Award-winning American journalist killed in Ukraine

March 13, 2022

The bodies of an American journalist and an unidentified person lie under blankets at a checkpoint near Kyiv


Kyiv, Ukraine –  An award-winning American filmmaker and journalist was shot and killed in Ukraine and another journalist was injured on Sunday.

Brent Renaud, 50, was reporting from Irpin, a city in the Kyiv region, neighboring the Ukrainian capital. Irpin has seen serious fighting in recent days between Russian and Ukrainian forces. Civilians, in addition to service men, have been killed there.

CalCoastNews reported from Irpin on Saturday. The reporter was returning to Irpin on Sunday, when police at a checkpoint in Kyiv said that fighting had spread and press would be turned away.

At about that time, Renaud’s body was lying beside the checkpoint, which was located on a road connecting Kyiv to Irpin. Across the intersection from the checkpoint, there was a staging area where refugees were being brought upon evacuation from combat zones.

Police briefly let a journalist pull the blanket off Renaud’s blood-covered face.

A second body that police did not initially identify was lying next to Renaud. Both bodies were covered in blankets.

Ukrainian police said a journalist, possibly a camera man, was killed and that another person was wounded in the incident. The policeman was holding Renaud’s camera and press pass, an outdated pass that said he worked for the New York Times.

Officer holding Brent Renaud’s camera and press pass

Kyiv Regional Police allege Russian Troops shot and killed Renaud, injured a second journalist and possibly shot and killed their driver.

Clifford Levy, a New York Times deputy managing editor, later released a statement clarifying that Renaud had contributed to the newspaper in the past, but was not in Ukraine on assignment for the publication.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of an American journalist in Ukraine, Brent Renaud,” Levy tweeted. “Brent was a talented photographer and film-maker, but he was not on assignment for the New York Times in Ukraine. Early reports that he worked for Times circulated because he was wearing a Times press badge he had been issued for an assignment many years ago.”

Renaud was a Peabody and DuPont award winning filmmaker, who was best known for producing humanitarian films from combat zones.

Officers loading the bodies into a white van

Juan Arredondo, 45, an award winning photographer and adjunct professor at Columbia University, said in a video from his hospital bed that they were shot at by military forces near a checkpoint, in what may have been an ambush.

“We crossed the first bridge in Irpin,” Arredondo said. “We were going to film other refugees leaving. We got into a car. Someone offered to take us to the other bridge and we crossed a checkpoint and they started shooting at us. So the driver turned around, and they kept shooting. And there was two of us. My friend is Brent Renaud and he’s been shot and left behind.”

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Thank you for the coverage, Josh.

Over the Weekend I heard the warning that the Russians will consider any American who goes to the Ukraine as a mercenary. There will be no American intercession for anyone who goes. They expect people to be kidnapped or worse. Please be aware, our government is saying they will not protect you! Please consider your safety!!