Sunday March 13 marked the first death of a foreign correspondent in Ukraine. Russia’s invasion took the life of 51-year-old journalist and filmmaker Brent Renaud.
The news was first reported by Andriy Nebitov, head of the Kyiv oblast (region) police forces. In a Facebook post, Nebitov noted Renaud died after being shot in Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv that has seen intense fighting in recent days.
“The profession of being a journalist involves risk. US citizen Brent Renaud paid with his life for trying to cover the insidiousness, cruelty and ruthlessness of the aggressor,” Nebitov wrote.
Renaud was accompanied by two other journalists, Juan Arredondo and Mykola Davydiuk, who were taken to the hospital but seem to be in stable condition. Speaking to CBS News, Arredondo said the three journalists had gone to Irpin to film refugees fleeing and were shot at after crossing a checkpoint.
This was sadly not the first case of violence against journalists. Yevhen Sakun, a cameraman with Kyiv Live TV, was killed during the bombing of Kyiv’s television and radio tower on March 1. A Sky News TV crew was shot at despite loudly and visibly proclaiming to be journalists on March 5.
They were filming near Bucha, another satellite town near Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv. Both towns are on a key route that Russian forces have attempted to use to enter Kyiv, with fierce fighting and resistance from Ukrainian forces.
Following the Renaud shooting, the mayor of Irpin Oleksandr Markushyn said journalists were now forbidden to enter the town. The measure was put in place to protect journalists and Ukrainian soldiers alike, the Kyiv Independent reported.
Today a Ukrainian journalist based in Kherson, a city in Southern Ukraine that has been occupied by Russian forces, disappeared after leaving to meet an acquaintance. He works for the local media outlet Novy Den.
According to observers, the current conflict is especially dangerous as civilians are being indiscriminately targeted by invading forces – both in the wide-scale bombings of residential areas and being directly targetted whilst driving. Press attire and documentation seem to offer little protection.
photo from magellantv