Donbas: abductions continue as Horlivka politician found murdered


The body of Volodymyr Rybak, a Horlivka City Council deputy from the Batkivshchyna party abducted on April 17 was discovered washed up on the shore of the Seversky Donetsk river in Slovyansk. 

The police and the Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov have spoken of two bodies found, but only identify Volodymyr Rybak. Rybak had been taking part in a rally in support of Ukraine’s unity outside the city council building in Horlivka. The police say that he went into the building for a meeting with the mayor, while the local newspaper suggests that it was to remove the flag of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic.  He got into conflict with pro-Russian militants, with all of this recorded on video.

Journalists Irma Krat and Serhiy Lefter remain in custody.  Artem Deineha, a civic journalist, has been missing since April 13.  His girlfriend says that he was abducted from his flat in Slovyansk, after posting live coverage of the storming of the SBU building.

There were conflicting stories on Tuesday about the abduction of Simon Ostrovsky, however the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović has warned that journalists’ safety is worsening in eastern Ukraine and has called for Ostrovsky’s release.

 “I remain deeply concerned about the ongoing negative pattern in relation to journalists’ safety in Ukraine. I call on all those responsible to stop harassing and attacking journalists and let them do their job. Simon Ostrovsky should be released immediately.”

According to reports on 22 April Simon Ostrovsky, journalist with Vice News, was captured by unidentified people in uniform in Sloviansk. The detention has been announced by Vyacheslav Ponomarev, self-proclaimed "People’s Mayor" of Sloviansk.

On 21 April Maxim Danilchenko, journalist with Tochka Opori magazine, was attacked by unidentified individuals and sustained several injuries while covering a protest in Luhansk. On the same day Dmitriy Galko, journalist with Belarusian Noviy Chas newspaper, and Italian and French journalists Paul Gogo and Kossimo Attanasio were reportedly detained by unidentified individuals in uniform in Sloviansk. They were released shortly after being detained.”

It is not only journalists who are coming under fire.  News of Donbas reports that a police lieutenant and head of the Kramatorsk police station is being held by militants from the same “Donetsk People’s Republic”.  The police say that on April 21 7 armed men in masks burst into the police station and are holding Vitaly Kolupai captive

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