what we know about the death of American journalist Brent Renaud in Irpin

He is the second journalist to die during the war in Ukraine. Brent Renaud, a 50-year-old American documentary filmmaker, was shot dead on Sunday, March 13 in Irpin, northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Ukrainian authorities were quick to blame Russian troops. However, the source of the shots, which also injured another American journalist and a Ukrainian civilian, has not yet been established.

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The journalist was shot in the neck

Brent Renaud died on Sunday at noon in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kiev. He was driving with journalist Juan Arredondo and a Ukrainian civilian, also injured, Danylo Shapovalov, a doctor involved with Ukrainian troops treating the victims, told AFP.

Brent Renaud “was shot in the neck and killed instantly”, said Danylo Shapovalov. His injured colleague “was saved”according to evacuation images shared by Paul Ronzheimer, deputy editor-in-chief of the German newspaper ImageCertainly Twitter

Russian troops involved

Asked by an Italian journalist, who broadcast the interview on Twitter*, Juan Arredondo, photographer and teacher at the school of journalism at Columbia University (in New York), returned to the attack. “We passed the first point at Irpin. We went to film the departure of other refugees”he says, from the hospital in Kiev where he was being cared for. “We went through a checkpoint and they started firing at us. Our driver turned and they kept firing – there were two of us, with my friend Brent Renaud. He was shot.”

Irpin Deputy Police Chief Captain Oleksandr Bogai quoted by the New York Times* Accuses Russian troops of shooting at the vehicle. Like Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, who stated that Bren Renaud had “paid with his life for showing (…) the cruelty of the aggressor”

“Russian troops in Ukraine must immediately stop all violence against journalists and civilians, and whoever killed Renaud will be held accountable.”The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), based in New York also responded.

“We are consulting the Ukrainians to determine how this happened”, reports CBS* Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to US President Joe Biden. The origin of the shots has not yet been established and seems difficult to determine as the fighting is fierce in Irpin. An investigation is underway, Ukrainian Attorney General Irina Venediktova reported on Facebook.

After the assassination, Irpin’s mayor, Oleksandr Markushin, banned journalists from staying in the city, AFP said.

A journalist used to war zones

Brent Renaud, a 50-year-old freelance photographer and filmmaker, is the second journalist to die since the war in Ukraine began. A Ukrainian public television journalist was killed on March 1 in the Russian bombing of the TV tower in Kiev. The American documentary filmmaker, the first foreign journalist to be murdered in Ukraine, was “nearby to work on a project” from the video section of the magazine Time“focused on the global refugee crisis”, announced the direction of the biweekly. His brother, Craig Renaud, told the… New York Times that it was called the documentary series turning point

He had worked on many documentary film projects with his brother Craig. He was spotted in 2005 for his documentary Dope sick lovemade with his brother, and who was interested in a bunch of heroin addicts living in New York. The film was nominated for an Emmy Award. In 2014, the duo won a Peabody Award* for their documentary “Last chance high”, filmed at an establishment that welcomed students who had been expelled from other schools in Chicago.

Brothers Craig Renaud and Brent Renaud (right) won a Peabody Award in 2015.  (JEMAL COUNTESS / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA FOR AFP)

Brent Renaud has already worked in conflict zones such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, the specialized media Filmmaker* reported in 2013. He made several documentaries for the New York Times on the refugee crisis, especially on Haitians displaced from the United States* or children fleeing poverty and insecurity* in Central America.

Caring for journalists in the field

Many journalists and media reacted with emotion to the news of Brent Renaud’s death. Writing the magazine TimeEast “devastated by the loss” of the reporter. “It is essential that journalists can safely report on the ongoing invasion and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine”, specifies the text put online on Sunday *. the New York Times also declared himself “deeply saddened to learn of Brent Renaud’s passinga talented director who has worked for years” the newspaper. Among the documentary filmmaker’s identity papers was an old accreditation card from the New York newspaper.

The NGO Reporters Without Borders believes that:“There is a huge risk for journalists to work in the field” in Ukraine, Christophe Deloire, secretary general of the NGO, warned after the reporter’s death. On March 1, five people were killed in the attack on the TV tower in Kiev, including a Ukrainian journalist, the International Federation of Journalists* recalled. A few days later, journalists from the British Sky News were targeted by gunfire.

* Links followed by an asterisk refer to content in English.