A Fox News cameraman and a local producer working for the network were killed Monday in the same attack that left the network’s correspondent Benjamin Hall injured as they reported near Ukraine‘s capital Kyiv, Fox News said confirmed Tuesday. The network said cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and fixer Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova were killed when their vehicle “was struck by incoming fire” while in the field with Hall.
Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott said Zakrzewski, who was based in London, had “covered nearly every international story for Fox News from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria during his long tenure with us,” adding that “his passion and talent as a journalist were unmatched . “
“He was profoundly committed to telling the story and his bravery, professionalism and work ethic were renowned among journalists at every media outlet,” Scott said.
“Pierre Zakrzewski was an absolute legend at this network and his loss is devastating,” Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer said on the air Tuesday. He quoted Fox president Jay Wallace as saying that other staff “always felt an extra sense of reassurance when they arrived on the scene, and they saw that Pierre was there.”
“He was a professional, he was a journalist, and he was a friend,” Hemmer said. “We here at the Fox News Channel want to offer our deepest condolences to Pierre’s wife, Michelle, and his entire family. Pierre Zakrzewski was only 55 years old, and we miss him already.”
Just last year, the network honored Zakrzewski with a Fox News Media Spotlight Awardwhich are meant to recognize “extraordinary employees who go above and beyond, inside and outside the workplace.”
Scott said the 24-year-old Kuvshynova was “incredibly talented” and had spent weeks helping the network’s crews navigate Kyiv, gathering information and communicating with sources, “operating around the clock to make sure the world knew what was happening in her country. ”
“Our team in Ukraine tells me that Sasha had a passion for music, the arts and photography and was a joy to work with,” Scott said. “Several of our correspondents and producers spent long days with her reporting the news and got to know her personally, describing her as hard-working, funny, kind and brave. Her dream was to connect people around the world and tell their stories and she fulfilled that through her journalism. ”
Fox News senior producer Yonat Friling tweeted a tribute to Kuvshynova, calling her a “beautiful brave woman.”
“She loved music and she was funny and kind,” Friling wrote. “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.”
Fox offered no update on the condition of Hall, their correspondent wounded in the same attack, but said he remained hospitalized on Tuesday.
Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs, said Kuvshynova and Zakrzewski were killed by “artillery fire from Russian-fascist forces,” but the network has not attributed their death to a specific nation.
Gulnoza Said, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, said in a statement that she was “deeply saddened” by reports of Zakrzewski and Kuvshynova’s deaths.
“Reporting on this war is a vital public service, and it has already claimed the lives of at least two other journalists in just a few weeks,” she said. “Ukrainian and Russian authorities must do their utmost to ensure safety of all journalists, and to thoroughly investigate attacks on the press.”
On Monday, the network confirmed that Hall “was injured while newsgathering outside of Kyiv in Ukraine.”
Scott said in a Monday memo to employees that the network had a “minimal level of details right now, but Ben is hospitalized and our teams on the ground are working to gather additional information as the situation quickly unfolds.”
News of the attack on the Fox crew came just a day after another American journalist, Brent Renaud, was shot and killed in Ukraine. The head of Kyiv’s regional police force said Renaud was killed and another journalist was wounded by Russian forces in the town of Irpin, outside the capital of Kyiv, as they were traveling to film refugees.
Hall recently made headlines for rebuking Greg Gutfield, co-host of the Fox News political talk show “The Five,” after he said on-air that the reporting from Ukraine “is a lot like other stories that we’ve gone through in the digital age in which an image is taken and then played over and over and over again to create some kind of emotional response out of you, because that makes a profit for news companies. ”
“This is not the media trying to drum up some emotional response,” Hall said. “This is absolutely what’s happening.”
“It is an absolute catastrophe,” he added. “And the people caught in the middle are the ones who are really suffering.”
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