Brent Renaud, a 50-year-old freelance filmmaker, came under fire by Russian soldiers on the outskirts of Kyiv today. Andriy Nebytov, the head of Kyiv’s regional police force, has confirmed that Renaud has died from his injuries.
Nebytov posted images on Facebook of the scene (no longer available) as well as images of Renaud’s US passport and media credentials issued by The New York Times back in 2015. Renaud wore a label identifying himself as a “US peacekeeper”.
Renaud and the others were on their way to film people leaving Kyiv when they crossed a checkpoint and came under fire, CBS News reported.
Renaud was on a freelance mission it has been reported by several news sources. However, at the time of writing, it has not been made public who the award-winning filmmaker may have been working for or if he was producing something of his own volition.
A spokeswoman for the Times said Renaud was “a talented filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years,” most recently in 2015, but he “was not on assignment for any desk at The Times in Ukraine.”
Fellow freelance filmmakers and journalists travelling in the same car as Renaud managed to survive the shooting and were transported by ambulance to a hospital.
Fellow US documentary filmmaker Juan Arredondo, said in a video that Renaud was shot in the neck and that they had to leave Renaud’s body behind. A video posted by a spokeswoman for a public hospital in Kyiv filmed and spoke to Arredondo, who was lying on a hospital gurney receiving medical attention to his wounds.
“Somebody offered to take us to the other bridge, and we crossed a checkpoint, and they started shooting at us. So the driver turned around, and they kept shooting, two of us.
My friend is Brent Renaud, and he’s been shot and left behind. I saw him being shot in the neck, and we got split, and I got pulled.US documentary filmmaker Juan Arredondo
Brent has worked with his brother Craig on documentaries, such Last Chance High, which won a Peabody Award in 2014.
His dedication to unearthing and sharing the truth of the world’s most devastating acts of violence and injustices in war and in American life was a testament to his craft and character.
You can view some of his work here.