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An American journalist and documentary filmmaker was reportedly killed by Russian forces Sunday while filming Ukrainian refugees crossing a Ukrainian-held checkpoint, prompting some angry Americans to demand President Joe Biden take action.
Brent Renaud, 51, described as both a former contributor to The New York Times and an award-winning filmmaker, died when “Russian forces opened fire on a car with foreign journalists inside,” according to The Independent.
At least one other unnamed journalist sustained injuries requiring hospital care but survived.
The injured survivor told reporters that they’d been “filming refugees leaving [the Ukrainian city of] Iprin,” as reported below by several journalists:
Injured journalist was admitted to Ohmatdet Hospital in #Kyiv and is receiving medical treatment. ‘We were filming Refugees leaving Irpin, we crossed a checkpoint and they started shooting at us’’ #UkraineWar #UkraineRussiaWar pic.twitter.com/eJgYRszbSU
— Aashish (@Ashi_IndiaToday) March 13, 2022
His colleague is conscious and is receiving treatment – he was taken to hospital by a Ukrainian ambulance. He confirms they were filming refugees making the trip across what’s left of makeshift bridges northwest of the city. They had just passed a military checkpoint.
— Nick Stylianou (@nmsonline) March 13, 2022
In a statement, The New York Times expressed sadness over Renaud’s death but rebutted rumors that Renaud had been a current contributor who’d been on assignment at the time of his death.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud’s death. Brent was a talented filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years,” a spokesperson said in a statement to The Independent.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
‼️ ТЕРМІНОВО‼️В Ірпені російські окупанти щойно розстріляли міжнародних журналістів New York Times! Один вбитий, один поранений. Зараз правоохоронці намагаються вивезти потерпілого з зони бойових дій. pic.twitter.com/JFQBnTaA69
— Поліція Київщини (@police_kyiv_obl) March 13, 2022
“Though he had contributed to The Times in the past, he was not on assignment for any desk at The Times in Ukraine. Early reports that he worked for Times circulated because he was wearing a Times press badge that had been issued for an assignment many years ago.”
The @nytimes filmmaker Brent Renaud was killed by Russian occupants in Irpin. His partner was wounded, – the Head of the Main Directorate of the National Police in Kyiv Region Andrew Nebytov.https://t.co/pZmXImNV2V pic.twitter.com/3aKWM7zPIX
— Nastia Ivantsiv (@n_ivantsiv) March 13, 2022
What remains unclear is how the U.S. government will respond to this stunning provocation.
Recall that during a Feb. 15th press conference, President Joe Biden said, “We are not seeking direct confrontation with Russia, though I have been clear that if Russia targets Americans in Ukraine, we will respond forcefully.”
President Biden: “We are not seeking direct confrontation with Russia. Though I’ve been clear that if Russia targets Americans in Ukraine, we will respond forcefully.” pic.twitter.com/Y0AJudButu
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 15, 2022
And indeed, calls are already emerging for the president to “finally” “act” and hold Russia responsible for its recent wave of violence.
RIP Brent Renaud
Glory to Heros!
Mister President @POTUS – You need to act! 🇺🇸
— Free City of Warsaw (@free_warsaw) March 13, 2022
@POTUS do something!!!!! Jesus Christ
— George Denliker (@GRD18_) March 13, 2022
@POTUS Do something about Putin or step down! Your an embarrassment of a president.
— Matthew Campbell (@Matthew10282653) March 13, 2022
An American journalist was killed in Ukraine by Russian forces.
Let’s see if we really have a @POTUS or if he’s a puppet.
— Tony Jaremko (@TonyJaremko) March 13, 2022
🇺🇸😢 Brent Renoud, a journalist (The New York Times), is dead! He was shot by Russian soldiers in the Ukrainian city of Irpin!
Americans, destroy Russia, finally!
Russians are already killing your people, no answer? 😢🇺🇸#Ukraine #UkraineWar #Russia #BrentRenoud
— BranislavMelis (@BranislavMelis_) March 13, 2022
Are you going to do something now that an American has been murdered? https://t.co/9JjUnYULIv
— Kiddy7858 (@kiddy7858) March 13, 2022
Today, #Putin‘s military intentionally shot dead a NY Times journalist, Brent Renaud, who was in #Ukraine covering the refugee withdrawal. He was an absolutely wonderful soul who loved both Dems & Trumpers. It’s time for #Biden to BUCK UP, & PULVERIZE Russian cities. #MAGA that. https://t.co/wxK8lwitru
— 𝘾𝙤𝙤𝙡 𝘽𝙡𝙪𝙚 Persuasion 🆒💙⚠️🗽🇺🇸⚠️ (@SonOfAlgos) March 13, 2022
Yet the Biden administration appears to have been caught off guard.
Questioned about Renaud’s death on CNN’s “State of the Union,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan expressed genuine surprise.
“I’ve just had the opportunity to hear about it as I was coming on air, so I will have to consult with my colleagues, and with our allies and partners, and with the Ukrainians on the ground to learn more about what happened. But if in fact an American journalist was killed, it is a shocking and horrifying event,” he said.
“It is one more example of the brutality of [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and his forces as they targeted schools and mosques and hospitals and journalists, and it is why we are working so hard to impose severe consequences on him and to try to help the Ukrainians with every form of military assistance we can muster to be able to push back against the onslaught of these Russian forces.”
But as noted by a growing chorus of angry critics, the administration’s so-called “severe consequences” don’t appear to be working …
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