The brothers of Irishman Pierre Zakrzewski, who was killed outside kyiv in Ukraine, said the family was on a roller coaster and memories of the cameraman have been pouring in from relatives and friends since news of the his death leaked.
Pierre Zakrzewski, who worked for Fox News, was killed alongside Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova when their vehicle was hit by gunfire on Monday.
Journalist Benjamin Hall was also seriously injured in the Horenka bombing outside the capital. Fox News confirmed he was now “safe and out of Ukraine.”
Nick Zakrzewski said efforts were being made to repatriate his brother’s body and that the State Department and Fox News were coordinating efforts to make that happen.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, Nick said his brother, who was raised and educated in Dublin, was driven by travel and a genuine love of photography, which later evolved into videography.
Pierre quit college and “traveled and traveled and traveled”, he said, adding that the whole family thought it was “spectacular”.
Nick described his brother as brave but not reckless.
“He was a calculated risk taker. He looked at the risks. He found the best way to manage them,” he said.
Nick said Pierre was “so proud” of being Irish, of the access it gave him for his work and of the world view of the Irish.
He said Pierre was still helping people in the areas where he worked and helping hundreds of people get through checkpoints in Afghanistan so they could board planes leaving the country.
He was always good at keeping in touch with family, he said, and reassuring them of his safety, even if he couldn’t tell them exactly where he was.
He said Pierre was the uncle all his nieces and nephews looked up to.
Pierre would like to be remembered for the images he created, Nick said, and added: “Without those images, people wouldn’t be able to see what was going on.”
“I have a duty to tell their story” – Pierre Zakrzewski
Speaking on the same show, Greg Zakrzewski said he was following news of the war in Ukraine and had heard that a Fox News crew had been attacked there.
He said the family are “on autopilot” and what happened has not yet been registered with them.
Greg said his sister called from London yesterday and told him that Pierre had been missing for 12 hours and it didn’t look good.
The brothers explained that their father had come to Ireland from Poland after the Second World War.
Greg said that Pierre had moved from being a freelance journalist to being a freelance journalist because there were more and more attacks on journalists working in conflict areas, so it became more difficult to protect himself when he was working. independently.
He said Pierre had mixed feelings about going to work for Fox News because he was “losing some independence.”
“Now we never talked about it, but I suspect he would probably say something like, ‘Look, I had no choice’.”
War Crimes Investigation
Meanwhile, French prosecutors have opened a war crimes investigation into the death of the Franco-Irish cameraman.
The investigation by French counter-terrorism prosecutors will investigate possible charges of causing “deliberate harm to a person protected by international law” and a “deliberate attack on a civilian who was not participating to hostilities”.
French prosecutors regularly open files on the violent deaths of citizens abroad.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian sent his condolences today, adding that “the armed forces have an obligation to protect journalists in accordance with international humanitarian law”.