Siege of Sloviansk
The Siege of Sloviansk was an operation by the Armed Forces of Ukraine to recapture the city of Sloviansk in Donetsk Oblast from pro-Russian insurgents who had seized it on 12 April 2014. The city was taken back on 5 July 2014 after shelling from artillery and heavy fighting. The fighting in Sloviansk marked the first major military engagement between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces, in the first runoff of battles of 2014.
On 12 April 2014, as unrest grew in eastern Ukraine following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, masked men in fatigues, armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, captured the city administration building. These men, who claimed to be pro-Russian fighters under the banner of the Donetsk People's Republic, subsequently gained control of the rest of Sloviansk and began to fortify it. In response, the Ukrainian Yatsenyuk Government created the first Anti-Terrorist Operations zone (ATO) and launched a series of counter-offensives against the insurgents, resulting in a standoff and violent skirmishes. As tensions in the city increased, the insurgents began to take journalists and others captive, instigating a hostage crisis. The Security Service of Ukraine said on 18 April that "Sloviansk remains the hottest point in the region". On 20 April, Right Sector was ordered by acting President Oleksandr Turchinov to sabotage an insurgent-controlled television tower, leading to the first combat fatalities. By June, roughly 40% of the city's population had fled. On 5 July, after the insurgents had retreated to Donetsk City, Ukrainian authorities retook control of the city.
- 1 History
- 2 Hostages and abductions
- 2.1 Reported abductions
- 2.2 Murder of Volodymyr Rybak
- 2.3 Abduction of Simon Ostrovsky
- 2.4 International military observers detained
- 2.5 OSCE special monitoring mission observers
- 3 Notable figures
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Seizure of government buildings
On 12 April, a group of masked militants, which was formed in Crimea and led by former officer of Russian security services Igor Girkin, captured the executive committee building, the police department, and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU, Sluzhba Bezpeky Ukrayiny) offices in Sloviansk, a city in the northern part of the Donetsk Oblast. According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry the militant supporters of the Donetsk Republic fired indiscriminately on the building. Raiding the police armoury, the militants seized at least 400 handguns and 20 automatic weapons. "The aim of the takeover was the guns," a Ukrainian police statement said. "They are giving these guns to participants in the protest in Sloviansk.". After takeover of the city by militants, Sloviansk mayor Nelya Shtepa briefly appeared at an occupied police station and expressed support for the militants. Others gathered outside the building and similarly voiced their support for the militants. They told Ukrainian journalists who were reporting on the situation to "go back to Kiev". Nelya Shtepa was later arrested by the insurgents, and replaced by the self-proclaimed "people's mayor" Vyacheslav Ponomarev.
The following morning the Ukrainian government announced a counter-terrorism operation in the city. An ultimatum was given for the separatists to disarm and surrender to authorities within 48 hours.
Police began the operation by clearing a highway checkpoint controlled by separatists. A group of insurgents exited their vehicle and opened fire on the Ukrainian police, killing two SBU officers and injuring several Ukrainian military personnel. One separatist was also killed in the shootout, while the remainder fled into the woods. The car the gunmen were in had a Poltava Oblast license plate, which was traced to the private security firm Yavir. In an unrelated shootout in the city itself, two people were shot dead by an assailant in plainclothes, and another was wounded.
By the next day Sloviansk was reported to be under pro-Russian control, with more important government buildings and other areas taken by the militants. The Ukrainian army ground forces were deployed on the same day, after the separatists declined the ultimatum to lay down their arms. Two civilians were shot and killed at point blank range by pro-Russian militants in a car in Sloviansk; another one was wounded.
Ukrainian forces launched their first military offensive to regain control of the Kramatorsk regional air base, using transport helicopters and armoured vehicles. A militants attempted to regain control of the airport resulted in heavy fighting but were not successful. Russian media estimated that this clash resulted in between four and eleven deaths. The leader of the government military operation, General Vasyl Krutov, was attacked by pro-Russian sympathizers after addressing a crowd demonstrating in front of the air base. Ukrainian armoured units were reported to be encircling Sloviansk to blockade all approach routes.
First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema claimed that elements of the 45th Russian airborne division were seen in the Sloviansk area on 16 April. Six Ukrainian armoured vehicles drove through Sloviansk bearing Russian flags, after their crews had apparently defected to the separatist cause. The 25th Airborne Brigade that had been blockading Sloviansk was then disbanded on orders of Ukraine's president. The government announced that the soldiers responsible would be court martialled.
On 18 April, Sloviansk "people's mayor" Vyacheslav Ponomarev announced a "hunt" of the Ukrainian speakers in the Donetsk region, commanding the militants to report suspicious activity, especially if they heard that the Ukrainian language was used.
Ukrainian media claimed that the Zhytomyr Armoured Brigade recaptured two of the six armoured vehicles near Kramatorsk late on 18 April. No fatalities were recorded while one separatist was wounded. Following negotiations, a compromise was reached to return the remaining four BMDs to the Ukrainian military, but an official from the Ministry of Defence announced that the vehicles were still in the hands of the rebels as of 23 April.
A truce for Easter was called by the Ukrainian government, which promised to temporarily halt military action in eastern Ukraine on 19 April.
Pro-Russian members of the Donbass People's Militia began a pogrom targeting the Romani population of the town. According to the International Renaissance Foundation, a Ukrainian NGO, separatist militiamen entered houses inhabited by Romanis, beat the residents, including women and children, and stole their property. The militants claimed they were acting on orders from "people's mayor" and militant leader Vyacheslav Ponomarev. Reports of the attacks were confirmed by Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, as well as a heightened level of xenophobic rhetoric at separatist rallies. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said that the government will not tolerate incitement of ethnic hatred and instructed law enforcement agencies to identify those involved in the attacks on Romani. According to Ponomarev, he held talks with Romani whom he alleged were involved in drug trafficking, and "removed them from the city." Ponomarev said the incidents were not attacks on Romani, but rather "cleaning drugs out of the city."
On 20 April, 20 Right Sector members led by Dmytro Yarosh were covertly sent by acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov to destroy the transformer of the Slavyansk television station on Karachun mountain. When their four-car convoy attempted to pass an insurgent-controlled checkpoint, a gunfight broke out, leading to the first combat fatalities of the conflict. Subsequently, the insurgents' claimed that they were attacked by Right Sector, but this was denied by the Kiev government until two years later, when Yarosh admitted that it was true (the two accounts continue to differ on which side shot first).
