Hours after American journalist Brent Renaud was killed during a shoot-out by Russian troops, speculation is rife about the involvement of Ukrainian soldiers. A video allegedly showing the dead body of the slain journalist also surfaced on social media.
According to a tweet shared on the official handle of Ukraine's parliament, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Russian troops opened fire when the journalist and his colleague were inside a car. "Russian occupiers have opened fire on a car of two American journalists in Irpin, #Kyiv region. American documentary filmmaker Brent Reno was killed in the shelling," the tweet read.
Graphic Video, Pics of Dead Journalists Surface
The Ukrainian police said that the incident took place when the group was travelling to film refugees.
CBS reported that Andriy Nebytov, the head of Kyiv's regional police force, also shared the details of the encounter on his Facebook page. The images included Renaud's dead body, American passport and media credentials issued by The New York Times.
"The occupants cynical kill even journalists of the international media who try to show the truth about the inaction of Russian troops in Ukraine. A 51-year-old world-renowned media correspondent was shot in Irpen today New York Times," read the post according to an automated translation.
"Another journalist is injured. Now they are trying to remove the victim from the war zone. Of course, the profession of a journalist is a risk, but US citizen Brent Renaud paid his life for trying to highlight the aggressor's ingenuity, cruelty and ruthlessness," he wrote.
Social Media Points Out at Conspiracy
Soon after the news of Renaud's death broke, a video allegedly showing a Ukrainian soldier showing the body of the slain journalist surfaced online.
"Recently about 10 minutes ago, in Romanivka, Irpin city on the roundabout a firing took place. Press was under fire.. from the USA specifically Brent Anthony (?) died from an enemy bullet that hit him in the head... the bullet went out through eye... one journalist died.. two other were transported to Ohmatdet hospital.. they are wounded... as of now their condition is unknown," read the captions in the video.
Even though the authenticity of the video could not be verified, it led to several social media users question of Renaud was killed by Ukrainian soldiers.
"New York Times has now confirmed that it was a *Ukrainian checkpoint*. Understand this in the context of the testimony of his colleague, who said they were being shot at, turned around, and continued to be shot at from the direction of the checkpoint," tweeted a user.
""In all likelihood, Brent Renaud was killed by Ukrainian forces. And instead of taking responsibility for the tragic shooting, the Ukrainians used Renaud's death as an instrument to advance a propaganda campaign against their enemy," wrote another.
"Brent Renaud was killed by Ukrainian forces, and the lie that he was killed by Russian forces, immediately and entirely uncritically regurgitated, amplified and blared throughout the Western press is indicative and illustrative of how incredibly dangerous this jingo hysteria is," opined a user.