A FOX News cameraman was killed in Ukraine on Monday, the network confirmed.
Suzanne Scott, the CEO of FOX News Media, confirmed Pierre Zakrzewski’s death in an email to all FOX employees on Tuesday, which was later shared with PEOPLE.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we share the news about our beloved cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski this morning.” “Pierre was killed in Honrenka, Ukraine, just outside of Kyiv,” Scott wrote. “Pierre was newsgathering with Benjamin Hall yesterday when their vehicle was hit by incoming fire.”
“Pierre was a war zone photographer who covered nearly every international story for FOX News from Iran to Afghanistan to Syria during his time with us,” she continued. His journalistic zeal and talent were unmatched.
“Pierre, who was based in London, had been working in Ukraine since February,” she continued. “His talents were vast, and there wasn’t a role in the field that he didn’t jump in to help with — from photographer to engineer to editor to producer — and he did it all under enormous pressure with tremendous skill.”
“He was profoundly committed to telling the story, and his bravery, professionalism, and work ethic were legendary among journalists at every media outlet,” Scott wrote. He was hugely popular — anyone in the media who had covered a foreign story knew and respected Pierre.”
Scott also stated that Zakrzewski “played a key role in getting our Afghan freelance associates and their families out of the country following the US withdrawal,” adding, “In December, at our annual employee Spotlight Awards, Pierre was given the ‘Unsung Hero’ award in recognition of his invaluable work.”
She then cited FOX News reporter Jay Wallace, who said of his late colleague, “Pierre was a mainstay of our international coverage. When I arrived on the scene and saw him with a camera, I, like many others, felt an extra sense of security. His positive spirit, boundless energy, and eye for the story will live on.”
Michelle Zakrzewski and their children survive Zakrzewski. Scott also mentioned in her letter that Hall, the FOX war correspondent who was with Zakrzewski when he died on Monday, had survived but “remains hospitalized in Ukraine.” She stated that she would provide “further updates” on his condition “as needed.”
“Today is a heartbreaking day for FOX News Media and all journalists risking their lives to deliver the news,” Scott wrote at the end of her note.
The death of Zakrzewski comes as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues. On February 24, Russian forces launched a large-scale invasion, the first major land conflict in Europe in decades.
Details of the fighting change by the day, but hundreds of civilians, including children, have already been reported killed or injured. According to the United Nations, over a million Ukrainians have also fled. “You have no idea where to go, where to run, or who to call. This is pure panic “Liliya Marynchak, a 45-year-old teacher in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, told PEOPLE about the moment her city was bombed — one of many accounts of Russian bombardment.
The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has elicited widespread condemnation and increased economic sanctions against Russia.
With NATO forces massing in the region surrounding Ukraine, a number of countries have pledged aid or military support to the resistance. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for peace talks, which have so far been unsuccessful, while also urging his country to fight back. Putin maintains that Ukraine has historical ties to Russia and that he is acting in his country’s best security interests. Zelenskyy vowed not to back down.
In the early days of the fighting, he told the European Union, “Nobody is going to break us, we’re strong, we’re Ukrainians,” adding, “Life will triumph over death, and light will triumph over darkness.”