Simon Ostrovsky, a reporter for Vice News, was “taken” by pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.
A Vice spokesperson said in a statement that it is “aware” of the situation and currently in contact with the State Department.
“VICE News is aware of the situation and is in contact with the United States State Department and other appropriate government authorities to secure the safety and security of our friend and colleague, Simon Ostrovsky,” the spokesperson said.
According to the Russian media outlet Gazeta.ru, Ostrovsky was “taken” by the militia in the town of Sloviansk. According to the report, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the “People’s mayor” of the town, held a press conference in which he also announced authorities had called Ostrovsky’s parents to inform them that their son is “well.”
Here’s the translation of the Gazeta.ru story, via The Interpreter:
The “People’s mayor” of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, said that the militia has taken the American journalist, Simon Ostrovsky, hostage, reports a correspondent for Gazeta.ru,
Ponomarev announced this during a press conference at the House of Culture in Slavyansk.
According to him, Ostrovsky has dual US and Israeli citizenship and works for the American publication, Vice.
The press conference was briefly interrupted when the journalists’ parents rang Ponomarev, the leader of the Slavyansk militia, who gave assurances that their son was doing well.
“Nobody abducted him, nobody is holding him hostage, he’s with us now in at the SBU, preparing material and working,” said Ponomarev.
Ostrovsky has filed a number of illuminating dispatches from Ukraine. The most attention-grabbing dispatch came when he asked a Russian soldier, “Are you going to shoot me?” after the soldier demanded he stop filming. His last video dispatch was published on Sunday, and his last tweet was sent more than a day ago.
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