US journalist Brent Renaud has been shot dead in the town of Irpin, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, police say.
The 50-year-old was a journalist and filmmaker who was working in the region for Time.
Kyiv’s police chief Andriy Nebytov said Brent Renaud had been targeted by Russian soldiers. Two other journalists were injured and taken to hospital.
It is the first reported death of a foreign journalist covering the war in Ukraine.
One of the injured journalists, Juan Arredondo, told an Italian reporter he had been with Brent Renaud when they came under fire.
Photographs are circulating online showing a press ID for Brent Renaud issued by the New York Times.
In a statement, the newspaper said it was “deeply saddened” to hear of Brent Renaud’s death but that he had not been working for the newspaper in Ukraine.
Brent Renaud last worked for the publication in 2015, the Times said, and the press ID he was wearing in Ukraine had been issued years ago.
Time editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal and Ian Orefice, the president and chief operating officer of Time and Time Studios, said they were “devastated by the loss”.
“As an award-winning filmmaker and journalist, Brent tackled the toughest stories around the world often alongside his brother Craig Renaud,” the statement said.
Brent Renaud had reported from Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti. He won a Peabody Award for his work on a 2014 series on Chicago schools, Last Chance High.
He often worked alongside his brother, Craig, also a filmmaker. It is not known whether Craig also travelled to Ukraine.
Brent Renaud’s death comes less than two weeks after Ukrainian journalist Yevhenii Skaum, a camera operator for the Ukrainian television channel LIVE, was killed when a TV transmission tower in Kyiv was hit by shelling.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin has described sanctions imposed by Western nations over his invasion of Ukraine as “akin to a declaration of war”.
“But thank God it has not come to that,” he added.
President Putin also warned that any attempt to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be seen as participation in the armed conflict.
He rejected suggestions that he would introduce a state of emergency or martial law in Russia.
Vladimir Putin made the remarks while speaking to a group of women flight attendants at an Aeroflot training centre near Moscow.
Since the start of Russia’s invasion 10 days ago, the West has imposed a raft of sanctions on Russia, including the freezing of President Putin’s foreign assets and the exclusion of a number of Russian banks from the Swift international payments system.
In addition, many multinational firms have ceased operations in Russia.
On March 5, Zara, Paypal and Samsung became the latest global brands to suspend trading there.
The economic measures have already caused the rouble to plunge in value and forced the Russian central bank to double interest rates.
In his latest comments, President Putin sought to justify the war in Ukraine, repeating his assertion that he was seeking to defend Russian speaking communities there through the “demilitarisation and de-Nazification” of the country.
Responding to Western defence analysts’ allegations that the Russian military campaign was going less well than expected, he said: “Our army will fulfil all the tasks. I don’t doubt that at all. Everything is going to plan.”
The Russian leader added that only professional soldiers were taking part in the hostilities and there were no conscripts involved, despite reports to the contrary.
He said efforts to impose a no-fly zone in Ukraine would be considered by Russia to be a step into the military conflict and those responsible would be treated as enemy combatants.
“The current leadership needs to understand that if they continue doing what they are doing, they risk the future of Ukrainian statehood,” he added.
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has condemned NATO for ruling out the no-fly zone. However, Western leaders say introducing the measure would be an escalation.
Vladimir Putin also said he had no plans to declare martial law in Russia. adding that such a step would only be taken in “instances of external aggression, in defined areas of military activity”.
“But we don’t have such a situation and I hope we won’t have one,” he said.
There had been rumours that Vladimir Putin was planning to declare martial law, which is when normal civil law is suspended or the military takes control of government functions.
He said there were other special emergency states which could be used in the case of a “large-scale external threat”, but that he had no plans to introduce these either.
Meanwhile, diplomatic moves have continued on the sidelines of the conflict.
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett met Vladimir Putin in Moscow on March 5 and had a three-hour discussion on the war.
Naftali Bennett then headed to Berlin to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. As an Orthodox Jew, he broke Shabbat in order to travel, which is allowed under Jewish law if human life is at stake.
Although Israel is a key ally of the US, Naftali Bennett has tried to preserve a good relationship with Russia. Ukraine’s President Zelensky, who is Jewish, has called on Israel to mediate in the crisis.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has met Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, telling him he was in awe of his courage in standing up to Russia.
The two men met on the Polish-Ukraine border. Dmytro Kuleba reiterated his desire and optimism for more military backing from NATO, including a no-fly zone.
The ceasefire between Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine agreed in Belarusian capital Minsk has come into effect, though sporadic shelling was reported in some places.
Both sides ordered their forces to stop fighting from midnight local time.
However, they later traded accusations over reported artillery and mortar fire.
Fighting had raged near the besieged strategic town Debaltseve just hours before the truce, agreed by leaders this week in Minsk, was due to kick in.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel brokered the agreement on February 12 after marathon talks in the Belarusian capital.
Officials say more than 5,400 people have been killed since the conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine in April, but the UN believes the actual death toll to be much higher.
The fighting followed the annexation by Russia of Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula.
Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of sending troops and weapons to help the separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions – a claim the Kremlin vehemently denies.
Ukrainian military spokesman Vladyslav Seleznyov said army positions in the town of Popasna and near the villages of Zolote and Chernukhyno were fired on after the ceasefire.
Meanwhile, senior rebel defense official Eduard Basurin said Ukrainian forces in Debaltseve fired on rebels positions, prompting them to return fire.
Just before midnight, President Petro Poroshenko ordered the commander of what Ukraine describes as its “anti-terror operation” to observe the ceasefire.
In a national broadcast from the military headquarters in Kiev, Petro Poroshenko expressed hopes that “perhaps the last chance [for peace] won’t be lost”, adding that agreements “must be honored, and we are expecting that the ceasefire deal will be adhered to”.
The president said there was still “alarm” over the situation around Debaltseve, a transport hub where several thousand Ukrainian troops have been besieged by the separatists for days.
The rebels say they have completely cut off supply routes to Debaltseve, encircling the town. Ukraine denies the claim.
Donetsk rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko said earlier on Saturday that he considered the Debaltseve area was not covered by the agreed ceasefire.
European leaders have warned Russia that it could face additional sanctions if the 13-point ceasefire agreement is not respected.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.