Dean of Columbia Journalism School, Steve Coll, told CNN: “We don’t have any independent information about his injuries at this time but are working now to learn more and to see if we can help.”
Arredondo is a prominent photographer, with work featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, ESPN, Vanity Fair and other media outlets, according to his personal website bio.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said in a statement on Telegram that Renaud “paid with his life for attempting to expose the insidiousness, cruelty and ruthlessness of the aggressor.”
Irpin, in northern Ukraine just outside Kyiv, has been the site of substantial Russian shelling in recent days and has seen extensive destruction, according to the Kyiv regional government on Friday.