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Benjamin Hall speaks about the strength he found during his recovery from deadly missile attack in Ukraine
March 11 2023, 08:00

Fox News foreign correspondent Benjamin Hall sat down with Sean Hannity for an entire hour about his harrowing account of the missile attack that struck his crew's vehicle while covering Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which left him severely wounded and killed beloved Fox News photojournalist Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra "Sasha" Kuvshynova. 

As a war correspondent, Hall said it's a job he "loves" and "hates." He hates seeing "the most horrible things" in war zones and what people go through but loves the importance of telling their stories. 

"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 told Hannity. 

Hall has been around colleagues in various war zones over the years who've been injured and several who have died, but he never imagined an attack would happen to him. 


"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 said. "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 recounted the day of the attack, telling Hannity his crew was filming at an abandoned village outside of Kyiv as Russia was aiming to take over the capital. 

It wasn't until their vehicle arrived at an abandoned checkpoint when his life would change forever. 

"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 Hannity. "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. 


Hall then told Hannity how he heard the voice of his 7-year-old daughter Honor, who was urging him to get out of the car.

"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 said. "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."

The next thing he knew, he said, he was thrown from the blast and "on fire," quickly noticing his right leg was gone but not realizing at the time that his left foot was gone as well. His left hand was "all torn up," put back together later by doctors. 

"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 said.

His initial instinct was to pull out his cell phone, which he noted had no reception, and record what he was seeing, and he began taking photos of his injuries.

"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 told Hannity. "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.’"


Hall recalled trying to wave down a passing car, which did not stop. Zakrzewski insisted it was the Russians. 

"And I said it doesn't matter. I'm so badly injured. I've got to go," Hall told Hannity. "And I remember thinking it doesn't matter about my injuries. I'm going home. I will do whatever it takes."

"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 continued. "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."

Hall and Zakrzewski were close colleagues, working alongside each other in different countries and forming a strong bond along the way. He said Zakrzewski's repeated warnings about Russian drones saved his life, telling Hannity "he was there for me again at the end."

He told Hannity he thinks of Zakrzewski "every single day."

The last thing Hall remembered was seeing an ambulance at a separate checkpoint and receiving an injection before waking up in a hospital, assuming it was in Russia.

He ultimately became the center of an elaborate rescue mission that involved the nonprofit organization Save Our Allies and the Department of Defense, including Secretary Lloyd Austin and then-Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, along with Fox News executives and chief national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin to get him out of Ukraine and back home. 

"I was taken in the hands of this incredible group of people and they saved my life," Hall said. 

Hall recalled first seeing his wife in his hospital room in Germany and how one of the first things he did was apologize to her.

"I think it was more for what she was about to go through because people tell the story of what happened to me and how hard it was for me how brave I've been. My wife and my family have gone through just as much. They really have," Hall said. "She's been the one who's picked up all the pieces. She's been the strength behind me who willed me on, who kept the children together."

In his long road to recovery, Hall discovered his strength "deep inside" itself he didn't know he had. 

"I think I've got through this as well as I did because of the help from other people. And if I can give some of that back, I can help some of them get through these moments too, then that's what I want to do, talk to as many people as I can, get through it together. And this is a group effort. Everyone reached out to me, you reached out to me early on many times and gave me these words of wisdom. You encouraged me to keep going," Hall told Hannity. "Everyone, all our viewers, thousands of them reached out and people pray for you and send you things. Every single one of those gives you strength, reminds you that you're doing it for others, that your improvement is their improvement. And so what I'm saying at the moment is a thank you to everyone who helped me that I did it because of them. And again, I can do my best to give that back to people, I'd like to."

When asked if he would go out on the field as a war correspondent again, Hall answered "no," not because he didn't love the job but because "I don't think I can put my family though it again."

"People need to keep doing this job and I encourage everyone else to go out and keep doing this job. It is essential," Hall said. "We need to know what's happening around the world. It can well affect you. And so I encourage people to go out. Pre-plan, be prepared, know how you're going to do it, but keep doing this job. Will I get back to Ukraine? I'm sure I will go back to Ukraine at some point. Will I go to the front lines? No, I don't think I will right now."

Instead, the first thing Hall wants to do when he's back to work is tell the stories of "the incredible people I've met," speak to those who went through traumatic injuries like he did and "see how they fought through it" and just "try to make the world a better place."

Halls' book, "Saved: A War Reporter's Mission to Make It Home" will be out March 14.