Ukraine rebels release kidnapped Swede

Rebel tanks on the road to Horlivka in June. Photo: TT
The Swede who was kidnapped by pro-Russian rebels has been released after nearly three weeks of being held hostage - although no one knows where he is now.

"The Swede who has sat kidnapped in east Ukraine will now be freed. We thank Ukraine for its efforts," Foreign Minister Carl Bildt wrote on Twitter late Tuesday night.

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the man had been released but said "that is all we currently know".

The 64-year-old Swedish businessman was kidnapped on July 10th and has been held prisoner in a compound in Horlivka, controlled by warlord Igor Bezler. A week ago a negotiator warned that he "feared for the man's life".

"We can confirm that the Swede who was taken against his will is now released, but for security reasons we never say more than that," Ylva Voxby, spokeswoman at the Swedish National Criminal Investigation Department, told newspaper Dagens Nyheter. 

The department said it had no information on the man's condition or whether or not he was still in Ukraine.

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