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U.S. journalist Brent Renaud killed in Ukraine

Brent Renaud is pictured with Lester Holt at the 2012 Edward R. Murrow Awards.&nbsp;Photo courtesy Renaud Brothers/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4380149113495&amp;set=pb.1581182035.-2207520000..&amp;type=3">Facebook</a>
Brent Renaud is pictured with Lester Holt at the 2012 Edward R. Murrow Awards. Photo courtesy Renaud Brothers/Facebook

March 13 (UPI) -- Brent Renaud, an award-winning video journalist and documentary filmmaker, was killed Sunday in Ukraine, police officials said.

Renaud, 51, was killed and at least one other journalist was injured while reporting from the city of Irpin, which has received heavy gunfire and shelling from Russian forces advancing on Kyiv, Chief of Police Andrey Nebitov posted on Facebook.

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"The occupants are cynically killing even journalists of the international media who try to show the truth about the atrocities of Russian troops in Ukraine," Nebitov wrote.

"Of course, the profession of a journalist is a risk, but U.S. citizen Brent Renaud paid his life for trying to highlight the aggressor's ingenuity, cruelty and ruthlessness."

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Nebitov's post included images of Renaud's passport and a graphic image purporting to show his dead body underneath a blanket.

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TIME issued a statement saying Renaud was in the region working on a "project focused on the global refugee crisis" for TIME Studios, adding it was "devastated" by the news of his death.

"Our hearts are with all of Brent's loved ones. It is essential that journalists are able to safely cover this ongoing invasion and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine," TIME said.

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His death was also reported by The New York Times, whom Renaud had previously worked for as a contributor, most recently in 2015.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud's death. Brent was a talented filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years," a spokesperson for the newspaper said in a statement posted on Twitter.

"Though he had contributed to The Times in the past (most recently in 2015), he was not on assignment for any desk at The Times in Ukraine. Early reports that he worked for the Times circulated because he was wearing a Times press badge that had been issued for an assignment many years ago."

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Jane Ferguson, a correspondent for PBS, said in a message to Twitter that she had visited the roadside spot near Irpin where a blanket was placed over Renaud's body.

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"Tell America, tell the world, what they did to a journalist," she recounted an outraged Ukrainian police officer saying.

Renaud had won a Peabody Award with his brother Craig, as well as an Edward R. Murrow award and two Emmy Award nominations, according to his IMDb page.

The Renaud Brothers have reported from several conflict zones including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and political turmoil in Egypt and Libya. The brothers have also released documentaries reporting on the earthquake in Haiti to cartel violence in Mexico.

Video footage obtained by The Guardian shows Juan Arredondo, a visual journalist and adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School, in the hospital after the attack. A possible third journalist reportedly injured has not yet been identified.

"We crossed the first bridge in Irpin. We were going to film all the refugees leaving," Arredondo says in the video. "Someone offered to take us to the other bridge and we crossed a checkpoint and they started shooting at us."

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, condemned the attack on the journalists in a statement.

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the death of U.S. journalist Brent Renaud in Ukraine. This kind of attack is totally unacceptable, and is a violation of international law," said Carlos Martinez de la Serna, CPJ's program director, in New York.

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"Russian forces in Ukraine must stop all violence against journalists and other civilians at once, and whoever killed Renaud should be held to account."

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