Veteran cameraman killed near Kyiv while reporting for Fox News

A Fox News channel sign is seen on a television vehicle outside the News Corporation building in New York City. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

A Monday attack on a Fox News crew reporting near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv left two of the network’s journalists dead and its correspondent severely injured, the channel said on Tuesday.

Killed in the attack were Pierre Zakrzewski, a 55-year-old longtime war photojournalist, and Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, a 24-year-old Ukrainian journalist working as a consultant for the network. Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall was seriously injured and remains hospitalized, reported by CNN.

Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer, who broke the news of Zakrzewski’s death on the channel’s air, described the photojournalist as “an absolute legend” at the network.

And foreign correspondent Trey Yingst, who has been reporting from Ukraine, remembered both Zakrzewski and Kuvshynova on Twitter.

“I don’t know what to say,” he wrote about Zakrzewski. “Pierre was as good as they come. Selfless. Brave. Passionate. I’m so sorry this happened to you.”

Remembering Kuvshynova, Yingst wrote, “She was talented, well-sourced and witty. She liked photography, poetry and music. We became fast friends over a shared love of coffee.”

Zakrzewski’s counterparts at other networks also remembered him.

Clarissa Ward, CNN’s chief international correspondent, said she had “the great privilege” of having worked with Zakrzewski and “the even greater privilege of calling him a friend.”

“An extraordinary spirit and tremendous talent and one of the kindest, most gracious colleagues on the road,” Ward wrote on Twitter. “Absolutely heartbreaking.”

Fox News had just recognized Zakrzewski in December as one of the network’s “unsung heroes.” He was described at the time as a journalist who “risks his life in war zones to get the story for Fox News.”

“The truth is the target,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said Tuesday, commenting on the attack of journalists in the Fox News crew.

Both deaths were announced by Fox News Media chief executive Suzanne Scott, who said the team’s vehicle came under fire as they were reporting. Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian interior minister, blamed artillery shelling by Russian forces.

The deaths come as journalists working in Ukraine increasingly find themselves coming under fire. Brent Renaud, an award-winning American documentarian, was killed Sunday in an attack that also injured journalist Juan Arredondo. A Sky News team released footage earlier this month showing them being violently ambushed.

Scott on Tuesday remembered Zakrzewski as a journalist who was “profoundly committed to telling the story and his bravery, professionalism and work ethic were renowned among journalists at every media outlet.”

Scott described Zakrzewski’s talents as vast and said that “there wasn’t a role that he didn’t jump in to help with in the field – from photographer to engineer to editor to producer. She said that he “did it all under immense pressure with tremendous skill.”

Zakrzewski, an Irish citizen, was a veteran photojournalist who had reported extensively from dangerous conflict zones for the Fox News. He had been reporting from Ukraine since February.

Scott said that Kuvshynova had been helping the network’s crews “navigate Kyiv and the surrounding area while gathering information and speaking to sources.”

“She was incredibly talented and spent weeks working directly with our entire team there, operating around the clock to make sure the world knew what was happening in her country,” Scott said.

Tributes poured in throughout the day for Zakrzewski and Kuvshynova.

Fox News anchor Bret Baier described the two journalists as “wonderful people” who “were lost on that battlefield.”

“This is a hard day,” he tweeted.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here