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The Abducted And The Missing In Eastern Ukraine

U.S. journalist Simon Ostrovsky was abducted by separatists in eastern Ukraine on April 22. He was released two days later.
U.S. journalist Simon Ostrovsky was abducted by separatists in eastern Ukraine on April 22. He was released two days later.
In eastern Ukraine, journalists, local politicians, and ordinary citizens have been going missing at an alarming rate. "The Kyiv Post" and the Committee to Protect Journalists have compiled lists of documented cases of kidnappings in the region.

Simon Ostrovsky - A U.S. journalist who works for the Brooklyn-based VICE News, Ostrovsky was abducted on April 22. He is being held by pro-Russian separatists in Slovyansk. (UPDATE: Ostrovsky was released on April 24)

Artem Deynega - A Slovyansk resident, Deynega was kidnapped by unknown people on April 13 while filming the streets from his balcony. His apartment is located near the Slovyansk state security building. Deynega's whereabouts are unknown.

Paul Gogo, Kossimo Attanasio, and Dmitry Galko - Italian journalists Gogo and Attanasio, and Galko, a Belarusian journalist, were detained by pro-Russian groups in Slovyansk on April 21. The reporters were later released but their reporting equipment, money and personal documents were confiscated.
Serhiy Lefter
Serhiy Lefter
Serhiy Lefter - A Ukrainian journalist, Lefter was reportedly kidnapped by unknown people in the town of Slovyansk. Lefter's employer, the Open Dialog Foundation says the last contact with the journalist was on April 15.

Yevhen Hapych - A Ukrainian photographer, Hapych went missing in the eastern town of Artemivsk, where he was on a reporting trip for the newspaper, "Reporter." Hapych last contacted his family on April 22.

Vitaliy Kolupa - The police chief of the town Kramatorsk, Kolupa was abducted by masked militants on April 21. Pro-Russian militants have reportedly demanded weapons in exchange for the police colonel's release.
Irma Krat
Irma Krat

Irma Krat - The editor in chief of Ukrainian television station, the "Hidden Truth TV," Krat was abducted on April 20, and is being held in Slovyansk. Her captors – pro-Russian separatists – paraded Krat before the press, where the journalist confirmed she was being held.

Oleg Prokhorov - The Slovyansk police chief has been missing since April 19. Local media reported that Prokhorov was abducted by pro-Russian separatists, but the claim has not been officially confirmed.
Volodymyr Rybak
Volodymyr Rybak

Volodymyr Rybak - A member of a local council in the city of Horlivka, Rybak was found dead on April 22 after allegedly being kidnapped by pro-Russian separatists five days earlier. His body with signs of apparent torture was found near the Torets River. Body of an unidentified man was found alongside him.

Vadym Sukhonos - A member of Slovyansk city council, Sukhonos was reportedly abducted by pro-Russian militants on April 23. Sukhonos is known as an independent lawmaker after quitting the Party of Regions – the dominant party in eastern Ukraine – in February.

Mr. Yakymov - The head of the Slovyansk Medical Forensic Service, Yakymov (whose first name has been withheld) was captured by masked men in his office on April 22. Police said he was interrogated by pro-Russian militants before being released. Police said Yakymov was "very scared" and refused to comment on the details of his captivity.
Nelya Shtepa
Nelya Shtepa

Nelya Shtepa - The Slovyansk Mayor disappeared on April 18 after she attempted to meet a pro-Russian separatist leader. She is reportedly being held inside a building occupied by the separatists. Shtepa initially appeared to back pro-Russian separatist but later voiced her support for the new government in Kyiv.

Yuriy Zahrebelny - A Sloviansk prosecutor, Zahrebelny was kidnapped and later released by masked gunmen on April 22. Police said Zahrebelny refused to disclose the details.
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    Farangis Najibullah

    Farangis Najibullah is a senior correspondent for RFE/RL who has reported on a wide range of topics from Central Asia, including the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the region. She has extensively covered efforts by Central Asian states to repatriate and reintegrate their citizens who joined Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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