American filmmaker Brent Renaud shot dead in Ukraine by Russian troops

An American freelance filmmaker has been shot dead while covering the war in Ukraine, Kyiv police announced on Sunday.

Brent Renaud, 51, was in a car with other journalists in Irpin, near Kyiv, when Russian troops opened fire. He was shot dead and one of his colleagues was injured.

Initially, he was thought to have been on assignment for The New York Times because he was carrying a press badge that listed the newspaper as his publication.

Renaud’s death was announced by Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to Ukraine’s interior minister, who said in a Facebook post that he paid ‘with his life for trying to highlight the aggressor’s ingenuity, cruelty and ruthlessness.’

Another US journalist who survived the attack spoke to a reporter for Italian paper Internazionale from the hospital.

Giving his name only as Juan, he said Renaud had been shot in the neck and ‘had to be left behind’.

‘We had crossed the first bridge in Irpin. We were going to film other refugees leaving we got into a car. Somebody offered to take us to the other bridge. We crossed a checkpoint and they started shooting at us. The driver turned around, there were two of us. My friend is Brent Renaud.

‘He has been shot and left behind. I saw he has been shot in the neck. We got split,’ he said.

Brent Renaud, 51, was in a truck with other journalists in Irpin when Russian troops opened fire.

This is the badge freelance journalist Brent Renaud was carrying when he was shot and killed in Irpin, Ukraine, today while filming refugees crossing the border

The other US journalist in the truck has been named only as Juan.  He is shown in the hospital speaking to an Italian newspaper about how they were driving across a bridge when Russian troops opened fire on them after a checkpoint

The other US journalist in the truck has been named only as Juan. He is shown in the hospital speaking to an Italian newspaper about how they were driving across a bridge when Russian troops opened fire on them after a checkpoint

PBS reporter Jane Ferguson tweeted from the scene on Sunday that Ukrainian police are 'outraged' by the killing.  The US has not commented

PBS reporter Jane Ferguson tweeted from the scene on Sunday that Ukrainian police are ‘outraged’ by the killing. The US has not commented

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in an appearance on CNN on Sunday morning: ‘If in fact, an American journalist was killed it is a shocking and horrifying event.

‘Outraged Ukrainian police officer: “Tell America, tell the world, what they did to a journalist.”’

‘It is one more example of the brutality of Vladimir Putin and his forces as they target schools, mosques, hospitals and journalists.

‘It is why we are working so hard to impose severe consequences on him and to try to help Ukrainians with every type of military assistance we can muster to be able to push back against the onslaught of these Russian forces.’

PBS reporter Jane Ferguson, who is in Ukraine, tweeted: ‘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.”’

The Times has issued a statement to clarify that while Renaud worked for them in the past, he was not in Ukraine on assignment for them.

‘We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death. Brent was a talented photographer and filmmaker who contributed to The New York Times over the years.

Renaud with his brother, another filmmaker.  The pair are experienced in conflict zones and are understood to have been filming refugees crossing the border when they were killed

Renaud with his brother, another filmmaker. The pair are experienced in conflict zones and are understood to have been filming refugees crossing the border when they were killed

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in an appearance on CNN on Sunday morning: 'If in fact, an American journalist was killed it is a shocking and horrifying event.  It is one more example of the brutality of Vladimir Putin and his forces as they target schools, mosques, hospitals and journalists.'

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in an appearance on CNN on Sunday morning: ‘If in fact, an American journalist was killed it is a shocking and horrifying event. It is one more example of the brutality of Vladimir Putin and his forces as they target schools, mosques, hospitals and journalists.’

Irpin, the city west of Kyiv where Renaud was working alongside another journalist when he was shot and killed on Sunday in Ukraine

Irpin, the city west of Kyiv where Renaud was working alongside another journalist when he was shot and killed on Sunday in Ukraine

Refugees march across a destroyed bridge in Irpin on Saturday as they try to flee the region.  Renaud was filming more today when he was shot and killed

Refugees march across a destroyed bridge in Irpin on Saturday as they try to flee the region. Renaud was filming more today when he was shot and killed

A Ukrainian man helps an elderly woman flee the city of Irpin as it comes under attack by Russian forces on March 12

A Ukrainian man helps an elderly woman flee the city of Irpin as it comes under attack by Russian forces on March 12

Ukrainian troops in Irpin on Sunday carrying rocket-propelled grenades.  The city is next to the capital of Kyiv

Ukrainian troops in Irpin on Sunday carrying rocket-propelled grenades. The city is next to the capital of Kyiv

A home on fire in the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, where Renaud was working on Sunday

A home on fire in the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, where Renaud was working on Sunday

‘Though he had contributed to The Times in the past (most recently in 2015), he was not on assignment for The Times 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,’ Cliff Levy, Deputy Managing Editor, said in a statement.

He added: ‘Brent’s death is a terrible loss.

‘Brave journalists like Brent take tremendous risks to bear witness and to tell the world about the devastation and suffering caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.’

The White House has not commented on Renaud’s death.

The New York Times' Deputy Managing Editor Cliff Levy tweeted that Renaud was not on assignment for the newspaper when he was killed

The New York Times’ Deputy Managing Editor Cliff Levy tweeted that Renaud was not on assignment for the newspaper when he was killed

President Biden has taken a firm stance on not sending American troops into the conflict.

He has instead sanctioned Putin economically, along with the rest of the Western world, and has given Zelensky arms and aid.

Renaud was from Tennessee. It’s unclear if he is married or if he has a family.

Putin’s army is now expanding its assault on Ukraine and targeting cities that are closer to NATO ground. On Sunday, explosions were heard in the western city of Lviv, a haven for refugees.

As the war continued, Pope Francis on Sunday begged Putin to stop the fighting.

‘In the name of God, I ask you, stop this massacre. With pain in my heart I join my voice to that of the common people, who implores an end to the war.

‘Let there be a real and decisive focus on negotiation, and let the humanitarian corridors be effective and safe,’ he told crowds gathered in Vatican Square.

In the last week, Russian forces have bombed a maternity hospital in Mauripol and a hospital for the disabled.

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