Separatists free American-Israeli journalist Simon Ostrovsky

(JTA) — American-Israeli journalist Simon Ostrovsky has been released by pro-Russian separatists from Ukraine.

“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. Out of respect for Simon and his family’s privacy, we have no further statement at this time,” Vice News announced on its website Thursday.

Ostrovsky told the Associated Press that he was freed and heading to the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, the separatist head of the eastern Ukrainian town of Sloviansk, told reporters on Wednesday evening that Ostrovsky had been detained since Tuesday for reporting false information, Reuters reported. Ponomaryov has appointed himself “mayor” of the town.

Ostrovsky has been covering the conflict in Ukraine in recent months for the Vice News website.

Separatist gunmen detained Ostrovsky on Monday night along with four other reporters who since have been released. He reportedly was one of 16 people kidnapped in Sloviansk over the past two weeks.

Ukraine has seen violent clashes between pro-Russian protesters and other groups since the ousting in February of the government of President Viktor Yanukovych in a revolution that erupted over his perceived pro-Russian policies. Ukraine’s interim government has announced new elections scheduled for next month.

 

 

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