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    President’s video ends Ukraine hostage crisis

    A siege gripped a city in Western Ukraine on Tuesday (July 21) that involved the president, a documentary promotion and a bus of hostages. 44-year-old man, later identified as Maksym Kryvosh, seized a bus in the city of Lutsk, saying he was armed with guns and explosives. He then threatened to blow up the bus and detonate another in a crowded area in the city. In a move to secure the hostages’ release, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, spoke to Kryvosh for several minutes before agreeing to his demand, to endorse an animal rights documentary made in 2005, called “Earthlings”, narrated by Hollywood actor Joaquin Phoenix. The president said he had persuaded Kryvosh to first release three hostages — including a pregnant woman. Then Zelenskiy fulfilled the demand, and posted a six-second clip on Facebook to promote the film. It was later deleted after the release. The president had been given the option to launch an assault on the bus but didn’t want to risk the hostages. After the release of all 13 hostages unharmed, he said quote “we have the result — everyone is alive.” Footage showed a small bus parked in the middle of an empty street, with two windows smashed. Police said Kryvosh had thrown a grenade out of the bus and fired shots at police. The Interior Minister said Kryvosh had served time in prison and propagated quote “extremist views”.
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    World News from Reuters

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