Slain filmmaker’s employer speaks up after shooting in Ukraine
American war reporter and filmmaker Brent Renaud was working on a project for TIME Studios when he was shot dead in Irpin near the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Sunday, the magazine said in a statement. Ukrainian sources claim Renaud was killed by Russian forces, although these claims have not yet been confirmed.
“In recent weeks, Brent was in the region working on a TIME Studios project focused on the global refugee crisis,” read the statement from TIME CEO Edward Felsenthal and President Ian Orefice.
“Our hearts are with all of Brent’s loved ones. It is essential that journalists are able to safely cover this ongoing invasion and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” the statement concluded.
Renaud’s death was first announced earlier on Sunday by Kiev Region Police chief Andrey Nebytov, who shared images of a New York Times press pass belonging to Renaud and a dead body, allegedly the journalist’s. Nebytov accused Russian forces of killing the reporter.
The New York Times stated shortly afterwards that Renaud was not working for the newspaper in Ukraine, and that he had last worked for it in 2015.
Renaud’s companion, Colombian-American photographer Juan Arredondo, was wounded and told reporters at a Kiev hospital that the pair traveled past a checkpoint to film refugees leaving Irpin when they were fired upon. Arredondo did not say who opened fire or whether they were traveling in a civilian or military vehicle.
Located on the outskirts of Kiev, Irpin has been the scene of intense fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops in recent days. It is unknown which side controlled the territory on which Renaud was shot.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CBS News on Sunday that American authorities are currently consulting with the Ukrainian government to establish blame for Renaud’s death, and will “execute appropriate consequences” if Russian forces are found responsible.
Numerous international news outlets have blamed Russia for the shooting, citing Ukrainian sources. However, the Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Renaud’s killers to be brought to justice, but admitted that it was “unable to immediately confirm the source of the gunfire.”
Renaud was a well-known filmmaker and war correspondent, who had reported from conflict zones in the Middle East and Latin America, and covered humanitarian issues in the US. Usually working alongside his brother Craig, Renaud has received multiple awards including a Peabody Award, two DuPont-Columbia awards, and two Overseas Press Club awards.