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On Sunday, news broke from Kyiv, Ukraine that American journalist, Brent Renaud had been killed in gunfire by Russian troops while reporting in a suburb of Kyiv.
Renaud was an award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist who was on assignment with Times Studios to document the refugee crisis occurring in Ukraine. Renaud was filming alongside photojournalist Juan Arredondo.
The two were passing through a checkpoint in Irpin on their way to film refugees fleeing the city when they were caught in gunfire according to Arredondo who appeared in a video on social media. The two were split up and Arredondo was taken to a hospital to treat his injuries.
Renaud was 50 years old.
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American journalist, Brent Renaud, speaking onstage at the 74th annual Peabody Awards in 2015
Often working alongside his brother Craig, Renaud had traveled around the world to document humanitarian issues no matter the circumstances. The two had covered the Haiti earthquake, children fleeing from Central America, cartel violence in Mexico, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, political turmoil in Libya, and more.
The Renaud brothers had an impressive list of accolades including two duPont-Columbia University awards for their reporting on Haiti and Mexico, and a Peabody award for depicting at-risk youths in Chicago.
Additionally, Renaud was a Neiman Foundation fellow at Harvard University from 2018 to 2019.
In the past, Renaud had contributed to news outlets such as The New York Times, HBO, NBC, and The Discovery Channel.
Friends, journalists, and political officials sent an outpouring of love to Renaud and his family following the news of his death including Ukrainian President Zelensky.
"We are thankful to Brent for his professionalism and commitment to the values of compassion, ethics and justice. May Brent's life, service and sacrifice inspire generations of people all around the world to stand up in fight for the forces of light against forces of darkness," a memo from President Zelensky said.
My friend Brent Renaud died today, killed while working as a photojournalist in Ukraine. \n\nBrent\u2019s work excelled. But his friendship was better: He was humble, kind, gentle. He, almost frustratingly, always wanted to hear about others rather than talk about himself. 1/2pic.twitter.com/hDxsH09lZX
Brent Renaud is a documentarian whose intimate films range from Arkansas to Afghanistan. Today \u2066@niemanfdn\u2069 he shared a moving account of his life & what he seeks in his work\u2014\u201cthoughtful stories about disenfranchised people.\u201d Here\u2019s some of that work https://www.renaudbrothers.com/film\u00a0pic.twitter.com/qUaYJo43VU
— Ann Marie Lipinski (@Ann Marie Lipinski)
Renaud is the first foreign journalist to die while covering the war in Ukraine. He is survived by his parents Louis Renaud and Georgann Freasier, brother Craig Renaud, and sister Michele Purifoy.
The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered.
To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here.