Brent Renaud: Award-winning American film-maker killed in Ukraine ‘by Russians’


An award-winning American photojournalist and film-maker has been killed in Ukraine.

Brent Renaud, 50, was shot dead in Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv, on Sunday by Russian forces, Kyiv’s police chief Andriy Nebytov said.

Another American journalist, Juan Arredondo, was injured in the shooting and is being treated at a hospital in Kyiv.

Renaud had previously contributed to The New York Times.

Cliff Levy, its deputy managing editor, said the newspaper was “deeply saddened” by his death but confirmed he was not on assignment at the time.

Brent Renaud (R) worked with his brother, Craig Renaud (L)
Image:Brent Renaud (right) often worked with his brother, Craig Renaud

‘Deeply saddened’

The paper said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death. Brent was a talented photographer and film-maker who had contributed to the New York Times over the years.

“Though he had contributed to the Times in the past (most recently in 2015), he was not on assignment for any desk at 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.”

Mr Nebytov, the police chief, said that Mr Renaud was with another journalist who was injured in the shooting and was taken to a hospital in Kyiv.

Mr Arredondo told Annalisa Camilli, an Italian journalist who was at the hospital when he arrived, that he and Mr Renaud were shot as they were approaching a Russian checkpoint just after a bridge in Irpin. The driver turned around but the firing continued, he said.

Speaking just before being taken for surgery after being shot in the lower back, he said his colleague was hit in the neck and remained on the ground while an ambulance brought him to hospital. Mr Renaud was “left behind”, he said.

Mr Arredondo added they were filming refugees fleeing the area when they were shot.

‘Brazen aggression’

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS News that the US government would be consulting the Ukrainians to determine how the journalists were shot and said he would “execute appropriate consequences”.

“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,” Mr Sullivan said.

Ukrainian soldiers take cover from incoming artillery fire in Irpin, the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Image:Ukrainian soldiers take cover from incoming artillery fire in Irpin on Sunday

Mr Renaud usually worked alongside his brother, Craig Renaud, but it is not known if they were both in Ukraine.

The brothers have worked in several war and conflict zones over the years, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and Libya.

In 2004 they were embedded with the US army in Iraq and were filming when a rocket attack struck an American military base in Baghdad, killing four soldiers and severely wounding two others.

Families being evacuated from Irpin crossing a destroyed bridge
Image:Families being evacuated from Irpin crossing a destroyed bridge

They have won several top awards for their work, including a Peabody for a series they made for VICE News on a Chicago school for disruptive students.

The pair have also been nominated for several Emmys.

Their website says they live and work in New York City and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Kyiv’s chief regional administrator, Oleksiy Kuleba, said Russian forces appeared to be trying to blockade and paralyse Kyiv with day and night shelling of the suburbs.

Residents of Irpin woke up on Sunday to shooting after heavy shelling overnight. Bodies lay in the open in the streets and a park on Saturday.

Mr Kuleba promised an all-out assault by the Russians would be met by stiff resistance.

“We’re getting ready to defend Kyiv, and we’re prepared to fight for ourselves,” he said.


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