American journalist Brent Renaud was killed while reporting in Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry on Sunday.
Renaud, who was just 51 years old, was killed in Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv that has come under intense bombing by Russian forces recently.
American journalist Brent Renaud killed in Ukraine
Local police in Kyiv claim that Russian troops opened fire on the journalist’s car as he tried to film refugees escaping the country. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry claims another journalist was wounded.
A Peabody award-winning filmmaker and journalist, Renaud worked for news organizations such as The New York Times, HBO, and NBC.
Police posted images of Renaud’s press badge on social media, which stated that he was affiliated with The New York Times, fueling speculation that he was on assignment with the paper in Ukraine at the time he was killed. The New York Times later announced that he was not reporting for the paper when he was hit.
A 51-year-old New York Times correspondent Brent Renaud was shot dead in Irpen today. Another journalist was injured. Now they are trying to take the victim out of the combat zone. pic.twitter.com/7FtazzW819
— KyivPost (@KyivPost) March 13, 2022
Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for The New York Times, expressed the paper’s grief at Renaud’s death, saying: “We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death…Brent was a talented filmmaker.”
Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the interior ministry, stated that the journalist “paid with his life for attempting to expose the insidiousness, cruelty and ruthlessness of the aggressor.”
Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor for President Biden, stated on CBS Sunday that Renaud’s death was “shocking and horrifying.
“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,” he stated.
Renaud, along with his brother Craig, never hesitated to rush to scenes of natural disaster, war, and terror in order to provide coverage to the world. They have reported on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, drug cartels in Mexico, and the recent earthquake in Haiti.
Russia accused of targeting civilians in Ukraine
It seems that Russia has shifted its military strategy in Ukraine, as reports of Russian bombings of civilian areas in Ukraine have increased recently.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated on Saturday that Russia has waged “a war of annihilation” by bombing cities and towns across the country.
He hinted that this shift toward civilian areas as a target may indicate that Russia is looking to demoralize the Ukrainian people, who have famously resisted the military invasion fiercely.
Considering that the invasion of Ukraine has not turned out to be a simple, quick military operation as Russia may have expected, a targeted bombing campaign may be an attempt to break down the will of Ukrainian troops.
For its part, Russia denies targeting civilians in Ukraine.
Yet reports from foreign media and Ukrainian officials indicate that Russia has bombed apartment buildings, hospitals, a mosque, and schools in the past week. Notably, Ukraine claimed that a Russian strike hit a children’s and maternity hospital in Mariupol, killing three people.