A Ukrainian journalist freelancing for CNN was abducted and detained by pro-Russian separatists while he and a news team were reporting at the crash site of the recently shot-down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on Tuesday night.
Thursday that Anton Skiba was with a team of American journalists at the site when the separatists approached and accused him of terrorism. Specifically, they claimed he had posted monetary rewards on his Facebook page for the killing of pro-Russian separatists. At that point they all but dragged him away.
Skiba had worked for one day with CNN, and was acting as a local guide and interpreter for the American-based cable network. In the past he'd also acted as a reporter and photojournalist for publications like the BBC and Russian Reporter.
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CNN originally tried negotiating for his release behind the scenes, but went public with the story on Thursday in an attempt to put public pressure on the separatists detaining Skiba.
"Since his detention, CNN has attempted through a number of different separatist officials, including the office of the self-declared separatist prime minister Alexander Borodai, to secure Skiba's freedom," they said in the report.
"CNN chose not to report his abduction at the time while making efforts to obtain his release. That has not happened to date, so CNN is now publicly asking those who are holding Skiba to release him immediately."
CNN reporters released pictures of Skiba as part of the public campaign, with some journalists posting the pictures to Twitter so others could easily share it.
The network received a brief call from Skiba on Wednesday, and he said he was unharmed and doing fine while the separatists continued to question him. CNN reported that the call ended abruptly however, making them unsure whether it was made under duress.
Since the crash of Flight MH17, nearly 10 journalists have been detained by separatists in the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic.
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