The pro-Russian separatists in Sloviansk claimed to have confiscated firearms including a German World War II-era MG-42 machine gun, a night vision device, aerial photos of Sloviansk, military uniforms, camping tools, US cash, and an alleged Right Sector business card of presidential candidate Dmytro Yarosh. Right Sector symbols including a medallion were also claimed to have been found. Right Sector spokesman Artem Skoropadsky denied the group's involvement in the attack, and blamed Russian special forces for it. "We don't have ID cards with numbers. We only have ID cards with letters, where we mention the department where the person works," said Boryslav Bereza, head of the information department for Right Sector. CNN called the phone number on the calling card and reached a woman who expressed surprise at the situation. She said that she was in Kiev and had no relation to anyone in Right Sector. Viktoriya Siumar, deputy head of Ukraine's National Security Council, said the shooting was being investigated, but that there were indications that it was "an argument between local criminal groups".
Sky News correspondent Katie Stallard said there were inconsistencies in the separatists' accounts and there was no coherent evidence to back up their claims. Daniel Sandford of the BBC described the evidence presented as "dubious".
The video released by Russian TV which claimed to show the identifying badges of the Right Sector turned out to have been filmed ten hours before the actual attack took place, as evidenced by the time stamp which the Russian camera crew forgot to remove.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said at least three separatists were killed and three wounded in what it suspected might have been an incident set up by Russian agents. "Armed lawbreakers and saboteurs who are terrorizing the local population around Slaviansk ... have turned to cynical provocation," the SBU security service said in a statement, describing the incident as a "staged attack". No group was present "other than the saboteurs and crime figures, supported and armed by officers of Russia's GRU" military intelligence, the SBU added. They also noted "One cannot but suspect the speed with which camera crews from Russian TV stations appeared at the scene of the shooting, and the obviously staged subject matter of news reports in the Russian media." The alleged Dmytro Yarosh business card was widely mocked on Ukrainian and Russian social media. In 2016, on the two-year anniversary of the attack, Dmytro Yarosh talked to Censor.net, corroborating that he did in fact lead the attack (though the actual combat leader was an unnamed Afghan national), and gave a detailed account of it.
It was later reported that the man killed at the checkpoint was Pavel Pavelko, a resident of the surrounding area.
OSCE monitors were barred from the city by the separatists on 21 April. An OSCE team "has been in Donetsk but has not yet made progress," one diplomat said. "They are trying to get back into Slovyansk, but pro-Russian demonstrators have been blocking the way." An OSCE assessment released Monday described the situation as "very tense" in Donetsk and as "deteriorating" in Sloviansk, where "the entire town is under the control of armed groups."
Ukrainian officials distributed photos to the U.N and U.S councils allegedly showing that pro-Russian militants were undercover Russian special forces. Other photos showed militants equipped and dressed the same as Russian soldiers in Crimea.
A Ukrainian military surveillance plane was damaged by small arms fire as it was on a reconnaissance flight over Sloviansk on 21 April, but safely made an emergency landing. None of the crew members were hurt. American journalist Simon Ostrovsky from Vice News was held captive by militants in the city.
Military operation resumes
On 23 April Ukraine's Interior Ministry said it had cleared separatist forces out of the nearby city of Sviatohirsk and that no one was injured. "During the anti-terrorism operation by special forces, the city was freed," the ministry said in a statement posted on its website. "Currently Sviatohirsk and its surroundings are being patrolled by police."
Ponomarev promised to prevent presidential elections in Ukraine at any cost. He said, "We will take all necessary measures so that elections in the southeast do not take place". Asked how he would accomplish this, he responded, "We'll take somebody as hostage and hang him by the balls." He also promised to destroy dissent, calling it "a harsh truth of life."
On 24 April, Ukrainian troops took control of three checkpoints surrounding the city, and according to the Interior Ministry, five separatists were killed and one police officer wounded in the attacks. The checkpoints were burned. Ukrainian forces distributed leaflets to residents of Sloviansk encouraging them to remain peaceful, and the Ministry reported that Ponomarev had announced that anyone seen with the leaflet would be "shot on the spot."
The leadership of the Donetsk People's Republic told Interfax-Ukraine that "a combined arms operation has been launched in Sloviansk. This means only one thing: a civil war." Ukrainian officials said that the counter-insurgency operation intended to retake all of Sloviansk the same day, but an increased threat of a Russian invasion halted the operation – Russian forces moved to within 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) of the Ukrainian border. The government confirmed seven were killed during the operation.
Ukrainian Forces surrounded Sloviansk supported by multiple armoured columns, and warned civilians to stay indoors ahead of a planned offensive on 25 April. The pro-Russian militant commander Ponomarev threatened to turn Sloviansk into a "Stalingrad" if Ukrainian troops were to enter the town. He also reported that only one checkpoint to the east of Sloviansk remained under separatist control, while the rest had been captured the previous day.
Ukrainian authorities said that the second phase of the military operation in Sloviansk would include blockading the city to prevent any reinforcements from entering.
In the city, it was reported that pro-Russian militants had beaten children whom they caught photographing a separatist checkpoint. The news caused a backlash in residents' opinions of the militants. BBC journalist Natalia Antelava was threatened at gunpoint by members of the Donbass People's Militia while attempting to interview locals.
Russian media, citing Russian Ministry of Defense analysis, reported that Ukrainian forces planned to wipe out the entire population of the city; this was denounced as propaganda in the Ukrainian press. On 26 April, the Ukrainian troops blockading the city began erecting checkpoints on roads leading to Sloviansk.
On 28 April, self-proclaimed "deputy mayor" of Sloviansk, Igor Perepechayenko, was arrested by SBU officers. Officials claimed Perepechayenko had been establishing contact with the General staff of the Russian Armed Forces and the GRU, and was arrested at the Donetsk airport while returning from a flight from Moscow.
Residents reported that gunmen from the Donbass militia began extorting shop owners in the local market for "rent" and had begun stealing expensive cars.
During the early morning on 2 May, Ukrainian forces launched a large-scale operation to retake the city. There were reports of gunfire, explosions, and a military helicopter opening fire. Separatists said one helicopter had been shot down, and one of the pilots captured. A commander at a separatist checkpoint told the Russian News & Information Agency that government forces took control of another of the roadblocks on the outskirts of Sloviansk, as well as the city's television broadcasting centre. A police station was reportedly re-captured, while the city centre remained quiet. Several armoured vehicles were seen outside the city. Separatist authorities claim that three militants and two civilians were killed in the clashes. The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs reports that up to nine checkpoints around Sloviansk were seized. They also acknowledge the shooting down of two Mi-24 helicopters and the death of two airmen. Seven servicemen were wounded. The pilot of one of the Mi-24s, badly wounded, was captured by pro-Russian forces.
