Journalist Brent Renaud killed in Ukraine as Russia targets foreign fighters

An American journalist has reportedly been killed by Russian troops in Ukraine whilst covering the war.

Filmmaker Brent Renaud, who previously worked for the New York Times, was shot dead and two other journalists were injured in Irpin on Sunday, according to police in Kyiv.

It is the first reported death of a foreign journalist covering the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Andrey Nebitov, the head of the Kyiv region police, said the 50-year-old journalist was targeted by Russian forces and “paid his life” for reporting on the invasion.

“A world-renowned media correspondent was shot in Irpin today,” Nebitov said.

Brent Renaud photographed at a New York awards ceremony in 2015.
Brent Renaud photographed at a New York awards ceremony in 2015. Credit: Getty Images

“Another journalist is injured. Now they are trying to remove the victim from the war zone.

“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.”

One of the injured journalists, Juan Arredondo, told a reporter he was with Mr Renaud when they came under fire.

“We were across one of the first bridges in Irpin, going to film other refugees leaving, and we got into a car”, he said in a video posted to Twitter.

“Somebody offered to take us to the other bridge and we crossed a checkpoint, and they start shooting at us. So the driver turned around, and they kept shooting; there’s two of us.

“My friend is Brent Renaud, and he’s been shot and left behind… I saw him being shot in the neck.”

New York Times deputy managing editor, Cliff Levy, said in a statement Mr Renaud was not working for the publication at the time of his death.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death. Brent was a talented photographer and filmmaker who had contributed to the New York Times over the years,” Mr Levy said in a statement shared on Twitter.

“Though he had contributed to The Times in the past (mostly recently in 2015), he was not on assignment for any desk at The Times in Ukraine.

It comes as the battle around the capital rages on as Russian forces close in, with Vladimir Putin’s troops believed to be less that 30km from the city.

Foreign fighters killed

Meanwhile, airstrikes have killed more than 100 people at a military base near the border of NATO member Poland.

The base is where foreign instructors were helping Ukrainians prepare for battle.

Russian forces fired more than 30 cruise missiles at the Yavoriv military base near Lviv, killing “up to 180 foreign mercenaries” and destroying a large amount of weapons supplied by outside nations, according to Russian Defence ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov.

Mr Konashenkov said the base was being used to train foreign mercenaries and store weapons.

“As a result of the strike, up to 180 foreign mercenaries and a large amount of foreign weapons were destroyed,” he said.’

The attack came one day after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow considered convoys of Western arms shipments to Ukraine to be legitimate targets.

Destroyed buildings in Vasilkyv, 30 km south of Kyiv.
Destroyed buildings in Vasilkyv, 30 km south of Kyiv. Credit: Getty Images
Civilians are seen as evacuations continue in Bucha city near the capital Kyiv.
Civilians are seen as evacuations continue in Bucha city near the capital Kyiv. Credit: Getty Images

Earlier on Sunday, Russian and Ukrainian officials gave their most upbeat assessments yet of progress in their talks on the war in Ukraine, suggesting there could be positive results within days.

“We will not concede in principle on any positions. Russia now understands this. Russia is already beginning to talk constructively,” Ukrainian negotiator and presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in a video posted online.

“I think that we will achieve some results literally in a matter of days,” he said.

RIA news agency quoted a Russian delegate, Leonid Slutsky, as saying the talks had made substantial progress.

“According to my personal expectations, this progress may grow in the coming days into a joint position of both delegations, into documents for signing,” Slutsky said.

Neither side indicated what the scope of any agreement might be.

– With AAP

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