Eastern Ukraine: Pro-Russian separatists keep taking hostages

On Friday OSCE said it had lost contact with a second team of monitors in Ukraine, two days after pro-Russia rebels claimed to have kidnapped four observers.

‘The group was stopped by armed people in the town of Severodonetsk,’ OSCE states. There are four international observers and Ukrainian interpreter; the group were going by two cars.

In the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, the regional administration and other major government buildings remain under the control of pro-Russian separatists. Local journalists have reported that people are being held hostage and tortured in the buildings. A deputy of the district council, Dmytro Verzilov, visited the administration headquarters in an attempt to learn what was happening there. He told RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service that he was seized by a group of men and thrown into a dungeon-like cellar full of other captives and released after several hours.

‘Five drunk guys came to me, pulled something on my head, I don’t know if it was a sack or a balaclava and took me inside. There was a cellar under the ground floor. They let me into the cellar, it was very dark There were maybe 80 people there, People that are sitting there are hungry, they do not give them any water, it was like a dungeon, dark and scary. Some kind of water was dripping down onto my head. And those people, they explained to me they were captives. Some of them have been sitting there for a week, some for two weeks, some for a month,’ the deputy said.


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