Cameraman killed and Brit reporter in intensive care after Russians open fire near Kyiv

15 March 2022, 11:12 | Updated: 15 March 2022, 16:37

Fox News cameraman (far left) has died after his vehicle was struck in Kyiv. Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall (right) has been injured and remains in hospital.
Fox News cameraman (far left) has died after his vehicle was struck in Kyiv. Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall (right) has been injured and remains in hospital. Picture: Fox News/Instagram

By Daisy Stephens

A veteran war cameraman working for Fox News has been killed by Russian forces in Ukraine, and the British reporter he was with is fighting for life in intensive care after the car they were in was fired upon near Kyiv.

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Pierre Zakrzewski, described as a "brilliant and brave" cameraman, was killed in an attack outside Kyiv on Monday.

He was riding in a car with British American journalist Benjamin Hall and local producer Oleksandra Kurshynova when the crew came under fire from a hail of bullets in Horenka, just outside of Kyiv.

Announcing the news during a live broadcast of the show, Bill Hemmer called his 55-year-old colleague "an absolute legend" who "covered wars in Iraq & Afghanistan & Syria".

He said "his loss is devastating".

Fox News journalist Lucas Tomlinson said on Twitter his last message from Mr Zakrzewski read: "I will effort to get as much of this on TV to help Ukrainians in every way possible. Keep Smiling."

There are reports Ukrainian producer Oleksandra Kurshynova was also killed, but this has not been confirmed.

Fox News correspondent Mr Hall remains in hospital with serious injuries.

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In a statement, Fox News’ CEO Suzanne Scott confirmed the cameraman’s death, saying: "It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we share the news this morning regarding our beloved cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski. Pierre was killed in Horenka, outside of Kyiv, Ukraine.

"Pierre was with Benjamin Hall yesterday newsgathering when their vehicle was struck by incoming fire. Pierre was a war zone photographer who covered nearly every international story for FOX News from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria during his long tenure with us.

"His passion and talent as a journalist were unmatched. Based in London, Pierre had been working in Ukraine since February."

Ukraine's prosecutor general Irina Venediktova said on Facebook that a British journalist had received shrapnel wounds to both legs and was in intensive care.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, posted on Telegram on Monday that Mr Hall was in a serious condition.

Mr Hall was born and raised in London and has previously worked for British outlets including The Independent and the BBC.

He is currently based in Washington but was on assignment in Ukraine.

The White House press secretary said on Monday that President Biden's thoughts are with the 39-year-old father of three, his colleagues, and his family.

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It comes days after American journalist Brent Renaud was killed covering the war in Ukraine.

The 50-year-old photographer and filmmaker was killed in Irpin after Russian forces opened fire on his vehicle.

The journalist, from Little Rock, Arkansas, was gathering material for a report about refugees at the time.

The US state department said they were "horrified" at the attack, and TIME magazine - who Mr Renaud was working for at the time - said they were "devastated".

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The war in Ukraine has been raging for nearly three weeks.

As well as Mr Renaud, a Ukrainian television cameraman was identified as a victim of a Russian attack.

Yevhenii Sakun was killed when Russian forces launched an attack on the Kyiv TV Tower.

Journalist Olga Tokariuk shared a picture of Mr Sakun's press card on Twitter, writing: "The first person I know died in this war. My former colleague, TV cameraman Yevhenii Sakun, was killed yesterday as a result of Russian missile strike on Kyiv's Babyn Yar, along with 4 other people.

"It was a pleasure working with him.

"I'm devastated by this news. Eternal memory."

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Despite both Ukraine and Russia hinting at potential progress in peace talks over the weekend, Russian assaults have continued.

Several attacks have been launched on residential blocks in Kyiv over recent days.

And on Sunday an airbase near the Polish border was hit, prompting fears the conflict could spread into Nato territory.

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On Tuesday, foreign office minister James Cleverly told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast the invasion was "illegal, unprovoked and must not be supported" amid concerns China could support Russia.

Meanwhile, a former RAF chief has warned nuclear war is "only a few steps away" from where we are now.