On Monday, April 21, VICE News reporters Simon Ostrovsky and Freddie Paxton were stopped at a checkpoint by armed pro-Russia forces loyal to the self-proclaimed mayor of Sloviansk, Vyacheslav Ponomarev. They were pulled from their car, along with three other journalists they were traveling with.
After a thorough search and questioning, Paxton and the three other journalists were released. Ostrovsky was held in a basement cell where he was blindfolded, beaten, and accused of being a spy. For days, his whereabouts were unknown, which sparked a furor among journalists in the region and people from around the world who have been following his work.
On Thursday, April 24, Simon was suddenly released onto the streets of Sloviansk with little explanation. In this dispatch, Simon tells the story of his abduction, his days in captivity, and why he thinks he was targeted by "mayor" Ponomarev.