Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski aged 55, and Ukrainian Journalist Oleksandra Kuvshinova aged 24, were killed in Horenka, Ukraine, as their vehicle was struck by incoming fire. Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall who was also in the vehicle, was left severely injured. It was unclear who fired at them; however, Ukrainian officials blamed Russian artillery fire for their deaths.
Zakrzewski, a veteran Fox News war zone photographer and cameraman, had covered the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria for Fox News. He had been working in Ukraine since February in light of the military tensions growing in the country at that time. He was said to be a constant, all-around photojournalist who participated in almost all of Fox’s international coverage.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we share the news this morning regarding our beloved cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski,” Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott announced. She described the London-based journalist to be extremely talented and passionate and that his skills were unmatched.
“His talents were vast, and there wasn’t a role that he didn’t jump in to help with in the field — from photographer to engineer to editor to producer — and he did it all under immense pressure with tremendous skill,” Scott said, describing the “Unsung Hero” awardee at Fox News’ annual employee Spotlight Awards.
“He was wildly popular — everyone in the media industry who has covered a foreign story knew and respected Pierre,” the CEO stated.
“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. And please continue to pray for Benjamin Hall,” the memo said.
Pierre’s colleagues had honored his life by posting and tweeting several photos and sentiments regarding their time with the veteran photojournalist. Fox News anchor and reporter John Roberts tweeted that Pierre was “an absolute treasure” and that he was “just the best” and included a photograph of them together in France.
On assignment with Pierre in Biarritz France, along with Jamie Nelson, Matt Leach and Bryan Cole. He was just the best. pic.twitter.com/zEEcLSHwlI
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) March 15, 2022
CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward also described and remembered Pierre through a tweet. “There are no words. I had the great privilege of working with Pierre and the even greater privilege of calling him a friend. An extraordinary spirit and tremendous talent and one of the kindest, most gracious colleagues on the road. Absolutely heartbreaking,” she said.
On the other hand, Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshinova’s death, who was also working with Fox News at that time, was announced by Adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko, who blamed Russian shelling for her death. She was remembered and commemorated by Fox Senior Field Producer Yonat Friling as a brave woman who was a lover of music, and that she was a funny and kind person.
“She worked with our team for the past month and did a brilliant job. May her memory be a blessing,” she added.
In yesterday's attack near Kyiv, we have lost a beautiful brave woman – Oleksandra Kuvshinova – Sasha. She loved music and she was funny and kind. she was 24 years old. She worked with our team for the past month and did a brilliant job.
May her memory be a blessing pic.twitter.com/QGzqV3Fy5D
— Yonat Friling (Frühling) (@Foxyonat) March 15, 2022
In response to the deaths, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said they were already in contact with Fox News and would offer any support the U.S. government could offer.
“We have been in close touch with Fox News, we have been in touch with the highest executives at Fox News, we have been in touch with the bureau here in D.C. to offer any and all support we can,” he said.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense stated that “The truth is the target” in light of recent developments wherein other journalists were also killed in the line of fire. It can be remembered that award-winning American filmmaker Brent Renaud was killed last Sunday in a violent ambush by the Russians. Journalist Juan Arredondo was also injured in the attack.
PBS NewsHour correspondent Jane Ferguson reported that Renaud’s body was left roadside near Irpin, Ukraine, where he was placed under a blanket. An outraged Ukrainian police offer told her to “Tell America, tell the world, what they did to a journalist.”
#BrentRenaud was killed while filming civilians escaping a Russian military onslaught on their small town near #Kiev. The #Russian military has not spared civilians or journalists throughout this war, something Renaud himself came here to make the world all the more aware of. pic.twitter.com/AjZp4vun3e
— Jane Ferguson (@JaneFerguson5) March 13, 2022
Ferguson also memorialized Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova through a series of tweets describing the killings as “appalling” as five journalists had died in just 20 days of fighting. According to her, the death toll includes three Ukrainian journalists, one American and one Irish.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has yet to comment on the recent death; however, he had previously sent his condolences to the family of Brent Renaud and subsequently thanked him for his bravery, determination, and courage.
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