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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777
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2 Tortured Bodies Found Dumped in Sloviansk, Ukraine

One victim was a Ukrainian ruling party official. The second has not been identified.

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Vice News journalist Simon Ostrovsky is being held hostage by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Vice News journalist Simon Ostrovsky is being held hostage by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Photo Credit: Screenshot, online petition to Free Simon Ostrovsky, Vice News

Two dead men whose bodies were marked with signs of “brutal torture” were found dumped near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk, according to numerous media reports.

One has yet to be identified.

Israeli-American journalist Simon Ostrovsky was kidnapped on Monday by armed gunmen working for the self-declared separatist mayor of Slaviansk. He is being held hostage in the eastern Ukranian city, now under pro-Russian rule. Mr. Ostrovsky, who works for the HBO-owned Vice News media outlet, has not been seen or heard from since his capture.

The second was allegedly identified in a preliminary investigation as that of Volodymyr Rybak, a member of the ruling Ukrainian Batkivshchyna party. Mr. Rybak was kidnapped last Wednesday by terrorists in Horlivka. His body was found in the Seversky-Donets River. Mr. Rybak served as a local council member in the town of Horlivka, near Donetsk.

Although the identification has yet to confirmed, Ukrainian interim President Oleksander Turchinov said in a statement to media that at least one of the bodies appeared to be that of Mr. Rybak. Turchinov called for an anti-terrorist operation to be relaunched in Ukraine.

Despite efforts by fellow journalists to determine his status and condition, journalist Simon Ostrovsky has not been seen since.

The Israeli government did not respond to phone calls and an email from The Jewish Press asking for a comment on the situation.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing on Monday, that the U.S. believes “there’s a strong connection between Russia and the armed militants that we’ve seen in eastern Ukraine and Crimea and other places… what we see in the photos that have been, again, in international media, on Twitter, and publicly available, is that there are individuals who visibly appear to be tied to Russia. We’ve said that publicly a countless number of times.”

Psaki added that Secretary of State John Kerry had called on Russia to speak out against the seizing of journalists and other innocents as hostages.

Hana Levi Julian

About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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Imported and Older Comments:

  1. Jade Stone says:

    history is going make same mistake

  2. It really makes me sad, and nauseas how people can kill others , and discard their bodies like carcasses

  3. Are Ukrainians kind of Slavic hillbillies?

  4. Both were Ukrainian human rights activists, one was a politician from Mr Yatsenyuk’s party, may they rest in peace. The Russian Fascists in Eastern Ukraine brutally killed them, after kidnaping them. Both were without weapons, wanted to work as peacemakers there… How naive to hope to make peace with Kremlin’s killer commandos…

  5. And more is coming. Nazis are Nazis — no matter where

  6. Both victims of Russian brutallity were Ukrainian human rights activists.

  7. Get out!!! How many more Korbans does there need to be?? Flee Yidden!

  8. Both victims of the Russian brutallity were Ukrainian human rights activists.

  9. Ukrainian are a brutal bunch, they showed it during WWII. Brothers and sisters please get out of that cursed land. Enough

  10. all of this sounds too familiar…. fight the beginnings. The world doesn’t need new Nazis, nowhere in the world.

  11. Diane Brown says:

    That’s horrible!!! Do leave I know it’s hard, but save your lifes.

  12. Both victims were Ukrainian (!!!) human rights activists, killed by the Russian GRUs, can’t you read before you write?!

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