How playing Joaquin Phoenix’s documentary ‘Earthlings’ helped Ukraine President end hostage standoff | English Movie News


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy helped free 13 people taken hostage on a bus and end the standoff by agreeing to one of Maksym Kryvosh’s (the hostage-taker) demand – to play a 2005 animal rights documentaryEarthlings’, narrated by Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix.

Police arrested the suspect, who seized the bus in the city of Lutsk, saying he was armed with guns and explosives.

According to reports, the Police said Kryvosh threatened to blow up the bus and detonate another explosive in a crowded area in the city. However, in a move to secure the hostages’ release, Zelenskiy said he spoke to Kryvosh for seven to 10 minutes and agreed to one of his demands, to promote the documentary ‘Earthlings’.

Zelenskiy did so in a six-second clip posted on the presidential Facebook page, which was later deleted.

Reports on Reuters state that the president persuaded Kryvosh to first release three of the hostages, including a pregnant woman.

“We agreed that he would release three people and after that, I will record a video,” Zelenskiy said.

Zelenskiy had been given the option of launching an assault on the bus but did not want to risk hostages dying during the attack. “We have the result – everyone is alive,” he said.

An accomplice of Kryvosh was detained in the eastern city of Kharkiv. Police had blocked off the city centre with armed officers, cars and an armoured personnel carrier while they tried to persuade Kryvosh to free the hostages in a day-long standoff, it was reported.

In posts on social media, Kryvosh had also demanded that senior Ukrainian officials publish statements saying that they were terrorists.

“The film this man is talking about is good. And you don’t have to … create such a nightmare for people all over the country. The film can be watched without it,” Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said.


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