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Detained Vice journalist Simon Ostrovsky released in east Ukraine

Published time: April 25, 2014 08:17
Edited time: April 25, 2014 13:05
US journalist Simon Ostrovsky (AFP Photo/Alexander Khudoteply)

US journalist Simon Ostrovsky (AFP Photo/Alexander Khudoteply)

Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for the New-York-based Vice News, has been freed by self-defense forces in Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine, after spending several days in detention.

Ostrovsky, who was detained on April 21, was finally released on Thursday.

Vice News is delighted to confirm that our colleague and friend Simon Ostrovsky has been safely released and is in good health. We would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time,” Jake Goldman, deputy communications director for Vice Media said in a statement. “Out of respect for Simon and his family’s privacy, we have no further statement at this time.

Ostrovsky was sent to Slavyansk to cover the pro-federalization protest there. Prior to his detention, he had interviewed Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, the so-called ‘people’s mayor’ of Slavyansk, appointed by protesters. Ostrovsky questioned allegations put forward by Ponomaryov which laid the blame for a deadly attack at a checkpoint on the ultra-nationalist Right Sector group.

Ponomaryov explained that protesters were not going to do the journalist any harm. He added that Ostrovsky, who has dual US and Israeli citizenship, was believed to be an informant for the far-right Right Sector group, blamed for inciting violence in the region.

Nobody abducted [him], nobody holds [him] hostage, he is now with us,” he later said at a news conference. Ponomaryov added that Ostrovsky was now “working, preparing materials.”

British reporter Graham Phillips attempted several times to help secure Ostrovsky’s release.

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, quickly reacted to the situation by expressing concern over the security of journalists in eastern Ukraine. She called for Ostrovsky’s immediate release and urged an end to “the harassment and attacks on journalists” so they can “do their job.”

Comments (42)


Gary Levy 26.04.2014 17:47

Journalists are going to sadly be targeted due to the propaganda spewed out by the main stream news networks.

These citizens are not stupid and know that journalists may be just out to report the latest events but some are also out to skew actual events. This probably isn't the fault of the journalists on the ground but more down to the editing of the news being broadcast.


Bill Marr 26.04.2014 14:12

Just let the journalist do their jobs, document what's going on and let them be? The same with the rescue responders?

Journalist are trying to capture what is going on around them, let them tell the story that you and, I can't tell the world.

That is all I am saying.


Norma Brown 26.04.2014 11:02

Ostrovskiy is a good reporter. I'm glad he's okay. It was the best thing that could have happened to his career, now he really has a scoop.

View all comments (42)
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