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Pro-Russian insurgents hold U.S. journalist captive

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 23, 2014 at 9:08 a.m.

DONETSK, Ukraine — Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine admitted Wednesday that they are holding an American journalist, saying he was suspected of unspecified "bad activities."

Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for Vice News, has not been seen since early Tuesday. He has been covering the crisis in Ukraine for weeks and was reporting about groups of masked gunmen seizing government buildings in one eastern Ukrainian city after another.

Pro-Russia insurgents who have been occupying police stations and other public buildings in eastern Ukraine for more than a week are defying the accords that Russia and Ukraine signed last week that urged all parties in Ukraine to lay down their arms and vacate the public offices.

Members of the nationalist Right Sector movement have also been occupying two buildings in the capital, Kiev, for months, but authorities have said the priority is to get the gunmen in eastern Ukraine to vacate the buildings they hold.

Stella Khorosheva, a spokesman for the pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern city of Slovyansk, confirmed Wednesday that Ostrovsky was being held at the local branch of the Ukrainian security service that they seized more than a week ago.

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