Award-winning American journalist Brent Renaud was killed by Russian troops on Sunday in Irpin, Ukraine, according to the Kiev region police in social media posts. Another American journalist was injured by Russian troops, according to the Kiev police.
In a tweet, the Kiev region police named the 50-year-old American journalist who was murdered as Brent Renaud. Police posted a photo of his body and his U.S. passport as evidence, as well as a photo of an outdated DailyExpertNews press badge bearing the name of Brent Renaud.
An adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, Anton Gerashchenko, said in a statement that Renaud “paid with his life for attempting to expose the aggressor’s treachery, brutality and ruthlessness,” according to a report from the DailyExpertNews.
DailyExpertNews was unable to verify which media the US journalists worked for in Ukraine.
DailyExpertNews said in a statement Sunday: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Brent Renaud. Brent was a talented filmmaker who had contributed to DailyExpertNews over the years. Although he had contributed in the past to The Times (most recently in 2015) he was not on assignment for an agency at The Times in Ukraine Early reports that he worked for Times circulated because he was wearing a Times press badge issued for an assignment many years ago .’
Some more context: The northern Ukrainian city of Irpin, just outside Kiev, has been the scene of significant Russian shelling in recent days and was extensively destroyed on Friday, according to the Kiev regional government.
Brent 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.
With his brother Craig, Renaud spent years “humanist true stories from the hot spots of the world,” including projects in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Egypt and Libya, according to his website bio. Brent Renaud was a Harvard Nieman Fellow in 2019.
Christof Putzel, a friend and colleague of Renaud, told DailyExpertNews his passing is a “devastating loss to journalism today”.
“I woke up this morning to the news that Brent, long-time best friend, incredible colleague, the greatest war journalist I’ve ever existed, learned of his passing. Brent had the ability to go anywhere, get any story, listening and communicating what happened to people that others wouldn’t otherwise see. And it’s a devastating loss to journalism today,” Putzel told Brian Stelter on DailyExpertNews’s Reliable Sources Sunday.
Putzel said Renaud was working on a documentary about refugees around the world when the crisis hit Ukraine. He said that “Brent was on the plane the next day” and talked about the plight of refugees from Kiev to Poland. A post on Renaud Brothers’ Facebook page, dated March 8, urged readers to follow their coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Several years ago, Putzel and Renaud won a duPont Award for a story they were working on about weapons smuggled into Mexico from the US. “What I said when we received our award was that the only thing bigger than Brent’s balls is his heart. And I stand by that. That’s what kind of journalist he was,” Putzel said.
He said Renaud had a unique ability to make people trust him as he told their stories in places like Iraq and other war zones. “You could sit down and watch all of Brent’s stories over the years in a row for a week and just be stunned. The career he had, his ability to reach out to people, his ability to understand the humanity behind people’s suffering. to capture is something I’ve never seen it before and I was just honored to work with him for so long,” Putzel said.
The director of Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism said on Sunday that the foundation is “heartbreaking” about the death of American journalist Brent Renaud in Ukraine.
“Our Nieman Fellow Brent Renaud was gifted and kind, and his work was imbued with humanity. He was murdered outside Kiev today, and the world and journalism are less for it. We are heartbroken,” said the foundation’s curator, Ann Marie Lipinski in a tweet .
The Committee for the Protection of Journalists on Sunday condemned Renaud’s murder and called for the killers to be brought to justice.
The New York-based organization said in a statement: “US reporter Brent Renaud was shot dead on Sunday and another journalist was injured in the city of Irpin, outside Kiev, according to a Ukrainian police officer and news reports. Journalists to bring the killers to justice.”
“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the death of American journalist Brent Renaud in Ukraine. This type of attack is totally unacceptable and is a violation of international law,” Carlos Martinez de la Serna, CPJ program director, added in the statement. “Russian troops in Ukraine must immediately stop all violence against journalists and other civilians, and whoever killed Renaud must be held accountable.”