OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
During an hour-long segment on Sean Hannity’s show late last week, Fox News foreign correspondent Benjamin Hall recounted the terrifying incident in which a missile attack hit his crew’s vehicle while they were covering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The attack left Hall severely injured and resulted in the deaths of Fox News photojournalist Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova.
As a war correspondent, Hall told Hannity that it’s a job he “loves” and “hates.” He loves emphasizing the human interest stories regarding what people go through in war zones, but he hates seeing “the most horrible things.”
“There are very few other jobs that fill you up with such, perhaps, pride and the necessity to do it. So I’ve done all the wars, and I feel when a war breaks out, you’ve gotta be there to cover it. It’s important to our viewers,” Hall said.
Over the years, Hall has witnessed several colleagues sustain injuries, and some even lose their lives while covering conflicts in various war zones. Despite this, he said he never expected that he would fall victim to an attack.
You’re aware of the risks, but you can’t let it cloud your judgment. You can’t allow it to distract you when you’re working because if that clouds your mind, you won’t do your job as well,” Hall explained. “So you think about it beforehand, but when you go in, you focus on the job and work and the people you’re talking to, and you don’t let any fear fill your mind.”
Hall described the day of the attack, noting that his crew had been filming at a deserted village near Kyiv while Russia was attempting to seize the capital. But everything changed when their vehicle reached an empty checkpoint.
“Out of nowhere the first missile came out of nowhere, lands about 30 feet in front of us. Immediately Pierre shouts, ‘Reverse the car! Reverse the car!’” Hall told the Fox News host. “There were two Ukrainians driving as well, and five of us in the car. The car got stuck. We couldn’t go back and Pierre shouted, ‘Get out of the car! Everyone get out of the car!’ And the next second, the second bomb hits right in front of the left of the car. And that one, I went black.
“I was in a dark place. I couldn’t feel or see. I’d taken shrapnel in the eye and the matchbox-sized shrapnel in my neck. And I was – I was out. I was out dead,” Hall continued.
The war correspondent recounted hearing the voice of his 7-year-old daughter, Honor, who was urging him to leave the vehicle.
“And then I saw my daughter out of nowhere into this blackness. Right in front of me came my daughter, Honor. And she said to me, ‘Daddy, you’ve got to get out of the car.’ Real as if she was in front of me. Out of nowhere she came to me,” Hall explained. “And I came to, and I opened up my eyes and my instinct took me towards the car door. And I scrambled. I pulled myself out, and I got out of the car. And the third bomb hit the car itself right after that.”
According to Hall, the next thing he remembered was being hurled from the explosion and catching fire. He said he quickly realized that his right leg was missing, but he was unaware at the time that his left foot was also gone. Additionally, his left hand was severely damaged and would have to be reconstructed by doctors later.
“I was lying there, lying there. And Pierre was still alive at this point. And Pierre immediately said, ‘Don’t move! Russian drones, Russian drones.’ So I’m lying there in this barren landscape, trying not to move, trying to think of what we can do,” Hall told Hannity.
Hall shared that his first impulse was to take out his cell phone, despite realizing that it had no signal, and document the situation. He started taking photos of his injuries, but later deleted them.
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“I immediately thought, ‘Well, my children can’t see this. If I don’t come home, that can’t be the last picture that perhaps they see.’ So still sitting there, I deleted them immediately,” Hall recounted. “But we lay there for a while longer. And Pierre again, who was lying about 5 feet away from me or so, just lying there. He said, ‘The Russians, the Russians.’”
“If I had been an inch in any direction, I’d be dead,” he said. “I was sitting in the middle seat of this little car of the back row and the other four people died. And if I had been anywhere else, I’d have been blind in both eyes. I would have suffered serious head injuries, and somehow, I came out of this. And I came out of this I think in an incredible way.”
He added: “I feel I came out with my mind intact, my will intact, my optimism intact, my hope intact. And I think that God gave me that, my family gave me that and they brought me back. And if I can do just one thing, it’s to pass it on to others, knowing that if you try hard, you work hard, if you believe in the right things, you can get through absolutely anything. It’s my daughters who came to be that thing.”