Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski killed in Ukraine: ‘Absolutely heartbroken at the loss of a legend’

Fox News remembers Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova

‘Special Report’ anchor Bret Baier pays tribute to two colleagues killed in Ukraine.

Beloved Fox News Channel cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski was killed while covering the ongoing Russian invasion outside of Kyiv, Ukraine when the vehicle he was traveling in came under attack. 

“This has been a very difficult day for the Fox News family because two of our coworkers died in Ukraine. Cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and journalist Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova. They were working with correspondent Benjamin Hall outside Kyiv, when incoming fire hit their vehicle. Benjamin was wounded, and is in the hospital, Pierre and Sasha did not survive,” Bret Baier said during an emotional tribute on Tuesday’s edition of “Special Report.”

Pierre Zakrzewski was killed while covering the ongoing Russian invasion outside of Kyiv, Ukraine when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by incoming fire. 
(Fox News)

Sasha was just 24 years old and was serving as a consultant, helping crews navigate Kyiv and the surrounding area while gathering information and speaking to sources. Zakrzewski, who covered nearly every international story for Fox News during a storied tenure, was only 55 years old. 

“He leaves behind his wife, Michelle, and a loving family and a lot of colleagues who are absolutely heartbroken at the loss of a legend,” Baier said. 

Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski, left, is photographed with correspondent Steve Harrigan, second from left, and senior field producers Yonat Frilling, second from right, and Ibrahim Hazboun, right, in Kyiv, Ukraine.
(Fox News)

Zakrzewski, who was affectionately referred to as “Zak” by colleagues, was a valued member of Fox News for many years and covered war zones and conflicts across the globe including Iraq, Pakistan, Hong Kong and Ukraine. 

“Pierre was a steady presence in uncertain times,” Baier said. “When a correspondent or producer arrived and saw Pierre waiting for them, they knew they were in good hands because he could do just about anything.”

Pierre — a thrill seeker with plans to ride his motorcycle up the coast of Norway in the near future — was known to shoot video, fix equipment, produce stories, edit on the fly and just about whatever else was needed to get the job done. 

“Pierre also seemed to always know the background of every location, every story, and he had the extraordinary ability to do his work under incredible pressure without any sleep,” Baier said. “Some of our correspondents who worked closely with him feel this loss especially hard.”

National security correspondent Jennifer Griffin shared a photo of her longtime friend earlier in the day, breaking the tragic news to her Twitter followers. 

“Such a fine man. Such a good friend. Such a fantastic war photographer and so much more,” Griffin tweeted. 

“His passion and talent as a journalist were unmatched,” Griffin added in a series of tweets. “His talents were vast and there wasn’t a role that he didn’t jump in to help with in the field… he was profoundly committed to telling the story 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.” 

Cameraman and editor Pierre Zakrzewski was affectionately referred to as "Zak" by colleagues.

Foreign correspondent Trey Yingst also posted a photo of himself with Zakrzewski, who he called brave and passionate.

“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,” Yingst wrote. 

“Pierre, we miss you. We are devastated,” White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich wrote. 

Senior foreign affairs correspondent Amy Kellogg said the veteran cameraman was a rare breed of war reporter who never got jaded, while correspondent Jonathan Hunt said he’s never forgotten the smile and welcome he received from Zakrzewski when he first arrived in Baghdad in 2003.

“Here are many, like me, who would say Zak played no small part in giving us careers at Fox News. He made everyone a better journalist, and a better person. He also made everyone feel at home, relaxed, part of a team. And he was a natural leader, someone we all wanted to work with and be around. Nothing ever seemed to make him unduly stressed, nothing ever seemed beyond his capabilities and powers,” Hunt said. “I think all of us who knew him, and worked with him and loved him, will shed some tears today and share some smiles at the memories too. Zak was a legend. And always will be.” 

Senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot was embedded alongside Zakrzewski with a Marine company during Iraq’s battle of Fallujah. 

Pierre Zakrzewski was beloved by Fox News colleagues. 
(Fox News)

“He says that Pierre saved his life on many occasions over the years,” Baier said, adding that Palkot noticed Zakrzewski hated sitting around a newsroom and wanted to be out chasing the story.

“Greg noted that even when the worst was happening, Pierre would repeat his favorite advice – to keep on smiling,” Baier said. 

“That’s a little tougher today, because we lost not only a colleague, but a mentor, a leader and a wonderful friend,” Baier said. “We offer our deepest condolences to all who knew Pierre and all who loved him.” 

Last year, he played a key role in getting Afghan freelance associates and their families out of the country after the U.S. withdrawal. In December, Zakrzewski was awarded the “Unsung Hero” award during the FOX News Media Spotlight Awards. 

Pierre Zakrzewski was known to shoot video, fix equipment, produce stories, edit on the fly and just about whatever else was needed to get the job done. 
(Fox News)

Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott shared the heartbreaking news with staffers earlier on Tuesday. 

“He was profoundly committed to telling the story 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,” Scott said. 

“Today is a heartbreaking day for FOX News Media and for all journalists risking their lives to deliver the news,” Scott added. 

“Pierre was a constant in all of our international coverage. I, like countless others, always felt an extra sense of reassurance when arriving on the scene and seeing him with camera in hand. The legacy of his positive spirit, boundless energy and eye for the story will carry on,” Fox News Media President and Executive Editor Jay Wallace said in a statement. 

Fox News’ Kelsey Koberg contributed to this report. 

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