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SPJ mourns the death of Brent Renaud, the first US journalist killed in the Russian war


Rebecca Aguilar, SPJ National President, 317-361-4134, rebeccaaguilar50@gmail.com
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS We are saddened about the killing of U.S. journalist Brent Renaud in Ukraine and condemn the actions that lead to his death. He was killed while covering the exodus of refugees from war-torn Ukraine. According to a Ukrainian news agency, Renaud and his film crew were shot by Russian troops.

At the time of his death, Renaud was working on a multi-part documentary about the refugees for MSNBC. He was an award-winning documentary video journalist who has covered war, drug addiction, gang violence and refugees from Central America and Haiti.

"His death is a reminder to us of the danger that exists to tell these important stories, said SPJ International Community Co-Chair Elle Toussi. "We are all diminished by his passing."

Renaud is the second journalist to be killed covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Yevhenii Sakun, a photojournalist for EFE, the Spanish news service, was killed when the Russian army destroyed the Kyiv television tower on March 1. Renaud is the first American to be killed covering the war.

"Renaud and Sakun were courageous journalists who died bringing the world the truth about the Russian attack on Ukraine," said SPJ National President Rebecca Aguilar. "We at SPJ send our condolences to their families and pray for Renaud's colleague, Juan Arrendondo, who was shot while the two were preparing to film refugees from Kyiv."

The SPJ International Community calls on the Russian army to honor Rule 34 of the Geneva Convention, which states that journalists shall be considered as civilians. And to further live up to the Russian military manual, which states: "Journalists are considered civilians and enjoy protection stipulated by international humanitarian law..."

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