US-Israeli Reporter Held by Protesters in East Ukraine

Protest-Backed Mayor Claims He Is Working With Protesters

Vice News reporter Simon Ostrovsky, who holds dual US-Israeli citizenship, has been taken prisoner by protesters in Eastern Ukraine, according to US officials familiar with the situation.

Details of exactly what happened are scant, but Ostrovsky’s Twitter feed reported him in Slovyansk up to yesterday, before he came up missing, and Slovyansk’s acting mayor reported he was “in custody” at a press conference earlier today.

Ostrovsky’s coverage has largely been critical of the protesters, and he has had multiple encounters with separatist protesters in the area in recent days.

Bizarrely, Ostrovsky’s apparent capture was subsequently put in at least some doubt when acting mayor Vyacheslav Ponomarev insisted that “nobody is holding him hostage” and claimed Ostrovsky was now working for the protesters “preparing material.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of