A VICE journalist who was being held by pro-Russia separatists in Eastern Ukraine has been released into the hands of the CBC.
Simon Ostrovsky, who has been reporting on the crisis in Ukraine in video dispatches since early March, was let go on Thursday and was subsequently spotted walking down a street in Slaviansk by Radio-Canada reporter Jean-François Bélanger and picked up, according to the broadcaster. Ostrovsky then travelled in the CBC vehicle to Donetsk.
VICE News said in a statement that it is "delighted" at the news of the release, but that it would have no further comment out of respect for the privacy of Ostrovsky and his family.
Ostrovsky thanked everyone on Twitter for their supports.
I'm out and safe. Thank you all for your support. Had no idea I had so many good friends.— Simon Ostrovsky (@SimonOstrovsky) April 24, 2014
On Wednesday, the separatist mayor of Slaviansk Vyacheslav Ponomaryov said Ostrovsky was being detained for reporting what he characterized as "destabilizing" false information.
"He is not a hostage but our guest. We only gave him a place of residence," Ponomaryov said.
Ostrovsky's releases comes after the U.S State Department urged Russia to help free the VICE reporter.
Ostrovsky's dramatic reports from Ukraine have seen him confronted with angry protesters and masked men with guns. He is far from the only reporter to be taken as a "guest" in the region.
No less than 15 journalists and politicians are still missing in the Donetsk region, according to CBC's Nahlah Ayed.
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