The fighting died down by afternoon, but by the evening separatists launched a counteroffensive that killed two Ukrainian paratroopers at Andriivka, southwest of Sloviansk. Ukrainian National Guard Commander Stepan Poltorak said that the town has been practically cleared of terrorists.
After the helicopters were shot down, Ukrainian authorities stated that it was done with Russian man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS). Jane's Information Group editor and military analyst Nicholas de Larrinaga says that the use of "MANPADS outside of formal armed forces has historically been very rare" and that the type used was an Igla model, either the earlier 9K310 Igla-1 (SA-16 'Gimlet'), or the later 9K38 Igla (SA-18 'Grouse'), which are in service with both the Ukrainian and Russian armed forces. An independent Russian military journalist, Pavel Felgenhauer, said that the effective usage of MANPADS in Ukraine proved not only that the people who used it were specially trained, but that the weaponry was supplied by Russia. According to Felgenhauer, Soviet MANPADS would not be functioning right away, as they were equipped with a short-lived battery. On the other hand, MANPADS of the Ukrainian army (type Igla) would not hit a Ukrainian helicopter, because such systems have a friend-or-foe identification ability.
During the fighting, about one hundred civilians gathered outside the city hall to appeal for Russian intervention.
On 5 May, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced that Ukrainian soldiers were killed in fighting with pro-Russian separatists on the outskirts of the city, and said the separatists, numbering as many as 800, fired "large-caliber weapons," and "used mortars and other equipment." Four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and twenty more were wounded in fighting. He claimed 30 "terrorists" were killed, and dozens wounded. Strelkov, Donbass Militia leader, told the Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti that "We lost around 10, including peaceful residents, and 20–25 were wounded." According to a statement on the Interior Ministry's website, separatists used unarmed civilians as human shields as they attacked Ukrainian troops and set fire to nearby buildings, and fired at a minibus that was carrying wounded people from the battlefield, killing an officer in a special police unit who was escorting it. Pro-Russian insurgents also shot down a Ukrainian M-24 helicopter in Sloviansk using a heavy machine gun.
Following the referendum of the status of Donetsk Oblast, on 12 May, Donbass People's Militia leader Igor Girkin declared himself "Supreme Commander" of the Donetsk People's Republic. In his decree, he demanded all military stationed in the region swear an oath of allegiance to him within 48 hours, and said that war would be waged upon those who did not. This was followed on 15 May by a deputy of Strelkov issuing a second ultimatum at a press conference, giving Ukraine 24 hours to withdraw its troops from Donetsk. On the 23rd, he urged all residents of the city to evacuate, saying that artillery would be used.
Throughout this time, attacks by both sides continued. These included a separatist attack on a Ukrainian convoy near Kramatorsk on 13 May which killed seven Ukrainian paratroopers and a disputed number of separatists, and mortar attacks on Ukrainian positions at Mount Karachun, near Sloviansk, on 19 and 20 May leaving one Ukrainian soldier dead and seven wounded.
Ukrainian forces used artillery fire against Sloviansk and surrounding villages; pro-Russian sources said that three villages including Semenivka were damaged by Ukrainian artillery fire on 19 May, and it was also reported that two civilians were killed by artillery fire in Sloviansk itself on 26 May, and three on 7 June. The following day, 120 children were evacuated from the city.
The Ukrainian military also used both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft over Sloviansk throughout May and June. These suffered a number of losses, the most serious being the shooting down of an Mi-8 helicopter on 29 May, killing 12 including the helicopter's crew, six representatives of the Berkut special task force, and Ukrainian National Guard general Serhiy Kulchytskiy. Two helicopters were downed on 3 June, an An-30 surveillance aircraft was shot down on 6 June, and another helicopter on 24 June, a day after the agreement to a week-long ceasefire, killing all nine on board.
Separatists made repeated attacks on the checkpoints that the Ukrainian forces had set up on roads leading out of Sloviansk, inflicting and suffering casualties without taking the positions. On 24 May, an attack with mortars, RPGs and small arms killed two Ukrainian soldiers, while a mortar attack on 7 June left one dead. An attack with mortars and automatic grenade launchers and mortars on 28 June killed three Ukrainian servicemen.
On 3 June, the Ukrainian military launched a new offensive against Sloviansk and the nearby village of Semenivka. The fighting left at least ten separatists and two Ukrainian soldiers dead, and 42 Ukrainian soldiers and 12 separatists were wounded, while one Ukrainian armoured personnel carrier was damaged. A Ukrainian military convoy was attacked while moving south toward Sloviansk from Izyum.
Divisions emerged within the separatist forces. On 27 May Girkin said that some of his men had engaged in looting of the city, and that in response he had company commander Dmitry Slavov and platoon commander Nikolai Lukyanov executed. Ponomarev was dismissed from his post and arrested by Strelkov on 10 June. "The so-called people's mayor Ponomarev has been dismissed for engaging in activities incompatible with the goals and tasks of the civil administration. I cannot provide further details for now," Strelkov said in his statement.
President Poroshenko declared an end to the ceasefire at the end of June, after at least 27 Ukrainian servicemen were killed during it. A renewed government offensive followed, once again using heavy artillery and airstrikes. A TV tower on Mount Karachun was destroyed by shelling.[nb 1]
DPR militants retreated from Sloviansk on 5 July. According to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, he personally gave the order for the Ukrainian flag to be raised over the town. Separatists and Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov both said that a portion of the rebels, including Girkin, military commander of the DPR, were retreating from Sloviansk. Avakov claimed that the separatists were "suffering losses and surrendering", and had lost one tank and four armoured vehicles in the retreat. Associated Press quoted Andrei Purgin, a spokesman for the separatists' self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, as saying the rebels were evacuating. A rebel commander said that they were falling back to Kramatorsk. Captured hostages claimed to have freed themselves from Sloviansk's main police station, and confirmed the rebel retreat. According to Girkin, 80-90 percent of his men had escaped from Sloviansk. On 11 July spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Andriy Lysenko claimed Ukrainian security forces had not destroyed the retreating military column because they had received information that the separatists were using human shields.
Following the fall of Sloviansk, in the same weekend (5–6 July), government forces took control of several other towns in northern Donetsk Oblast: Kramatorsk, Druzhkivka, Kostiantynivka and Artemivsk.
Hostages and abductions
A number of people have been abducted during the conflict, some as hostages.
- Serhiy Shapoval – Journalist for the Volyn Post (released)
- Yuri Lelyavsky – Journalist for ZIK channel news, held on suspicion of being a "provocateur" (released)
- Irma Krat – Leader of Maidan's "Women Hundred", Editor-in-chief of Hidden Truth TV, held for "war crimes" and "suspicion of torturing and killing a Berkut riot police officer." Residents of Sloviansk freed Krat after her captors left the city.
