A hostage situation in Ukraine has ended after the gunman strangely demanded a presidential movie review.
A gunman held hostages on a bus in Ukraine for nearly 12 hours on Tuesday, and one of his demands was for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to promote the 2005 animal rights documentary Earthlings, which is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, The New York Times reports.
Zelensky ultimately did so, posting a video on his Facebook page in which he says, “Everybody watch the 2005 film Earthlings.” The gunman reportedly showed the movie to the hostages, as well. According to the Times, three of the 13 hostages were freed following a phone conversation between the gunman and Zelensky, and the rest were freed after Zelensky’s promotion of the documentary, with the man surrendering to police.
“After the video was published on social networks, we would release all the rest in half an hour,” Zelensky later explained, BBC News reports. “Everything happened almost like that. In 30-40 minutes he released all hostages.” Zelensky in a Facebook post also celebrated that “we didn’t lose anyone today.”