One June 2, Stanyslav Aseyev, who reports for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from the Russia-controlled Ukrainian Donetsk People’s Republic under the pseudonym Stanyslav Vasin, failed to show up to meet his grandmother, after speaking to her the previous day, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists and Open Democracy. The journalist was also expected to file a report with RFE/RL, which never arrived. When there was no sign of Mr. Aseyev by June 4, his mother had his landlord opened the door to his apartment.

Stanyslav Aseyev's mother stated that his flat "looked like it had been ransacked." She immediately filed a missing person's report with the police and approached the DPR’s Ministry of State Security, inquiring as to the whereabouts of her son.

Tanya Lokshina with Open Democracy described the ministry as the "most feared agency in the DPR, due to its reputation of operating without oversight, arbitrarily detaining people and holding them incommunicado."

Seven members of media organizations killed since 2014

The CPJ reports that five journalists and two others employed with news agencies have been killed since 2014, the year eastern areas of the Ukraine came under the control of Russia-backed separatists. Aseyev's work has also been featured with other independent publications, including Ukrainska Pravda, Ukrainski Tyzhden, and Dzerkalo Tyzhnya.

A representative of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) told independent news outlet Hromadske that the organization believed that they knew where Stanyslav Aseyev was being held.

Despite this, the SBU has been unable to secure his release.

Where is Stanyslav Aseyev?

Yegor Firsov, a Ukrainian legislator and friend of Aseyev, has claimed that the journalist is being held by "pro-Russia separatists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic." On June 15, Firsov was reported to have told RFE/RL that questions about Aseyev's mother's were being raised, as she had stopped answering her telephone.

"We call on Ukrainian authorities to employ all resources at their disposal to find and ensure the safety of Stanyslav Aseyev (Vasin)," Nina Ognianova with the CPJ said in a statement. "All parties to the conflict in east Ukraine should respect the vital role journalists play in bringing the news to the public." Tanya Lokshina stated that "the de-facto authorities should immediately end his forcible disappearance by acknowledging his detention, and release him."