Vice Correspondent Simon Ostrovsky Released In Ukraine

Vice Correspondent Released In Ukraine

NEW YORK -- Vice News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky, who has been held by pro-Russia separatists in Eastern Ukraine since Monday, has been released.

"Vice News is delighted to confirm that our colleague and friend Simon Ostrovsky has been safely released and is in good health," a Vice spokesman said Thursday in a statement. "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."

Since early March, Ostrovsky has produced nearly 30 video dispatches that vividly chronicle the Russian invasion of Crimea and the ongoing crisis in Eastern Ukraine as pro-Russia separatists have seized government buildings.

Ostrovsky spoke to HuffPost last month about the hostility he's encountered on the ground and how Russian propaganda has helped inflame tensions.

Both Ostrovsky and Freddie Paxton, a video journalist working on the Vice dispatches, were detained in March by members of a Ukrainian riot police force manning checkpoints for the Russians. Last week, pro-Russia separatists attacked Paxton while he was covering a demonstration and damaged his equipment.

Paxton told CBS News that they've gotten "used to seeing this type of violence" in covering the conflict, but that the way protesters turned on the journalists was "alarming, to say the least."

On Wednesday, BuzzFeed's Max Seddon likened the situation in Slovyansk, where Ostrovsky was held, to "Lord of the Flies, only with automatic weapons." This week, Seddon noted, pro-Russia militants have detained nine reporters.

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