Monday 14 March 2022

Award-winning American filmmaker killed by Russian forces in Ukraine, authorities in Kyiv say. White House adviser vows to 'execute appropriate consequences.'

 An award-winning American filmmaker was shot dead while covering the war in Ukraine, according to authorities in Kyiv. Ukrainian police said that an American video journalist was killed by Russian forces in Irpin, Ukraine, approximately 18 miles west of Kyiv.

"A 51-year-old world-renowned media correspondent was shot in Irpen today," Kyiv regional police force chief Andrey Nebitov wrote on Facebook, adding that "another journalist is injured."

Nebitov claimed that the fallen journalist was Brent Renaud – a video journalist and award-winning documentary filmmaker.

"Of course, the profession of a journalist is a risk, but U.S. citizen Brent Renaud paid his life for trying to highlight the aggressor's ingenuity, cruelty, and ruthlessness."

Initially, Renaud was believed to be covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine for the New York Times since he had press credentials issued by The New York Times. However, the official New York Times communications account on Twitter noted that Renaud formerly worked for the media outlet. 

We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death. Brent was a talented filmmaker who had contributed to the New York Times over the years. Though he had contributed to the Times in the past (most recently in 2015), he was not on assignment for any desk at the Times in Ukraine. Early reports that he worked for Times circulated because he was wearing a Times press badge that had been issued for an assignment many years ago.

The Independent reported, "The Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker, working alongside his brother Craig as the Renaud Brothers, also produced films for HBO, NBC, Discovery, PBS and Vice News, among others, while reporting from Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti and across the U.S. and elsewhere." 

PBS correspondent Jane Ferguson wrote on Twitter, "Just left roadside spot near Irpin where body of American journalist Brent Renaud lay under a blanket. Ukrainian medics could do nothing to help him by that stage. Outraged Ukrainian police officer: 'Tell America, tell the world, what they did to a journalist.'"

PBS "News Hour" special correspondent Simon Ostrovsky said, "Gutting to hear of the death Brent Renaud in Irpin, Ukraine today. A filmmaker without parallel who was working on a global film project about refugees. My thoughts are with his brother and his friends and family."

"Chronicle 5" correspondent Nicole Estaphan tweeted, "Today Brent Renaud was killed while documenting the story of Ukrainians fleeing Irpin. He was talented and fueled by the need to shine the light on people who might otherwise go ignored. Here is some of his work."

On Sunday morning, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan called the reports of Renaud's death "obviously shocking and horrifying."

"I will be consulting with my colleagues, we'll be consulting with the Ukrainians to determine how this happened and then to measure and execute appropriate consequences as a result of it," Sullivan said during an appearance on "Face the Nation."

"I will just say that this is part and parcel of what has been a brazen aggression on the part of the Russians where they have targeted civilians, they have targeted hospitals, they have targeted places of worship and they have targeted journalists," Sullivan added. "And the United States has been working hard to hold Russia accountable through the imposition of the most far reaching- far reaching sanctions ever imposed and through the provision of military assistance to the Ukrainians to be able to blunt the Russian advance. And we will obviously be tracking this latest development very closely and responding accordingly."

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