Brent Renaud

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Documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud was shot and killed on March 13, 2022, in the Ukrainian city of Irpin, outside of Kyiv, according to a Ukrainian police official and news reports.

In a statement, U.S.-based newsmagazine Time said that Renaud, a U.S. national, had been working on a project covering refugees in the region for Time Studios, the company’s film and television production wing.

Kyiv Regional Police Chief Andriy Nebytov published a post on Facebook saying that Russian forces opened fire on Renaud and another U.S. journalist, killing Renaud and injuring the other. However, reports by the New York Times and AFP stated that the circumstances surrounding the shooting were not clear.

The journalists’ driver, Mykola Davydiuk, told CPJ in a phone interview that he brought Renaud and Colombian-American photographer Juan Arredondo to a checkpoint manned by Ukrainian forces near Irpin. He said the reporters got out of the car and walked through the checkpoint, and Davydiuk planned to wait for their return.

Shortly thereafter, Renaud texted Davydiuk saying that the situation was “unsafe.” Davydiuk told CPJ that he continued waiting for the journalists, and then received messages from Ukrainian officials that Arredondo had been taken to a hospital and Renaud had been killed.

In an interview posted to Twitter by Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli, Arredondo said that Renaud was shot in the neck after they passed through a checkpoint in Irpin. In that video, Arredondo can be seen receiving medical treatment for unspecified injuries.

In a statement, the New York Times said that Renaud, 50, was wearing a press badge from the newspaper at the time of the attack, but was not on assignment for the Times and had not contributed to the paper since 2015. In a separate report, the Times said he had previously worked for other U.S. media organizations, including HBO and NBC.

Renaud’s personal website states that he and his brother worked together as documentary filmmakers and television producers and had received a Peabody Award for their work. The website says they previously worked from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Latin America.

CPJ emailed the Russian Ministry of Defense and messaged Nebytov on Facebook for comment, but did not receive any replies.