Danish hostage in Ukraine released

OSCE team relieved to be free after being detained for a week

John Christensen, the Danish member of a team from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) who was detained by pro-Russian rebels in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavjansk for more than a week, has been released and is now back home.

 “My experience has been critical, dramatic and dangerous at times. I found the imprisonment and the release to be the most troubling and critical phases, but I don’t wish to clarify the details,” he said in a press release. 

READ MORE: Danish OSCE observer remains detained in Ukraine

Defence minister moved by meeting
Christensen and the six other hostages arrived in Berlin for a debriefing on Saturday. He was greeted by Defence Minister Nicolai Wammen, who was obviously emotionally affected by the meeting.

“It moves you when someone we have deployed walks down the stairs, hugs you and says that it’s great to be here again,” Wammen told DR Nyheder, adding that Christensen had been through a rough time and was looking forward to seeing his family.

The head of the OSCE team, Axel Schneider, expressed ‘deep relief’ to be free. The group spent the first days in a basement constantly under guard with their hands tied behind their backs.