Two journalists, a French-Irish Fox News cameraman and a Ukrainian who accompanied him, have been killed near Kiev in an attack that also left one injured, the US television channel announced on Tuesday, March 15, citing a “heartbreaking day” for journalists covering the war in Ukraine.
Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova died Monday in Horenka, northwest of the capital, “when their vehicle was the target of fire”Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News Media, said in a statement, adding that they were with reporter Benjamin Hall, who was injured.
Fox News, which initially didn’t announce the cameraman’s death until Tuesday, explained that it had postponed the announcement of the young woman’s. “out of respect for his family”†
The day before, Suzanne Scott had indicated that Benjamin Hall, a Briton who usually covers the Foreign Office, had been injured in the attack and hospitalized, with no other casualties.
An experienced professional
Pierre Zakrzewski, 55 years old, had dual French-Irish nationality. Based in London, he had followed most of the world’s violent conflicts for over three decades and had been in Ukraine since February.
“He was a warm adventurer who made for great encounters, he was very humble and human and had lost none of his sensitivity over the years”a member of his family told AFP.
“He wasn’t just filming, he was serving others. Just last week in Kiev he had helped shelter a newborn baby found after a bombing.”added this family member, emphasizing that he “able to work at 6,000 meters above sea level, like in the heat of Africa”and that he had been “The witness of all conflicts in Afghanistan, from the mujahideen uprising against the Russian army to the return of the Taliban. †
Pierre Zakrzewski was rewarded by Fox News in December, notably for the fact that he “played a key role in the evacuation of our Afghan freelancers and their families after the US withdrawal” of the country,” said Suzanne Scott. Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said: “Deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Irish citizen and journalist Pierre Zakrzewski”, in a message on Twitter. He also condemned “this blind and immoral war of Russia against Ukraine”†
Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, 24 years old, was our advisor †† She helped our teams travel around the city, gathering information and talking to resources.”explains Suzanne Scott.
At least five journalists killed since the start of the conflict
UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay “the murder” of the two Fox News journalists, pointing out that the media “should never be the target”†
The International Press Institute, a press freedom organization based in Vienna, has asked: “Military forces are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of journalists”† These are “regarded as citizens under international humanitarian law”marked the IPI in a press release.
“This is a heartbreaking day for Fox News Media and for all journalists who risk their lives to cover”, lamented Suzanne Scott, specifying that Benjamin Hall remained in the hospital in Ukraine. He was injured in his legs by shrapnel and was placed in intensive care, according to Ukrainian Attorney General Irina Venediktova.
At least five journalists, including two foreigners, have been killed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24. American Brent Renaud was shot dead on Sunday in the northwestern suburbs of Kiev. Before Oleksandra Kuvshynova, Ukrainian journalist Evgueni Sakoun was killed in the bombing of the TV tower in Kiev and his colleague Viktor Doudar was killed in fighting near Mykolaiv (south), according to Ukrainian authorities who also injured more than 30 among members of the press over the conflict.
According to the latest UN count, at least 636 civilians have been killed in Ukraine, proving that this toll is likely much lower than the reality.