Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall ‘lost part of his leg’ in Ukraine attack that killed cameraman

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence offered the grim new detail about Hall’s injuries on Tuesday

Megan Sheets
Tuesday 15 March 2022 17:21 GMT
Comments
Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall is seen reporting from Ukraine
Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall is seen reporting from Ukraine (Fox News )

Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall lost part of his leg after coming under an attack in Ukraine that killed his cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kurshynova.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence offered the grim new detail about Mr Hall’s injuries via Twitter on Tuesday, writing: “The truth is the target. Russian troops fired at Fox News camera crew near Kyiv. Cameraman Pierre Zakrevsky and producer Oleksandra Kurshynova were killed. Journalist Benjamin Hall survived, but lost part of his leg.”

Ukraine news - live updates

The tweet followed Fox News’ confirmation of Mr Zakrzewski’s death aged 55.

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we share the news this morning regarding our beloved cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski. Pierre was killed in Horenka, outside of Kyiv, Ukraine. Pierre was with Benjamin Hall newsgathering when their vehicle was struck by incoming fire,” Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Ms Scott had previously announced the hospitalisation of Mr Hall - a British-American journalist serving as the network’s State Department correspondent who has previously written for The Independent -  in a memo to staff on Monday, without offering any details about the extent of his injuries.

“Earlier today, our correspondent Benjamin Hall was injured while news gathering outside of Kyiv in Ukraine,” the Monday memo read. “We have a minimal level of details right now. Ben is hospitalised and our teams on the ground are working to gather additional information as the situation quickly unfolds.

“The safety of our entire team of journalists in Ukraine and the surrounding regions is our top priority and of the utmost importance. This is a stark reminder for all journalists who are putting their lives on the line every day to deliver the news from the war zone. We will update everyone as we know more. Please keep Ben and his family in your prayers.”

Revealing Mr Zakrzewski’s involvement in the attack on Tuesday, Ms Scott wrote: “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. His passion and talent as a journalist were unmatched. Based in London, Pierre had been working in Ukraine since February. His talents were fast and there wasn’t a role that he didn’t jump in to help with in the field - from photographer to engineer to editor to producer - and he did it all under immense pressure with tremendous skill.

Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski (left) was killed while reporting in Ukraine, the network announced on 15 March
Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski (left) was killed while reporting in Ukraine, the network announced on 15 March (Fox News)

The statement continued: “He was profoundly committed to telling the store and his bravery, professionalism and work ethic were renowned among journalists at every media outlet. He was wildly popular - everyone in the media industry who has covered a foreign story knew and respected Pierre.

“We extend our deepest condolences to Pierre’s wife Michelle and family - please keep them all in your prayers. And please continue to pray for Benjamin Hall, who remains hospitalized in Ukraine. We will continue to be in touch with any further updates as needed.”

The attack on Mr Hall and Mr Zakrzewski came just a day after American journalist Brett Renaud was shot and killed by Russian forces in Irpin while on an assignment for TIME magazine.

Mr Renaud was in a car on route to report on Ukrainian refugees trying to evacuate when the vehicle was ambushed by Vladimir Putin’s troops, according to Ukrainian officials. A second American journalist was also wounded and taken to hospital.

American journalist Brett Renaud was shot and killed by Russian forces in Irpin while on an assignment for TIME magazine
American journalist Brett Renaud was shot and killed by Russian forces in Irpin while on an assignment for TIME magazine (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Joe Biden was thinking of the wounded journalist when asked about the situation and the president’s previous pledge to “respond forcefully” if any Americans were harmed in Ukraine.

“Well, let me first say, your colleague, Benjamin Hall, I know there’s not final reports yet or we would wait for your news organization to confirm those but our thoughts, the president’s thoughts, our administration’s thoughts are with him, his family and all of you at Fox News as well,” she said in Monday’s press briefing.

She added that Mr Biden has been “leading the world” in putting “consequences” and “repercussions” in place in the form of crippling economic sanctions.

Tributes to Mr Zakrzewski poured in following the announcement of his death.

Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer shared the news live on air, calling Mr Zakrzewski “an absolute legend” whose loss is “devastating”.

“He was a professional, he was a journalist, and he was a friend,” Mr Hemmer said. “We here at the Fox News Channel want to offer our deepest condolences to Pierre’s wife, Michelle, and his entire family. Pierre Zakrzewski was only 55 years old, and we miss him already.”

Fellow anchor John Roberts tweeted: “I worked with Pierre many times around the world. He was an absolute treasure. Sending our most heartfelt prayers to Pierre‘s wife and family.”

“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,” Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst tweeted.

As the Fox News community mourns the loss of Mr Zakrzewski and prays for Mr Hall’s recovery, some of the networks own hosts have come under fire for promotive misleading narratives about the Russia-Ukraine conflict that increasingly flatter the Kremlin’s version of events.

The most controversial host is Tucker Carlson, whose show is reliably among the most-watched pundit on cable news. Having often questioned before the conflict why anyone in the US should root for Ukraine (a well-established American ally) against Russia (an authoritarian adversary), he has lately helped introduce a conspiracy theory about US-funded and operated biolabs in Ukraine that have supposedly been developing bioweapons.

On Monday, Fox and Friends co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy further scrambled her network’s mixed messages about the conflict by raising the argument that the conflict is in fact the west’s fault.

The host asserted that the US “provoked” Russia by allowing the prospect of Ukraine becoming a member of Nato.

“They made very clear that there was a red line,” she said. “The red line was a neutrality for Ukraine, that they could not enter Nato.” (Ukraine is still not a Nato member.) “And in the end, if they get this peace agreement … that’s probably going to end up being the case anyway.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in