Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has penned a touching letter to the family of US journalist Brent Renaud, who was slain while reporting on the war near Kyiv over the weekend.
“A talented and brave journalist, Brent lost his life while documenting human tragedy, devastation and suffering of the millions of Ukrainians,” Zelensky wrote in the letter, which he shared on social media Monday. “With all his courage and determination, he traveled to the most dangerous war zones to film the unprecedented ruthlessness and evil, also inflicted upon our nation by the aggressor state.
“The people of Ukraine, who are fighting against the Russian regime to defend their Homeland and democracy in the world, are mourning with you,” he told Renaud’s relatives.
Renaud, a 51-year-old video journalist and former New York Times contributor, was fatally shot in the neck when Russian troops opened fire on the car he was traveling in near the Romanivsky Bridge in the town of Irpin, police and a witness said.
Renaud, who has also reported for NBC, Vice News and HBO, was working on a Times Studios project about the massive refugee crisis in Ukraine when he was attacked, according to a tweet.
Two other journalists were injured in the attack and hospitalized, Kyiv Chief of Police Andrey Nebitov wrote on Facebook.
“Of course, the profession of a journalist is a risk, but US citizen Brent Renaud paid his life for trying to highlight the aggressor’s ingenuity, cruelty and ruthlessness,” Nebitov said.
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The police chief also shared an image of an officer on the scene beside a man’s bloodied body.
One of the other journalists injured was American photographer Juan Arredondo, who was in the car with Renaud when Russian troops opened fire.
Arredondo said they had just crossed a bridge to film refugees fleeing the violence. After the car crossed a checkpoint as they went to film people at another bridge, the Russians “started shooting at us,” he told The Guardian. He was split up from Renaud when he was put in an ambulance and taken to the hospital.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that Russia will face “appropriate consequences” for Renaud’s death.
“This is obviously shocking and horrifying, and I’ve just learned about it as I came on to air here, so I will be consulting with my colleagues, will be consulting with Ukrainians, to determine how this happened and then to measure and execute appropriate consequences as a result of it,” Sullivan said during an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Renaud previously won a Peabody Award for his work alongside his brother, Craig, who was among the kin Zelensky addressed his letter to. The siblings won the prestigious award for a Vice News documentary about a school in Chicago, according to their Web site. The brothers had worked on documentary projects for their company, the Renaud Brothers, from Iran, Afghanistan, Haiti, Egypt, Libya and Mosul.
The New York Times issued a statement about Renaud’s death Sunday. Renaud was not working for The Times when he was killed, despite initial reports.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death. Brent was a talented filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years,” a New York Times rep told The Post.