- Serhiy Lefter – Journalist, held on suspicion of "espionage and co-operation with Right Sector" (released)
- Yevhen Hapych – Journalist from the Ivano Frankivsk Oblast town of Kolomyia (released)
- Clarissa Ward – Journalist for CBS News (detained and released)
- Mike Giglio – Journalist for Buzzfeed (kidnapped and released)
- Simon Ostrovsky – Russian-born American journalist for Vice News, held on suspicion of being a Right Sector informant (released)
- Paul Gogo – French journalist (released)
- Cosimo Attanasio – Italian journalist (released)
- Dmitry Galko – Belarusian journalist (released)
- Volodymyr Rybak – Horlivka city councilman (found murdered)
- Vadym Sukhono – Sloviansk City Councilman
- Nelya Shtepa – Sloviansk mayor
- Yakymov – Head of the Sloviansk medical forensics service (released)
- Yuri Popravko – A 19-year-old student from Kiev, murdered along with Rybak. His body was found in the river. Popravko's friends later admitted that Yuri was a member of the Right Sector and arrived to Slavyansk together with other Right Sector members. They brought with them arms, shot at a car that had been driving them and attacked a checkpoint with a grenade. 
- Valeriy Salo – Head of the Prosvita in Krasny Lyman, captured by Donetsk Republic members. His body was found in Luhansk region with torched car.
- Artem Deyneha – A Sloviansk resident, he was kidnapped after he was observed setting up a webcam from the balcony of his family's apartment overlooking the occupied SBU building.
- Vitaliy Kovalchuk. He attempted to capture guns from militants in Sloviansk. Initial statements that he was a member of Right Sector were contradicted by later reports.
- Denis Grishchuk – A volunteer at the "Mystetskyi Arsenal" art center, abducted by Sloviansk separatists on 25 April. Released during insurgent withdrawal.
- Pavel Yurov – A theatre director, abducted by Sloviansk separatists on 25 April. Released during insurgent withdrawal.
- Vasily Nesterenko, a man abducted on 6 May 2014 while bringing food to the Ukrainian army.
International military observers
- German interpreter (released)
- Axel Schneider – German Colonel (released)
- German soldier (released)
- German soldier (released)
- Josef Přerovský – Czech Lieutenant colonel (released)
- Krzysztof Kobielski – Polish soldier (released)
- John Gerhard Østergaard Christensen – Danish Warrant Officer (released)
- Yngve Thomas Johansson – Swedish soldier (released for medical reasons)
Ukrainian military and security
- Five representatives of the Ukrainian armed forces were also detained along with the OSCE mission (released)
- Ponomarev and Russian media claim that separatists have captured 40 additional Ukrainian soldiers.
- Pro-Russian militants in Horlivka captured three SBU officers (LTC Rostyslav Kiyashko, MAJ Serhiy Potemsky, CPT Yevhen Verinsky), who were held in the SBU building in Sloviansk and publicly interrogated at a press conference, with a video of the interrogation being posted on YouTube. They were later released on 7 May in exchange for separatist leader Pavel Gubarev (released)
- Yuriy Zahrebelny – Prosecutor of Sloviansk (Zahrebelny was released following interrogation)
- Vitaliy Kolupai – Kramatorsk chief of police. Pro-Russian militants demanded weapons and arms in exchange for the police colonel's release
- Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Prokhorov – Sloviansk chief of police (whereabouts unknown)
Murder of Volodymyr Rybak
Ukraine's acting president relaunched military operations against pro-Russian militants in the east after two men, one a local politician, were found tortured to death. The politician, Volodymyr Ivanovych Rybak, from the Batkivshchyna party, was found near Sloviansk. Both men had the same cause of death: "combined injuries due to torture and death by drowning while unconscious." Rybak was kidnapped by four pro-Russian militants in camouflage after he took part in a "For a United Ukraine" demonstration near the Horlivka city council building – he was found in the river with a backpack filled with sand around his back and gutted. A statement by Ukraine's SBU state security service implicated Igor Bezler and Igor Strelkov – whom it describes as senior officers in Russia's GRU military intelligence services which is leading the pro-Russian separatist movement in eastern Ukraine – in the murder of Horlivka city council member Volodymyr Rybak.
Rybak's wife, Elena, claimed at a news conference that checkpoints into the city of Horlivka were manned by Chechen militants, and they would not allow her to enter the city to identify his body.
Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) released a YouTube video implicating Bezler with an alleged audio recording. In it, he allegedly orders a subordinate to abduct Rybak, tie his hands and blindfold him, and then drive him to a remote place so that he could rendezvous with the captors. In the second part of the recording, Russian Military Intelligence Colonel Strelkov calls Ponomarev to take care of (Rybak's) body because it "is lying here and beginning to smell." In response, Ponomarev complies, and says he will come to take the body and "organize the burial of this rooster."
Abduction of Simon Ostrovsky
On 22 April, Simon Ostrovsky of Vice News was detained by pro-Russian separatists. "We had been looking into whether there were actual Russians involved in what's going on here – for the two days prior to me being captured," Ostrovsky said. "I had been phoning them and requesting interviews with them on that subject so maybe that's why they decided it was time to stop me." Recounting the experience, he claimed, "They beat me up as an introduction to the whole situation, blindfolded me, tied my hands behind my back," Ostrovsky said. "Then they eventually untied them and I was just hanging out in the room with the other prisoners." Ostrovsky says his captors accused him of working for the CIA and FBI, and that during his stay "a dozen other nameless detainees were ferried in and out of the cellar of the Ukraine state security (SBU) building by the pro-Russia militants" and that many had been there for up to two weeks.
When I refused to give the password to my laptop, I was smacked in the arm with a truncheon. When I was asleep on the floor, masked men came to wake me up and tell me how no one would miss me if I died, and then kicked me in the ribs as they left.
When asked of his whereabouts during a press conference, self-appointed "people's mayor" Ponomarev said "nobody abducted him, nobody is holding him hostage, he's with us now in at the SBU, preparing material and working."
Stella Khoraeva, a spokeswoman for pro-Russian insurgents told the Associated Press that Ostrovsky was "fine" and "suspected of bad activities," but refused to explain. She added that the pro-Russian group was conducting an investigation into Ostrovsky's activities. Khoraeva then said Ostrovsky was initially captured for spying on behalf of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists. Ponomarev reciprocated this claim, saying "According to our information, he is an informer of Right Sector." Later, she said that the insurgents had planned to take Ostrovsky, which was prompted from his "incorrect way" of reporting. "We knew where he was going and the men manning the checkpoint were told to look out for him," she said.
