Two Fox News Journalists Killed In Ukraine
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent
KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Journalists were further plunged into mourning Wednesday amid confirmation that a veteran cameraman and a 24-year-old Ukrainian journalist working for Fox News were killed while reporting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Pierre Zakrzewski, 55, and Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova traveled Monday in Horenka near Kyiv when their vehicle came under fire. Fox News reporter Benjamin Hall, who was with them, 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.
At least three journalists working for Western media are now known to have died in the conflict. On Sunday, Brent Renaud, an award-winning American filmmaker and journalist, was also killed while reporting in a suburb of the capital.
The 50-year old Renaud had worked for several American news and media, including networks HBO and NBC and The New York Times newspaper. Ukrainian authorities said he was killed in Irpin, a suburb that has been the site of intense shelling by Russian forces in recent days.
Kuvshynova, the latest confirmed victim, was a local “fixer” 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 on the ground in Ukraine.
RISKING THEIR LIVES
“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.
Jane Ferguson, a PBS “NewsHour” correspondent in Ukraine who has also reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Syria, said on social networking site Twitter that the war “is incredibly tough to cover as a field reporter, unlike any I have seen or experienced before.”
With intense artillery fire that can reach for miles and a vague fluidity of army positions, there is really no front line, Ferguson wrote.
Ferguson said she and her crew were recently pulled out of their car at gunpoint by Ukrainian soldiers who mistakenly thought they were being filmed from the car. The journalists were waved on after their credentials were checked, “but for a few minutes, it was pretty nasty.”
There are few journalists officially embedded with troops — as they were in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example — so many reporters are driving around independently and without good intelligence, which is particularly dangerous, Ferguson added.
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we share the news this morning regarding our beloved cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski,” said Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott.
WAR ZONE PHOTOGRAPHER
“Pierre was a war zone photographer who covered nearly every international story for Fox News from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria during his long tenure with us,” she added.
“His passion and talent as a journalist were unmatched. Based in London, Pierre had been working in Ukraine since February,” Scott stressed.
Last year, he played a crucial role in getting Afghan freelance associates and their families out of the country after the U.S. withdrawal, Scott said.
In December at Fox News’ annual employee Spotlight Awards, Pierre Zakrzewski was given the “Unsung Hero” award “in recognition of his invaluable work,” she added.
“We extend our deepest condolences to Pierre’s wife Michelle and family,” Scott wrote to Fox News Media staff. “Please keep them all in your prayers.”
She also urged prayers for injured correspondent Hall, a father of three young daughters.
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