US journalist Brent Renaud killed by Russian forces in Ukraine, local police say

By Clarissa Ward, Mick Krever, Brian Stelter and Lauren Kent, CNN

Award-winning American journalist Brent Renaud was killed by Russian forces in the Ukrainian town of Irpin, Kiev police said in social media posts on Sunday. Another American journalist was reportedly injured.

In a tweet, Kiev region police identified the dead as Renaud, who was 50 years old. Police released a photo of his body and his US passport as evidence, along with a photo of an outdated New York Times press badge bearing Renaud’s name.

Kyiv region police chief Andriy Nebitov said in a Facebook post that Russian forces shot Renaud, adding that “the occupiers are cynically killing even international media journalists, who tried to tell the truth about the atrocities committed by the Russian army in Ukraine”.

“Of course, journalism involves risks, but American citizen Brent Renaud paid with his life for an attempt to shed light on the devious, cruel and ruthless character of the attacker,” Nebitov added.

An adviser to Ukrainian Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko said in a statement on Telegram that Renaud “paid with his life for trying to expose the insidiousness, cruelty and cruelty of the aggressor”, according to a New York Times report.

CNN was unable to verify which outlet American journalists worked for in Ukraine. The police did not name the injured journalist.

The New York Times noted 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 has contributed to The Times in the past (most recently in 2015), he was not assigned to any Times office in Ukraine. Early reports that he worked for the Times circulated because he was wearing a Times press badge that had been issued for an assignment many years ago.

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.

Renaud was a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer and journalist who lived and worked in New York City and Little Rock, Arkansas, 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.

The director of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard said Sunday the foundation was “heartbroken” by the death of the journalist, who was a 2019 Harvard Nieman Fellow.

“Our Nieman Fellow Brent Renaud was gifted and kind, and his work was imbued with humanity. He was killed today outside Kiev, and the world and journalism are less well for it. We are heartbroken,” foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski said in a Tweeter.

The Committee to Protect Journalists on Sunday condemned the killing and called for the killers to be brought to justice.

The New York-based organization said in a statement: “American journalist Brent Renaud was shot and killed and another journalist was injured on Sunday in the town of Irpin, outside Kyiv, according to an official from Ukrainian police and dispatches.

A post on the Renaud brothers’ Facebook page, dated March 8, invited readers to follow their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

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Clarissa Ward reported from Kyiv, Mick Krever reported from Poland, Brian Stelter reported from New York and Lauren Kent wrote in London.

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