Ponomarev has said his arrest was "so he wouldn't put out a lot of provocative commentary, so he wouldn't conduct hostile activity on our territory. In the final analysis, he is an undesirable element in our area." When asked when he would be released, he said he would be released "when we consider it necessary for him to get out, then we'll let him out." He also reiterated that he is not a hostage, but that they were 'defining his place of stay, so to speak.' The self-styled mayor then said that Ostrovsky could be released in a trade: "We need captives. We need a bargaining chip. Many of our comrades are imprisoned. Those guys [Ukrainians] are grabbing them, then taking them to Kiev and torturing them. So then, we're doing the very same thing. That is, in the sense that we're taking captives," said Ponomarev.
Jen Psaki, the US State Department spokeswoman, said US authorities are "deeply concerned" about the situation and are working to resolve it. "We condemn any such actions, and all recent hostage-takings in eastern Ukraine".
On 24 April, Ostrovsky was released.
International military observers detained
On 25 April near Sloviansk, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry lost contact with military inspectors from OSCE participating states. The group, on an inspection mission under the Vienna Document on military transparency, was made up of three German soldiers, a German translator, and military observers from Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and Denmark, a ministry spokesman said. "In Donetsk region communication has been lost with members of the OSCE military verification mission ... According to preliminary reports, they could be captured by terrorists," the director of the ministry's information policy department, Yevhen Perebyinis, said at a briefing. The Interior Ministry later confirmed that 13 people (seven members from OSCE countries, five Ukrainian military representatives, and the driver) had been taken hostage by pro-Russian militants and held in the SBU building. Ponomarev says he believes the detained military observers have a Kiev "spy" in their group. "People who come here as observers for the European community bringing with them a real spy – that is inappropriate," Ponomarev told reporters. He also claimed the detention was due to the bus having "banned ammunition on board," and he along with Russian media accused the observers of being "NATO officers." The separatists have said they refuse to release the hostages until they meet with "competent authorities in Russia". Igor Strelkov, commander of the separatist militia, accused the monitors of being "NATO spies," and that they would only be exchanged for pro-Russian "activists" held in custody in Kiev. On 3 May, following the second offensive on Sloviansk, the observers along with five Ukrainian observers were released. The SBU then released what they described as a tapped phone call implicating Russia in the abduction, naming specifically Vladimir Lukin and Igor Girkin.
OSCE special monitoring mission observers
On 29 May Ponomarev admitted that he and his men were holding four OSCE observers, promising that they would be freed soon, according to Russia's Interfax news agency. He said they were detained for being "most-zealous." The OSCE said it had lost contact with one of its four-person monitoring teams in Donetsk on Monday evening. His men had previously kidnapped OSCE monitors in eastern Ukraine.
- Alexander Mozhaev ("Babay" or "Bogeyman", Russian: Александр Иванович Можаев), a Russian military veteran from Belorechensk. Mozhaev with his distinctive beard has appeared in many circulated pictures as a member of the Donbass People's Militia in Sloviansk, and allegedly led the assault on a weapons depot in Artemivsk, Donetsk Oblast.
- Ukraine crisis: Rebels 'abandon Sloviansk stronghold' BBC News, 5 July 2014
- "Ukraine army helicopter shot down near Sloviansk". BBC News. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- Экс-мэр Славянска Пономарев покинул город вместе с ополчением, RIA Novosty, 5 July 2014.
- "Сепаратисты Славянска перешли под контроль российского спецназовца Стрелкова – СМИ: Новости УНИАН". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Semyonovka May-June 2014". 18 November 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
- "Один из лидеров ополчения Славянска "Ромашка" погиб". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Shuster, Simon (24 April 2014). "Exclusive: Meet the Pro-Russian Separatists of Eastern Ukraine". Time.
- instagram.com/sashakots. "Сепаратисты контратакуют. В Славянске погибли еще двое украинских военных". Korrespondent.net.
- "Seven Ukraine's troops killed, eight wounded in military convoy attack near Kramatorsk – Defense Ministry". Voice of Russia. 13 May 2014. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
- Tom Balmforth (16 October 2014). "Insult Evolves into Homage As Donetsk Airport Defenders Dubbed 'Cyborgs'". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "На блок-постах возле Славянска стоят вооруженные чеченцы – очевидец : Новости УНИАН". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Ukraine Deploys Military as Russia Evokes Specter of Civil War". Yahoo! Finance.
- "РИА Новости публикует снимки, запечатлевшие войска Украины у Славянска". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Military.com. "Ukrainian Helo Shot Down in Sloviansk". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Ukraine soldiers killed in Slovyansk clashes". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Kiev says 4 of its troops killed in eastern Ukraine
- "A day of humiliation as Ukrainian military offensive stalls, six armored vehicles seized". Kyiv Post. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- Книга пам'яті загиблих [Memorial Book to the Fallen]. Herman Shapovalenko, Yevhen Vorokh, Yuriy Hirchenko (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 31 January 2015.
- "Thirty-one people remain abducted or missing in Donetsk Oblast". Kyiv Post. Missing or empty
- "Aviation Safety Network". 29 June 2014.
- "Ukraine army helicopter shot down near Sloviansk, 12 dead - BBC News". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "В штабе АТО уточняют, что 6 июня боевики сбили АН-30Б, который совершал наблюдательный полет". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- "Ukraine helicopters shot down in Slovyansk". Al Jazeera.
- 1 killed (13 April), 3 killed (19 April), 5 killed (24 April), 3 killed (2 May), 10 –30  killed (5 May), 2 killed (27 May), 10 killed (4 June), total of 34–54 reported killed
- "'Four arrests' after Slaviansk helicopter attacks kill two". Itv.com. 28 April 2014.
- "BBC News - Ukraine crisis: Donetsk rebels in mass withdrawal". Bbc.com. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- 2 killed (13 April), 2 killed (14 April), 2 killed (22 April), 1 killed (28 April), 2 killed (2 May), 1 –3  killed (5 May), 4 killed (26 May), total of 14–16 reported killed
- "Italian journalist Andrea Ronchelli killed in Ukraine". The Guardian. 25 May 2014. Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- Rachkevych, Mark (12 April 2014). "Armed pro-Russian extremists launch coordinated attacks in Donetsk Oblast, seize buildings and set up checkpoints". Kyiv Post.
- Babiak, Mat (13 April 2014). "Counter-terrorism Operation Announced in Sloviansk". Official Public Relations Secretariat for the Headquarters of the National Resistance in Kyiv, Ukraine.
