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Journalist Brent Renaud is killed while reporting on the war in Ukraine

Updated March 13, 2022 at 4:34 PM ET

An adviser to Ukraine's interior ministry, Anton Gerashchenko, says U.S. video journalist Brent Renaud has been killed in fighting in Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv. Another journalist was wounded, he says.

In a statement posted on social media, Gerashchenko says Renaud "sacrificed his life trying to show the insidiousness, cruelty and ruthlessness of the aggressor."

Gerashchenko shared a video of an unidentified Ukrainian in camouflage and a police badge, announcing Renaud's death. The video shows what looks like Renaud's body on the ground behind him. NPR has not been able to independently confirm this video.

Another journalist for U.S. media tweeted that she had been at the scene and witnessed Renaud's body under a blanket.

Condolences are flooding in, including from the head of Harvard's Nieman Foundation, where Renaud was a past fellow.

"Brent's filmmaking was exceptional and what made it so was not just his abundant skill but a kindness and deep humanity he brought to his work," Nieman curator Ann Marie Lipinski wrote. "He told us that what he sought in his journalism was 'thoughtful stories about disenfranchised people,' and he lived up to that credo every day. His death is a devastating loss."

The New York Times also tweeted its condolences, calling Renaud a "talented photographer and filmmaker" who had contributed to the Times in the past. He was not on assignment for the Times at the time of his death, it said. Gerashchenko had shared photos of an apparently outdated Times press ID with Renaud's name and photo.

He and his brother were covering the war

Renaud and his brother Craig, who is also a filmmaker, had worked on a number of documentaries together. A post on their Facebook page from March 8 indicated they were covering the conflict in Ukraine.

According to their website, the Renaud brothers have spent years "telling humanistic verite stories from the [w]orld's hot spots," including Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti and parts of Central America.

The Committee to Protect Journalists quickly condemned Renaud's killing on Sunday.

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the death of U.S. journalist Brent Renaud in Ukraine. This kind of attack is totally unacceptable, and is a violation of international law," Carlos Martinez de la Serna, CPJ's program director, said in a statement.

"Russian forces in Ukraine must stop all violence against journalists and other civilians at once, and whoever killed Renaud should be held to account," he added.

Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of UNESCO, said journalists should never be targeted while reporting on a conflict.

"I condemn the killing of Brent Renaud," Azoulay said in a statement. "I call on the respect of international humanitarian standards, to ensure that journalists and media workers are protected."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Lauren Frayer covers India for NPR News. In June 2018, she opened a new NPR bureau in India's biggest city, its financial center, and the heart of Bollywood—Mumbai.
Joe Hernandez
[Copyright 2024 NPR]