The U.S. broadcaster FOX News on Tuesday announced that cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski has died in Ukraine.
Zakrzewski, 55, was injured while on assignment with FOX News correspondent Benjamin Hall. Their vehicle was struck by incoming fire in Horenka, near Kyiv, according to a memo shared with the broadcaster’s staff.
Oleksandra Kuvshynova, a Ukrainian journalist who was with them at the time, was also killed, the adviser to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Anton Gerashchenko, said.
Hall, the State Department correspondent for FOX, is still hospitalized and receiving treatment for injuries.
Both he and Zakrzewski were experienced journalists who had covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
In her memo to staff, Fox News Media’s CEO, Suzanne Scott, said that London-based Zakrzewski’s “talent was unmatched.”
Zakrzewski “was profoundly committed to telling the story and his bravery, professionalism and work ethic were renowned,” the memo read. “Everyone in the media industry who has covered a foreign story knew and respected Pierre.”
Journalists paid tribute to Zakrzewski on social media, including for his efforts to help get Afghan journalists safely out of Afghanistan when the Taliban seized power last year.
FOX News anchor Bill Hemmer announced the death on the network Tuesday, describing his colleague as “an absolute legend.”
In a briefing Tuesday, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki also paid tribute to Zakrzewski.
“He was a war zone photographer who covered nearly every international story for Fox News, from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria during his long tenure working there,” Psaki said. “Our thoughts, our prayers are with his family with the entire community as well.”
Risks are increasing for media covering Russia’s war in Ukraine. Award-winning American filmmaker Brent Renaud was killed and his colleague Juan Arredondo injured on Sunday, and Yevhenii Sakun, a Ukrainian camera operator for LIVE TV, was killed during a Russian strike on a TV tower in Kyiv on March 1.
Several news crews have also reported being fired on despite being identified as press.
The Vienna-based International Press Institute has called for attacks and violence directed at media covering the war to cease, saying, “No more journalists in Ukraine should be killed while simply doing their job.”
“This war is taking an increasingly bloody toll on innocent victims, including Ukrainian citizens and courageous journalists on the ground who are risking their lives to make sure the world is informed about what is happening,” IPI’s deputy director, Scott Griffen, said in a statement Sunday.
“Even in the fog of war, journalists can never be legitimate targets and all efforts should be taken to minimize risks to civilian life.”