UPDATE, 12:43 PM PT: Fox News confirmed that Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, who was working as a freelance consultant for the network, was killed along with cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski when their vehicle was struck by incoming fire near Kyiv.
Correspondent Benjamin Hall was in the field with them and was injured.
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott sent out a memo to staff and wrote that Kuvshynova, 24, “was helping our crews navigate Kyiv and the surrounding area while gathering information and speaking to sources. She was incredibly talented and spent weeks working directly with our entire team there, operating around the clock to make sure the world knew what was happening in her country.”
A Ukrainian official, Anton Gerashchenko, had earlier announced that Kuvshynova had died. He said that they were attacked by mortar or artillery fire by Russian forces.
Scott said that they held off on reporting the news of her death “out of respect for her family whom we have been in touch with throughout and we extend our deepest condolences to them.”
PREVIOUSLY: Fox News said that its cameraman, Pierre Zakrzewski, was killed in Ukraine on Monday when the vehicle he was riding in was struck by incoming fire.
Correspondent Benjamin Hall, who was with him, was injured and remains hospitalized. The incident occurred in Horenka, outside of Kyiv.
“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,” Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott wrote in a memo to staffers on Tuesday.
An adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister said that Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova also was killed. Anton Gerashchenko had earlier posted on Telegram that they were attacked by mortar or artillery fire by Russian forces.
Zakrzewski, 55, had been working in Ukraine since February and was based in London.
“Pierre Zakrzewski was an absolute legend at this network and his loss is devastating,” anchor Bill Hemmer said on air on Tuesday.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki paid tribute to Zakrzewski and said, “our thoughts, our prayers are with his family, with the entire community as well.”
The network announced on Monday that Hall had been injured.
Scott wrote that Zakrzewski played a key role last year in getting Afghan freelance associates and their families out of the country after the U.S. withdrawal. He was given an “Unsung Hero” award at the annual employee Spotlight Awards.
“Today is a heartbreaking day for Fox News Media and for all journalists risking their lives to deliver the news,” Scott wrote.
The situation in Ukraine has gotten more perilous for journalists, who have fanned out across the country to cover the Russian invasion and the exodus of refugees.
On Sunday, filmmaker Brent Renaud was killed and another journalist, Juan Arredondo, was injured, when troops opened fire on their vehicle in a suburb of Kyiv. Ukrainian authorities said that they had been attacked by Russian military.
Renaud was the first U.S. journalist to be killed in 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.
Jennifer Griffin, national security correspondent for Fox News, wrote on Twitter, “Such a fine man. Such a good friend. Such a fantastic war photographer and so much more.”
Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst, who also is in Ukraine, wrote, “I don’t know what to say. Pierre was as good as they come. Selfless. Brave. Passionate. I’m so sorry this happened to you.”
I don’t know what to say. Pierre was as good as they come. Selfless. Brave. Passionate. I’m so sorry this happened to you. pic.twitter.com/IvxlPWGDAl
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) March 15, 2022
CNN’s Clarissa Ward wrote, “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.”
Matthew Chance, another CNN correspondent who has been reporting from Ukraine, called Zakrzewski’s death “horrific,” and said that they had had coffee together over the weekend.
Asked whether the State Department was assisting in getting Hall out of the country via MedEvac, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on CNN earlier on Tuesday that “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.”
Gulnoza Said, Europe and Central Asia program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said that “Ukrainian and Russian authorities must do their utmost to ensure safety of all journalists, and to thoroughly investigate attacks on the press.”
This post will be updated.
The memo from Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott is below:
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