Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine are holding a U.S. journalist working with Vice News.

The self-declared separatist mayor of Slaviansk told reporters that Simon Ostrovsky had been detained for reporting what he said was false information that was "destabilizing for us" but that he was being treated well.

Ostrovsky, a fluent Russian-speaker who also holds an Israeli passport, has been covering the crisis in Ukraine for weeks and was reporting about the masked gunmen seizing government buildings. Vice reports also appear on HBO.

Gunmen detained Ostrovsky on Monday night along with other reporters who have since been released.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called on Russia "to use its influence" to ensure his release. - Inquirer Wire ServicesEndText