- "Anti-terrorist campaign takes a different tack". Kyiv Post. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- ДМИТРО ЯРОШ: "ПЕРШИЙ НАСТУПАЛЬНИЙ БІЙ ВІЙНИ ВІДБУВСЯ 20 КВІТНЯ 2014-ГО - ДОБРОВОЛЬЦІ АТАКУВАЛИ БЛОКПОСТ ПІД СЛОВ'ЯНСЬКОМ". Censor.net.ua. 2016-04-22.
- Ehemaliger Befehlshaber des "Rechten Sektors" gibt zu, Krieg im Donbass provoziert zu haben. RT Deutsch. 2016-05-05 (English translation)
- "Ukraine News One: Slovyansk residents desert lawless separatist stronghold". Kyiv Post. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Ukraine crisis: Bridges destroyed outside Donetsk, BBC News (7 July 2014)
- Командующий самообороной Славянска Игорь Стрелков: Задержанные наблюдатели — кадровые разведчики. Комсомольская правда (in Russian). 26 April 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "Аваков: В Славянске неизвестные захватили здания милиции". Komsomolskaya Pravda. 12 April 2014.
- У М. СЛОВ'ЯНСЬКУ ЗАХОПЛЕНО БУДІВЛЮ СБУ (in Ukrainian). Ukrainian Interior Ministry. 12 April 2014.
- Oliphant, Roland (12 April 2014). "Fears of full-scale Russian invasion as eastern Ukraine cities toppled". The Daily Telegraph.
- "Counter-Terror Operation in Donetsk". Ukrainian Policy. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "Two reportedly killed in point-blank attack on car in Sloviansk". Kyiv Post. 14 April 2014.
- "Ukraine bares teeth against eastern uprising". The State. Associated Press. 15 April 2014.
- "Turchynov orders traitor airborne division disbanded (LIVE UPDATES)". Kyiv Post. 17 April 2014.
- "Ukraine disbands army unit after fiasco push into east". Yahoo News. Agence France-Presse. 17 April 2014.
- "Сепаратисты в Славянске объявили "охоту" на украиноязычных – СМИ : Новости УНИАН". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 18 April 2014.
- Mark Rachkevych (19 April 2014). "Ukraine recaptures two airborne combat vehicles on eve of truce<!— Bot generated title ->". Kyiv Post.
- "Українські військові переконали екстремістів повернути ще 4 БМД | Українська правда". Ukrayinska Pravda.
- Міноборони: У сепаратистів залишилися 4 БМД. Ukrayinska Pravda, 23 April 2014
- Стрєлков: "Ополченці" вбиватимуть українських військових, якщо ті надалі виконуватимуть свої обов'язки. Ukrinform, 26 April 2014
- "International Renaissance Foundation: Stop Ethnic Violance in Slovyansk! –". Romea.cz.
- "Pro-Russian Separatists Loot, Assault Romani in Sloviansk". Ukrainian Policy. 19 April 2014.
- "Яценюк поручил привлекать к ответственности за распространение антисемитизма и ксенофобии : Новости УНИАН". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 19 April 2014.
- "Новости Донбасса :: Сепаратисты объяснили погромы ромов в Славянске". Novosti.dn.ua.
- "У Слов'янську сепаратисти викрали активістку ''жіночої сотні Майдану'' | Українська правда". Ukrayinska Pravda.
- Lister, Tim (20 April 2014). "Mysterious fatal shooting in eastern Ukraine". CNN.
- "US stands with Ukraine in face of 'humiliating threats': Biden – Yahoo News". Yahoo! News. 22 April 2014.
- "Ukraine forces accuse Russia of staging shooting". Reuters. 20 April 2014.
- James Reynolds (20 April 2014). "Ukraine unrest: Russian outrage at fatal Sloviansk shooting". BBC.
- "Ukraine: 'Five Killed At Separatist Checkpoint'". Sky News. 20 April 2014.
- Gregory, Paul Roderick (April 2014). "Putin Propagandists Caught Red-Handed Again: Pro-Russian Self-Defense Forces Capture Snipers' Diapers". Forbes.
- "Hashtag 'Yarosh's business card' blows the internet away". Euromaidan PR. 20 April 2014.
- "Самопроголошений "народний мер" Слов'янська попросив Путіна ввести у регіон війська – ЗМІ : Новини УНІАН". Unian.ua. 20 April 2014.
- "Самопровозглашенный мэр Славянска ввел комендантский час : Новости УНИАН". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 21 April 2014.
- Staff, About the Source Euromaidan Press (21 April 2014). "Sloviansk Shooting Victim Identified - April 20, 2014 -". Euromaidan Press. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Pro-Russian separatists block monitors from buildings in east Ukraine, diplomats say". The Washington Post.
- Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia
- "Ukraine alert as politician killed". BBC. 22 April 2014.
- "News Republic". News Republic. 22 April 2014.
- Matthew Keys. "Matthew Keys: [ALERT] Vice News journalist being held in Ukraine – App.net Broadcasts". Broadcast.app.net.
- Brian Ries2 :36 UTC (22 April 2014). "American Journalist With Vice News Captured in Eastern Ukraine". Mashable.com.
- Canada (23 April 2014). "Ukraine has 'freed' eastern city, Kiev says as crackdown resumes". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Сепаратисты Славянска обещают пытать заложников, чтобы сорвать выборы : Новости УНИАН (in Russian). Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Senior security official: Anti-terror operation suspended as Russian troops amass on border". Kyiv Post. 24 April 2014.
- "Власть решила полностью заблокировать Славянск в рамках второго этапа АТО". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 25 April 2014.
- "Местные жители озлобились на сепаратистов: под Славянском избиты дети – ОстроВ". Ostro.org. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Ukraine crisis: Sloviansk resident tells of 'oppression'". BBC. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "РИА Новости публикует снимки, запечатлевшие войска Украины у Славянска | РИА Новости". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Російська пропаганда заявила про плани України ''стерти Слов'янськ з землі'' | Українська правда". Ukrayinska Pravda. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- ""Праву руку" ватажка терористів Слов'янська затримали з грошима Кремля в аеропорту – Політика – ТСН.ua". Tsn.ua. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Сепаратисти в Слов'янську захопили ринок, заправки і крадуть дорогі авто – очевидці – Новини України на 1+1 – ТСН.ua". Tsn.ua. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Government forces 'move on Sloviansk'". BBC News. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Pro-Russian rebels in Slaviansk say Ukraine tries to retake town, gunfire heard". Trust.org. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Ukrainian troops begin special operation in Slavyansk". Russia: RT. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- Сепаратисти "взяли" українського льотчика. Ukrayinska Pravda, 2 May 2014
- "Militia spokesman says sweep operation underway against civilians in Slavyansk". Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- Ukraine forces move against separatists; copters shot down, killing 2. Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2014
- Турчинов: спецоперация в Славянске разворачивается медленнее, чем хотелось бы. ITAR-TASS, 2 May 2014
- de Larrinaga, Nicholas (3 May 2014). "Two Ukrainian Mi-24s shot down by MANPADS". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.
