‘The streets are largely abandoned’: On the ground in Kyiv, Ukraine

Russian forces continued indiscriminate shelling and artillery fire resulting in civilian deaths, including the death of American journalist Brent Renaud—another American journalist was also wounded. NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Jane Ferguson reports on the ground in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    For more on the latest in Ukraine I spoke with NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Jane Ferguson who is in Kyiv.

    Jane, you've been out and about what have you been able to see so far?

  • Jane Ferguson:

    We arrived into Kyiv this morning. Compared with the western city of Lviv, it's very obviously what you might think of as a war zone. The streets are largely abandoned. There are checkpoints everywhere. A lot more professional Ukrainian soldiers around, not just the volunteers. So we're seeing that. And in the distance on the outskirts of town, you can hear the fighting, you can hear the the missiles and the bombs falling, as like a thud on the outskirts. I've been to the, to the airport, the main commercial airport here, which is now effectively a military base. And on our way out to an area of town called Iripin which is sort of really a suburb, a small town outside that's had much reporting over the last 10 days. And viewers might know the name by now, because that's where the Russians have been trying to come into the city, from the north, from the North West, almost. And that is a major front, and we went out there today because throughout the day there are times when there's a humanitarian corridor allowing a limited amount of civilians to get through to get into Kyiv, where they can then go and find shelter. And when we were on our way out there today, we weren't actually able to access, the Ukrainians wouldn't allow us to go any further closer to Iripin to those areas. And that's because there had been an attack on that humanitarian corridor today. And and sadly, an American journalist was killed there.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    So what did you learn about what happened to the journalist, Mr. Renaud?

  • Jane Ferguson:

    Yeah, it was Brett Renaud. Very, very well known, very highly-regarded award-winning documentary videographer and director was, had actually been brought to the spot where we ended up going. This was the really the welcoming spot where those who were being evacuated would be initially brought to. You could see just a few tents where they've set up a medical center there. Very rudimentary, but somewhere where people can get very basic needs met. Some volunteers would be there to help greet people with a little bit of food and help them get into town and on to wherever they need to go. And very sadly, by the time we got there, he had, he had been brought. And he was laid by the side of the road there, and he was being attended to by medical professionals. But it was very clearly far too late. He had been, he had been attacked with gunfire further in towards Iripin.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    Did the Ukrainian officials you spoke with say that he was targeted? And does that make you think about what you're doing differently?

  • Jane Ferguson:

    Well, we certainly talked to all of the the security officials down there that we could, police officers in particular who were there. And they were actually telling us, you know, that although this wasn't the spot where he had been shot, these are the, these are the security officials that go back and forth from there. They said that that he had been targeted. From their perspective, he was so identifiable as a reporter–he would have been carrying a camera, he would have been wearing body armor. Most likely, they said that, you know, don't forget where he was shot was was not at the very, very, very front line yet. And so they said that they believed Russian snipers had managed to sort of flank the position. We do know that another news crew earlier in this war here in Kyiv, the British Sky News crew, their car came under fire in Kyiv city. We have seen journalists targeted here. We've also seen civilians targeted, so it's just not clear if journalists are being targeted on purpose or whether they're just in an area where everybody is being targeted by the Russians.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    We've seen maps and satellite imagery of Russian convoys moving toward the city that you're in. What's the status of that?

  • Jane Ferguson:

    That convoy has really captured the world's attention because it was such a military, strategically such a dysfunction. Some vehicles in it had run out of fuel. Some had broken down. They weren't able to literally get around each other because the Earth was, the ground was too soft and had thawed too much this this far into the spring. It's understood that a lot of that has dispersed now, but is still within 15 miles of of Kyiv city center. So those those units are still there, but they're they they've no longer there, no longer attempting to enter the city in one long spike.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    Jane Ferguson joining us from Kyiv tonight. Thanks so much.

  • Jane Ferguson:

    Thank you.

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