DONETSK , Ukraine, July 24 (UPI) -- A freelance journalist employed by CNN was abducted by pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Anton Skiba, a native Ukrainian, was returning to his Donetsk hotel Tuesday with his team when they were stopped by rebels of the self-styled Donetsk People's Republic. The rebels' representative, Alexandr Kalyussky, said Skiba was initially accused of posting rewards on his Facebook page for the deaths of rebels. Skiba was arrested for having identification with differing information, Kalyussky said.
It was Skiba's first day of working with CNN as a "fixer," or journalist with local knowledge and translation capabilities. He was formerly employed by the British Broadcasting Corp. in a similar capacity.
Skiba was detained Tuesday, and no contact has been made with him since.
Geoffrey Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, criticized Skiba's detention and that of other journalists covering eastern Ukraine.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, an organization based in New York, reported at least 10 journalists have been detained since last week's crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine. The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders claims the number is higher.