Time correspondent Simon Shuster tells the story of his abduction near Konstantinovka, in Ukraine, recently. He was stopped at a checkpoint where a man “pulled me from the car and cracked me on the head with the butt of his pistol.”

About half of his buddies got nervous, even sympathetic, when they saw the blood running down my face, and a few even ran to bring me some tissues. Maybe these were meant to be the peaceful citizens struggling for their rights. For a while, they bickered about what to do with me before calling their commander, a lanky man in camouflage named Vanya, who soon drove up with a long-barrel shotgun and a bandolier of red shells across his chest. “You’re screwed now,” one of his men whispered at me.

But on the ride back to his headquarters in the town of Kramatorsk, inside the occupied city hall, Vanya apologized for the beating. “We’re at war here,” he offered as an explanation. “We’re in a military situation.”

Simon Shuster, Time

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  • canardnoir

    There have long been some places around the Globe where Americans are simply neither wanted or needed. But many find this a difficult, if not impossible lesson to learn.

    For whatever reasons, many reporters believe that they have a license to trespass, question, and otherwise intrude into everyones’ life. The shield of the so-called First Amendment held high?

    But here’s a tip that could save your life: When you know, or reasonably should know, that there is conflict and people are about with loaded firearms – don’t go there! Or at least in the alternative, don’t whine about it when you get your posterior kicked!

    Decades ago when Spain’s dictator was on his death bed and his successor had not been named, I probed a bit too deeply around the Royal Palace and promptly had a fully-automatic sub-machine gun poked in my face – on two different occasions. To my way of thinking there were no “blurred lines” about this situation – There was Conflict & Loaded Guns – so I did an about-face and exited.

    A word to the wise should be sufficient – because very simply – no so-called “breaking news story” in the World is worth loosing your life over!