- В Славянске погибли еще двое украинских военных. Korrespondent.net, 2 May 2014
- "National Guard commander tells Sloviansk practically cleared of terrorists". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Вертольоти під Слов'янськом збиті з ПЗРК російського виробництва – заступник міністра оборони (in Ukrainian). Корреспондент.net. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- Журналист Павел Фельгенгауэр: использование ПЗРК доказывает, что боевое ядро в Славянске – это российский спецназ (in Russian). Телеканал "Дождь". 2 April 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- "Dozens die in Odessa, rebels down Ukraine helicopters". Reuters. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- Kyiv Post (5 May 2014). "Interior Ministry: Four Ukrainian soldiers killed, 30 wounded in anti-terrorist operation in Sloviansk (LIVE UPDATES)". Kyivpost.com. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "За оцінками МВС, убито понад 30 терористів | Українська правда". Pravda.com.ua. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Ukraine President Poroshenko hails 'turning point'". www.bbc.com. BBC News Online. 5 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- "Donetsk's Own Coup d'Etat". Ukrainian Policy. 12 May 2014.
- "Заместитель "Стрелка" выдвинул ультиматум украинской армии – 24 часа на вывод войск. Видеофакт | Обозреватель". Obozrevatel.com. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- ""Стрєлок" порадив мешканцям Слов'янська тікати з міста - Новини України на 1+1 - ТСН.ua". Tsn.ua. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- Christopher J. Miller. "Rebel ambush near Kramatorsk kills seven Ukrainian paratroopers; one rebel dead (UPDATED)". Kyivpost.com. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- Допис by Dmitry Tymchuk. "Під Краматорськом силовики потрапили в засідку. Є загиблі | Українська правда". Pravda.com.ua. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- ЛIГАБiзнесIнформИнформационное агентствоwww.liga.net. "В Нацгвардии сообщили об уничтожении 54-х террористов в Славянске". News.liga.net. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- 14 травня 2014. Міноборони розповіло про втрати терористів під Краматорськом (in Ukrainian). Radio24.ua. Retrieved 2014-07-08.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Один украинский боец погиб, еще трое ранены в результате минометного обстрела под Славянском. ZN, 19 May 2014
- В результате обстрела под Славянском ранены 4 силовика – Тымчук. Liga, 20 May 2014
- Украинская артиллерия разрушила жилые дома в Славянске. NTV, 20 May 2014
- "Ukraine launches air strike on pro-Russian rebels". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Donetsk separatists say three civilians killed in Ukrainian government shelling of Sloviansk". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Из Славянска эвакуировали более 100 детей - Новости Донбасса - Около 120 детей покинули Славянск, спасаясь от боевых действий | СЕГОДНЯ". Segodnya.ua. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- "National Guard says 12 Ukrainian security officers killed in helicopter shot down near Sloviansk". Kyivpost.com. 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- Volodymyr Verbyany, Julianna Goldman and Daria Marchak (June 3, 2014). "Ukraine Fortifies Russian Border as Death Toll Climbs". bloomberg.com. bloomberg.com. Retrieved August 13, 2016.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
- Meyer, Henry; Verbyany, Volodymyr; Marchak, Daria. "Putin Offers to Meet Obama as East Ukraine Battles Rage". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Slavyansk self-defense forces shoot down Kiev 'spy' plane (VIDEO)". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Videos show Ukrainian surveillance plane shot down by MANPADS (and crew jump from it)". 6 June 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Miller, Christopher. "Poroshenko Takes Presidential Oath in Kiev, Says Crimea Is 'Ukrainian Soil'". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Спасатели нашли тела еще двоих членов экипажа сбитого АН-26, - Селезнев". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- David Stern (24 June 2014). "Ukraine army helicopter shot down despite ceasefire". BBC.
- Террористы в Славянске пошли в наступление: Двое военных Украины убиты. Podrobnosti, 24 May 2014
- "Ukraine crisis: Moscow and Kiev seek 'end to bloodshed' - BBC News". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council report: June 29 | EUROMAIDAN PRESS | News and Opinion from Across Ukraine". Euromaidan Press. 2014-06-29. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- "Two Ukrainian troops killed in battles with insurgents on June 3; OSCE says Luhansk blast on June 2 likely caused by airstrike (UPDATES, VIDEO)". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- CNN, By Michael Pearson, Azad Safarov and Victoria Butenko. "Conflicting accounts in heightened eastern Ukraine fighting - CNN.com". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Стрелков признал, что его командиры в Славянске занимаются мародерством и похищением людей и он их за это расстреливает | 62.ua - Новости Донецка". 62.ua. 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- "Civilians caught in the crossfire in Donetsk as casualties mount". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Strelkov: Sloviansk 'people's mayor' Ponomarev dismissed". Kyivpost.com. 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- "Captured Russian mercenary near Sloviansk condemns Putin, asks for forgiveness". Kyiv Post. 21 June 2014.
- "Fighting Intensifies in Ukraine After Cease-Fire Is Ended". The New York Times. 1 July 2014.
- Poroshenko to visit Karachun Mountain in Donbas where new TV tower being built, Interfax-Ukraine (6 July 2016)
- "Ukraine crisis: Rebels 'abandon Sloviansk stronghold'". www.bbc.com. BBC World News. 5 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
- Balmforth, Richard (7 July 2014). "Ukraine tycoon pleads for city's safety after rebels vow to make stand". www.reuters.com. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- (in Ukrainian) Terrorists have to get out of Slavic, were covered by peaceful people - the National Security Council, Ukrayinska Pravda (11 July 2014)
- Над Славянском поднят украинский флаг. Фото. sprotyv.info (in Russian). Information Resistance. 5 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
- Славянск. Освобожденный горсовет изнутри. VIDEO Information Resistance, 6 July 2014, retrieved 2014-17-06.
- (in Ukrainian) Shtepa released from captivity, Ukrayinska Pravda (7 July 2014)
- "BBC News - Ukraine says forces retake two more rebel-held cities". Bbc.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- "Ukrainian president hails breakthrough as Slavyansk seized from separatists". The Guardian. 6 July 2014.
