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Fox News Cameraman, Ukrainian Journalist Killed in Ukraine

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This image released by Fox News Channel shows cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski while on assignment with colleagues, Fox News correspondent Steve Harrigan and Jerusalem-based senior producer Yonat Friling, background right, in Kyiv.

Journalists Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed Monday covering the war in Ukraine, in an attack that seriously injured Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall.

U.S. broadcaster Fox News on Tuesday announced that cameraman Zakrzewski had died in Ukraine. Kuvshynova, a 24-year-old Ukrainian journalist, also was killed in the same attack.

Zakrzewski, 55, was killed when the vehicle the news crew were in was struck by incoming fire in Horenka, near Kyiv, according to a memo shared with the broadcaster's staff.

Kuvshynova, a Ukrainian journalist who was with them at the time, also was killed, said Anton Gerashchenko, the adviser to Ukraine's minister of Internal Affairs.

Benjamin Hall, a Fox News reporter, was injured in Ukraine on March 14, 2022.
Benjamin Hall, a Fox News reporter, was injured in Ukraine on March 14, 2022.

Hall, the State Department correspondent for Fox, is still hospitalized and receiving treatment for injuries.

Both Hall and Zakrzewski were experienced journalists who had covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

In her memo to staff, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said that London-based Zakrzewski's "talent was unmatched."

Zakrzewski "was profoundly committed to telling the story and his bravery, professionalism and work ethic were renowned," the memo read. "Everyone in the media industry who has covered a foreign story knew and respected Pierre."

Journalists paid tribute to Zakrzewski and Kuvshynova, remembering their work.

Friends of Zakrzewski recalled on social media his efforts to help get Afghan journalists safely out of Afghanistan when the Taliban seized power last year.

Margo Gontar, a Ukrainian journalist working for the 7,62 Project which tracks Russian military movements, recalled Kuvshynova's calm approach to work.

The pair worked together on a music project, said Gontar, who used to work for VOA's Russian service. "She is a nice person, great to work with, very calm, focused."

Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova is seen in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy of O. Kuvshynova)
Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova is seen in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy of O. Kuvshynova)

Sharing an image that Kuvshynova had sent of herself in a helmet and vest marked "Press," Gontar said that Kuvshynova was working as a fixer for journalists in Kyiv, "close to shelling."

On Tuesday, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay condemned the killings.

"Journalists have a critical role in providing information during a conflict and should never be targeted," Azoulay said in a statement. "I call for the respect of international humanitarian standards, to ensure that journalists and media workers are protected."

Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer announced the death on the network Tuesday, describing his colleague as "an absolute legend."

In a briefing Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki also paid tribute to Zakrzewski.

"He was a war zone photographer who covered nearly every international story for Fox News, from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria, during his long tenure working there," Psaki said. "Our thoughts, our prayers are with his family with the entire community as well."

Risks are increasing for media covering Russia's war in Ukraine. Award-winning American filmmaker Brent Renaud was killed and his colleague Juan Arredondo injured on Sunday, and Yevhenii Sakun, a Ukrainian camera operator for LIVE TV, was killed during a Russian strike on a TV tower in Kyiv on March 1.

Several news crews have also reported being fired on despite being identified as press.

The Vienna-based International Press Institute has called for attacks and violence directed at media covering the war to cease, saying, “No more journalists in Ukraine should be killed while simply doing their job.”

"Too many innocent lives have already been lost," IPI deputy director Scott Griffen said in a statement Tuesday. "We renew our call on military forces to do everything in their power to ensure the safety of journalists, whose work is essential to documenting this war and who are considered civilians under international humanitarian law."

State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Tuesday said there "would be a very serious response" if the U.S. determines civilians or journalists are being deliberately targeted.

"That is something that we would take very seriously," Price said in a briefing.

He added that review mechanisms exist, saying, "We are supporting independent investigations, we're doing our own analysis into what has taken place."

VOA's State Department Bureau Chief Nike Ching and Natasha Mozgovaya contributed to this report.

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