A freelancer working for CNN in Ukraine has reportedly been abducted by pro-Russian separatists, the network reported Thursday.
According to CNN, armed separatists captured Anton Skiba outside a hotel in the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk after Skiba worked a single day with the station’s television crew. CNN, which said he was abducted two days ago, is now calling for his immediate release.
“Since his detention, CNN has attempted through a number of different separatist officials, including the office of the self-declared separatist prime minister Alexander Borodai, to secure Skiba’s freedom. CNN chose not to report his abduction at the time while making efforts to obtain his release,” a report from the network said. “That has not happened to date, so CNN is now publicly asking those who are holding Skiba to release him immediately.”
On Wednesday, Skiba was reportedly able to have a brief phone call with CNN.
“He said he was being questioned at the headquarters of the Donetsk security services and added that he would ‘not be available’ before the call was abruptly cut off. It was unclear whether the call was made under duress,” CNN said.
Ukraine, where government forces are currently battling separatists backed by Russia, has become the center of a worldwide controversy since a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet was shot down over the country last week. A Vice News journalist reporting in Ukraine was previously abducted and released in April.
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