- (in Ukrainian) Shtepa detained and escort convoys in Kharkiv, Ukrayinska Pravda (11 July 2014)
- Yulia Gorbunova (2014-07-24). "Dispatches: Mass Grave Found in Eastern Ukraine | Human Rights Watch". Hrw.org. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
- "Was passiert mit den "Kriegsgefangenen"?". Bild. 26 April 2014.
- "Rebellenchef nennt OSZE-Beobachter Kriegsgefangene". Bild. 26 April 2014.
- "LA Times". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "Ukraine im Live-Ticker: Wie nahe steht die Ukraine am Krieg? - USA werfen Russland "Verdrehung der Tatsachen" vor - Politik Ausland" (in German). Bild.de. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
- "У Слов'янську зник зв'язок із журналістом Сергієм Шаповалом". Telekritika.ua. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Olga Whiting (2014-05-20). "Separatists are demoralized. They can be finished off". Info Resist. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- "Терористи у Слов янську захопили львівського журналіста | УКРІНФОРМ". Ukrinform.ua. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Ukrainian Journalist Yuri Lelyavsky Freed (Slovyansk-RiaNovosti Journo)". The Interpreter. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "Tally of persons kidnapped by Russian-backed insurgents in Ukraine's east grows to 16". Kyiv Post. 23 April 2014.
- Mintz, Zoe. "Full List of Journalists Captured in Ukraine: Simon Ostrovsky Among 7 Reporters Kidnapped". IB Times.
- Vitkine, Benoît (6 July 2014). "Ukraine : le récit de la chute de Sloviansk, tournant de la guerre entre l'armée et les séparatistes". Le Monde (in French).
- Ostrovsky, Simon (25 April 2014). "'I Had It Pretty Easy, Because I Was Let Go': Simon Ostrovsky on His Detention in Sloviansk". VICE NEWS.
- "Interview: Three Weeks A Hostage In Slovyansk". Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "Дружина Гапича: Женю гамселив "Беркут", питали про Майдан | УКРІНФОРМ". Ukrinform.ua. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- 19. "Press | Published by Interpreter_Mag". Pressimus. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Brian Ries:46 UTC (29 April 2014). "BuzzFeed Reporter Kidnapped in Ukraine: 'I Was Pretty Freaked Out'". Mashable.com. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Kim Sengupta (26 April 2014). "Ukraine crisis: Death toll rises in a nation fearful of more bloodshed – Europe – World". The Independent. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Исповедь выжившего в Славянске пленника". VESTI UKRAINE. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- "Парень из Правого сектора: "Мы ездили в Славянск на разведку"". VESTI UKRAINE. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- T17:03+02:00 17:03 8 May 2014 (20 October 2012). "Dead body of Prosvita's leader in Donetsk region captured by 'Donetsk People's Republic' found in Luhansk region". En.interfax.com.ua. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- Russian channels for its propaganda used sportsman from Kiev. Ukrayinska Pravda. 22 April 2014
- The Right Sector activist in Sloviansk appeared to be a fitness coach Kiev. Segodnya. 22 April 2014
- "These People Are Still Being Held by Armed Separatists in Ukraine". VICE News. 3 May 2014.
- "Украинские силовики освободили заложников в Славянске :: Происшествия". Top.rbc.ru. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- "German defence ministry-unable to contact observer mission in east Ukraine". Reuters. 25 April 2014.
- "Českému pozorovateli ve Slavjansku šlo o život, pohrozili mu, že poslouží jako živý štít" (in Czech).
- Leonard, Peter (27 April 2014). "Observers held in Ukraine speak under armed guard". Associated Press. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- 04.25.14. "OSCE Observers Taken Prisoner by Pro-Russian Forces in Ukraine". Thedailybeast.com.
- "Ополченцы задержали 40 украинских диверсантов в Славянске". Lifenews.ru. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Сепаратисти Горлівки кажуть, що захопили трьох "альфівців"". Theinsider.ua. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Donetsk separatists took three Alpha agents. Euronews. 27 April 2014
- Mark Rachkevych (23 April 2014). "Police: Body of Pro-Ukrainian Horlivka City Councilman found dead in river". Kyiv Post.
- Olearchyk, Roman (23 April 2014). "Kiev implicates Russia in politician's murder". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Paul Roderick Gregory (1 May 2014). "Paul Roderick Gregory: Putin's Ukrainian executioners worse than Stalin's". Kyivpost.com. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Simon Ostrovsky, U.S. journalist held in Ukraine, now free – World – CBC News". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Журналист с двойным гражданством оказался информатором "Правого сектора"". NTV. 23 April 2014.
- "American Journalist Under Investigation By Armed Gunmen in Slavyansk". The Interpreter.
- ""Народный мэр" Славянска не собирается отпускать американского журналиста". Gazeta. 23 April 2014.
- "Simon Ostrovsky Has Been Released". VICE News. News.vice.com. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Latest from the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine – based on information received up until 25 April 2014". Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- Interfax-Ukraine (25 April 2014). "Kyiv official: Contact lost with OSCE mission members in Donetsk region, they could be abducted by terrorists". Kyiv Post.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link). Mvs.gov.ua. Retrieved 4 May 2014
- Thomson Reuters Foundation (25 April 2014). "Separatist leader in Ukraine city says Kiev "spy" is in detained group". Trust.org. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Sloviansk "people's mayor" confirms detention of bus with servicemen, civilians". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- 5 :28 (25 April 2014). "Press | Published by Interpreter_Mag". Pressimus. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Alpert, Lukas I. (25 April 2014). "Military Observers Taken Hostage, Ukraine Says". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Rachkevych, Mark (26 April 2014). "Alleged Russian Colonel Strelkov makes public appearance as self-proclaimed chief of 'Donbass People's Militia'". Kyiv Post.
- "Police say pro-Russians accidentally set fatal Odessa fire with Molotov cocktails (LIVE UPDATES, VIDEO)". Kyiv Post. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Associated Press in Donetsk. "East Ukraine rebel leader claims to have missing OSCE observers | World news". theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- "Eastern cities Artemivsk, Mariupol latest targets in Ukraine anti-terror operation". Kyiv Post. 24 April 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to War in Donbass (Sloviansk).|
- The Independent – Ukraine crisis: Kidnappings abound as the Donbass falls further into anarchy
- The Guardian – Freed OSCE observers tell of ordeal during capture in Ukraine
- Polskie Radio Captive Polish OSCE observer in Ukraine speaks of 'real danger'
- 6 July 2014, Road of death. Destroyed armored group of terrorists, inforesist.org