New York: A veteran videographer and a 24-year-old Ukrainian journalist working for Fox News were both killed when their vehicle came under fire outside of Kyiv, the network said on Tuesday.
Pierre Zakrzewski, 55, and Oleksandra “Sasha’’ Kuvshynova were travelling Monday in Horenka with Fox News reporter Benjamin Hall, who remains hospitalized.
“Today is a heartbreaking day for Fox News Media and for all journalists risking their lives to deliver the news,’’ the network’s CEO, Suzanne Scott. said in a staff memo.
On Sunday, documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud, another veteran of covering war zones, died when Russian forces opened fire on his vehicle in Irpin, also outside of Kyiv.
The death of three journalists in a short span underscores the dangers faced by people chronicling the war in Ukraine, even those with extensive experience reporting from conflict zones.
The dangers for journalists seem to be increasing by the day, as the fighting seems to get more brutal and concentrated in more urban areas, said Summer Lopez, director of the Free Expressions Program at PEN America.
Zakrzewski, an Irish citizen who was based in London, had covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria for Fox and won an internal “unsung hero’’ award for playing a key role last year in getting Fox’s freelancers and their families out of Afghanistan after the US withdrawal. He had been working in Ukraine since February.
“Such a fine man,’’ tweeted Fox national security reporter Jennifer Griffin.
Trey Yingst, another colleague who worked with Zakrzewski in Ukraine, called him “as good as they come.’’
Kuvshynova was a local “fixer,” as is known in war zones. She helped Fox crews navigate the Kyiv area, gathered information and spoke to sources. She had a passion for music, the arts and photography, Scott said in the staff memo.
“Several of our correspondents and producers spent long days with her reporting the news and got to know her personally, describing her as hard-working, funny, kind and brave,’’ Scott wrote. “Her dream was to connect people around the world and tell their stories and she fulfilled that through her journalism.’’
In Washington on Tuesday, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, thanked reporters who are on the ground in Ukraine.
“Risking their lives to tell the world the truth’’ is something that Ukraine and the world desperately need, she said at the National Press Club.