Updated March 15, (17:00) Journalists are increasingly the target of the Russian army that once again shows its total disregard for civilians. A Fox News crew came under fire yesterday while reporting in Horenka, outside of Kyiv, Impakter learned last night, as was subsequently confirmed by Fox News in an article. Two journalists, members of the crew, were fatally hit: Producer Oleksandra Kuvshynova and veteran cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski (age 55) were killed. Reporter Benjamin Hall was injured with shrapnel wounds in his legs and has been hospitalized and put in intensive care.
In yesterday’s attack near Kyiv, we have lost a beautiful brave woman – Oleksandra Kuvshinova – Sasha. She loved music and she was funny and kind. she was 24 years old. She worked with our team for the past month and did a brilliant job.
May her memory be a blessing pic.twitter.com/QGzqV3Fy5D
— Yonat Friling (Frühling) (@Foxyonat) March 15, 2022
Benjamin Hall’s situation is stable and he’s responding well to the surgery and recovering. He is awake and speaking, but going through more medical care, as confirmed by sources from the Territorial Defence Forces headquartered in Kyiv.
“The safety of our entire team of journalists in Ukraine and the surrounding regions is our top priority and of the utmost importance,” said the released statement of Fox News.
Here is the full memo that Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott just put out to employees. pic.twitter.com/J5k1oguFQn
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 14, 2022
Hall, who currently covers the State Department for Fox News, started his career as a war correspondent, reporting from the Middle East and Africa. He has worked for several global publications since then, including The New York Times, Sunday Times, Agence France-Presse, and BBC.
The day before Hall was injured, on Sunday, March 13, US journalist Brent Renaud was shot dead in Irpin by the Russian army. Russian troops opened fire on the car of Renaud and another journalist in Irpin, about 10km (6 miles) northwest of the capital, the Kyiv police force said on Sunday.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine sent condolences to the family of Brent Renaud, the U.S. journalist who was killed outside Kyiv, thanking the filmmaker for his commitment to documenting the war.https://t.co/NNtvrEU8PE pic.twitter.com/j3YAAW4V80
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 15, 2022
That same day, Irpin Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn announced that all journalists will be forbidden from entering Irpin, a measure the mayor said was put in place to protect journalists and Ukrainian soldiers alike.
American journalist Juan Arredondo has also been hospitalized after being wounded by Russian forces in Ukraine. In the social media footage of him at Okhmatdyt hospital in Kyiv, Juan describes being shot at by Russian forces while driving through a checkpoint in Irpin, Ukraine, while on the way to film refugees leaving the city.
On Monday, March 14, the Sky News team faced several shootings from the Russian army. Chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay and his team were attacked near Kyiv. Camera operator Richie Mockler took two rounds to his body armour, Stuart was wounded.
The first reported case of an attack on a foreign journalist was on March 7, when Russian occupying forces shelled the car of Swiss journalist Guillaume Briquet and robbed him in the Mykolaiv region. They stole his passport, 3,000 euros in cash, personal staff, a helmet, video footage and his laptop.
#Swiss #journalist Guillaume #Briquet wounded and hospitalized in #Mykolaiv region, South-East Ukraine 🇺🇦.#Russian #military fired at his car marked PRESS, confiscated his passport, 3,000 euros in cash, a laptop and additional material. pic.twitter.com/jIT9CmBBDi
— Hans-Jörg Bertschi (@hjbertschi) March 7, 2022
Press freedom groups have denounced the violence journalists are facing while covering the war. The Committee to Protect Journalists, after the death of Renaud, called on Russian forces to “stop all violence against journalists and other civilians at once.”
As Fox News chief executive Suzanne Scott pointed out, “This is a stark reminder for all journalists who are putting their lives on the line every day to deliver the news from a war zone.”
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: Journalist documenting events at the Independence square. Clashes in Ukraine, Kyiv. Events of February 18, 2014. Featured Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.