Award-winning American journalist Brent Renaud was killed by Russian forces in Irpin, Ukraine, Kyiv region police said in social media posts on Sunday. Kiev police said another American journalist was injured by Russian troops.
In a tweet, Kiev region police named the 50-year-old American journalist who was killed Brent Renaud. Police released a photo of his body and his US passport as evidence, along with a photo of an outdated New York Times press badge with Brent Renaud’s name on it.
An adviser to Ukrainian Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko said in a statement that Renaud “paid with his life for trying to expose the insidiousness, cruelty and cruelty of the aggressor”, according to a report by the New York Times.
CNN was unable to verify which outlet American journalists worked for in Ukraine.
The New York Times said in a statement on Sunday: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Brent Renaud. Brent was a talented filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years. Although he contributed to The Times in the past (most recently in 2015) he was not assigned to any Times office in Ukraine.Earliest reports that he worked for the Times circulated because he was wearing a Times press badge which had been issued for a mission many years ago.
A little more context: The town of Irpin in northern Ukraine, just outside Kyiv, has been the scene of heavy Russian shelling in recent days and suffered extensive destruction, according to the Kyiv regional government on Friday.
According to his biography on the Renaud brothers website.
Along with his brother Craig, Renaud has spent years “telling humanistic truth stories from hotspots around the world,” including projects in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Egypt and Libya, according to his website bio. Brent Renaud was a 2019 Harvard Nieman Fellow.
Christof Putzel, a friend and colleague of Renaud, told CNN his passing was “a devastating loss for journalism today.”
“I woke up this morning to find that Brent, a longtime best friend, incredible colleague, the best war journalist that ever lived, found out that he was dead. Brent had this ability to go anywhere, to get any story, to listen and communicate what was happening to people that others wouldn’t otherwise see. And that’s a devastating loss for journalism today,” Putzel told Brian Stelter on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday.
Putzel said Renaud was working on a documentary about refugees around the world when the crisis in Ukraine erupted. He said “Brent was on the plane the next day” and covered the plight of refugees from Kyiv in Poland. A post on the Renaud brothers’ Facebook page, dated March 8, invited readers to follow their coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Several years ago, Putzel and Renaud won a duPont award for a story they worked on about firearms smuggled into Mexico from the United States. “What I said when we accepted our award was that the only thing bigger than Brent’s balls is his heart. And I stand by that. He’s the kind of journalist he was,” Putzel said.
He said Renaud had a unique ability to make people trust him as he told their stories in places like Iraq and other war zones. “You could sit down and spend a week watching all of Brent’s stories over the years and just be amazed. The career he’s had, his ability to reach people, his ability to capture the humanity behind the suffering people is something I’ve never seen before and I’ve been honored to work with him for as long as I have,” Putzel said.
The director of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard said on Sunday that the foundation was “heartbroken” following the death of American journalist Brent Renaud in Ukraine.
“Our Nieman Fellow, Brent Renaud, was gifted and kind, and his work was imbued with humanity. He was killed today outside Kyiv, and the world and journalism are lesser for it. We heart broken,” foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski said in a tweet. .
The Committee to Protect Journalists on Sunday condemned Renaud’s murder and called for the killers to be brought to justice.
The New York-based organization said in a declaration“American journalist Brent Renaud was shot and killed and another journalist was injured in the town of Irpin, outside Kiev, on Sunday, according to a Ukrainian police official and news reports. In denouncing the shooting, the Committee to Protect Journalists has called for the killers to be brought to justice.”
“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the death of American journalist Brent Renaud in Ukraine. This type of attack is totally unacceptable and a violation of international law,” CPJ program director Carlos Martinez de la Serna added in the statement. “Russian forces in Ukraine must immediately end all violence against journalists and other civilians, and whoever killed Renaud must be held to account.