The U.S. State Department said Wednesday they are very troubled about the detention of an American journalist working in Ukraine and called on Russia to help secure his immediate release.
“We are deeply concerned about the reports of a kidnapping of a U.S. citizen journalist in Slovyansk, Ukraine, reportedly at the hands of pro-Russian separatists,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement forwarded to TheBlaze on Wednesday. “We condemn any such actions, and all recent hostage takings in eastern Ukraine, which directly violate commitments made in the Geneva joint statement.”
“We call on Russia to use its influence with these groups to secure the immediate and safe release of all hostages in eastern Ukraine,” she continued. “We have also raised our concerns with Ukrainian officials as they work with local authorities to try to de-escalate the security situation in and around Slovyansk.”
Vice News reporter Simon Ostrovsky was detained by armed separatists while traveling in a car Monday with four other journalists in the town of Slavyansk. The separatists, who control that particular town, released the other journalists but kept Ostrovsky in custody.
Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the armed separatists, told the Associated Press that he is “with us” and “fine.” She added that he is under investigation and suspected of spying for “enemy organizations.”
On Tuesday, Vice News released a statement regarding Ostrovsky’s detention.
“VICE News is aware of the situation and is in contact with the U.S. State Department and other appropriate government authorities to secure the safety and security of our friend and colleague, Simon Ostrovsky,” it said.
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