A hostage situation in the Ukraine city of Lutsk was defused overnight after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky bowed to one of the hostage-taker’s demands, promoting a 15-year-old documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix on his social media channels.
ABC reports the 12-hour stoush came to a close when 44-year-old Maksym Kryvosh, who was alleged to have “extremist” views, allowed 13 hostages to leave a bus and surrendered himself to police.
The surrender followed an apparent phone conversation between Zelensky and Kryvosh, who had reportedly demanded for the president to publicly promote the 2005 animal rights documentary, Earthlings.
President Zelensky’s video has since been deleted following Kryvosh’s arrest, but as the Internet never forgets, the video was ripped and shared before being scrubbed by the President’s office.
With all hostages free and the hostage-taker in custody, President Zelensky has deleted the Facebook video of himself complying with the armed man’s demand to promote the 2005 film Earthlings featuring narration by Joaquin Phoenix. But here it is for posterity. pic.twitter.com/lPcHB8XD3H
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) July 21, 2020
During the armed stand-off, Kryvosh fired warning shots, attempted to shoot down a police drone, and threw a grenade out of the bus. The city’s centre was brought to a standstill as police blocked access to traffic.
It’s also been reported that an accomplice was arrested in Kharkiv, in the country’s northeast.
According to Russian newspaper Pravda, Ukraine Interior Minister Arson Avakov told journalists that the Earthlings doco is a good movie, but “you don’t need to be so fucked up to appreciate it.”