Reporter Stephen Ostrovsky has been detained in the city, just days after a shootout reportedly killed as many as five people.
The US-based news organisation released a statement on its website confirming Ostrovsky had been detained in recent days.
“VICE News is aware of the situation and is in contact with the US State Department and other appropriate government authorities to secure the safety and security of our friend and colleague, Simon Ostrovsky.”
We are aware of @SimonOstrovsky’s situation and are working to ensure the safety and security of our friend and colleague.
— VICE News (@vicenews) April 22, 2014
Ostrovsky had been covering the “Invasion of Ukraine”, filing dispatches from across the country over recent weeks.
In a dispatch dated April 20, Ostrovsky covered a failed campaign against the pro-Russia forces in Slavynansk.
“So far, the campaign hasn’t been going so well,” he wrote.
Journalists based in Slavynansk have posted reports of their colleague’s detention online.
Telegraph reporter Roland Oliphant said little information had been provided so far, but the mayor had confirmed Ostrovsky’s capture.
The mayor of Slavyansk & his press sec have confirmed @SimonOstrovsky is in custody in Slavyansk. I was at the presser.
— Roland Oliphant (@RolandOliphant) April 22, 2014
Another journalist, Graham Phillips, said he had been told Ostrovsky was being treated well but would not be released in the coming hours.
Ok, seems no chance of release tonight, mayor tells me they are expecting attack on building, no one leaves.
— GrahamWPhillips (@GrahamWP_UK) April 22, 2014
Ostrovsky’s detention follows violence in the town on Sunday, when a shootout at a checkpouint reportedly killed as many of five people.
Ukraine’s acting president has now ordered the military to resume an operation against pro-Kremlin separatists, after the “brutally tortured” bodies of two people, one a kidnapped local councillor, were discovered in the restive east.
Oleksandr Turchynov said the bodies of two people were found in the rebel-held town of Slavyansk on Tuesday, both bearing signs of torture.