Hostages Freed After Ukrainian President Endorses Joaquin Phoenix Film

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

A hostage situation in Lutsk, Ukraine, came to an end after Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, complied with the armed hostage-taker’s demand to publicly endorse the 2005 documentary Earthlings, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. The standoff between police and the hostage-taker, identified as Maksim Krivosh, lasted 12 hours, during which Krivosh spoke to Zelensky over the phone. Zelensky then posted a video on Facebook saying, “Everybody watch the 2005 documentary Earthlings,” later deleting the post. Krivosh held the hostages captive in a city bus, and released three people after speaking with Zelensky. The remaining hostages were freed after Zelensky’s Facebook post, and police were then able to apprehend Krivosh. All of the hostages were physically unharmed. Earthlings depicts animal abuse and suffering across various industries.

Hostages Freed After Ukraine President Endorses Documentary