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Ukraine Crisis

Journalist's 'Terrifying' Capture by Pro-Russian Insurgents

The Ukraine crisis continues to escalate as pro-Russian groups clash with pro-Ukrainian protesters, but so far Russia isn't backing down.

As the situation grows more dangerous, it's not only putting civilians at risk but also journalists reporting from the ground in Ukraine. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky was recently captured by pro-Russian insurgents and held captive for three days.

He says the men threw him into a cellar and began beating him -- but soon Ostrovsky realized they didn't aim to kill him.

"They weren't hitting me in the face and they were using moves like clapping you in the side of the head really hard which is painful and sort of creates this effect of a photo flash in your brain but doesn’t actually leave any bruises," Ostrovsky said. "They’d be punching me in the ribs and so forth and using police truncheons which are made out of rubber so they don’t leave very many marks either."

On Monday, he spoke with NBC News about the harrowing experience, and why it won’t deter him from returning one day.

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The Obama administration is now targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. The new round of sanctions imposed Monday will impact seven Russian government officials and 17 companies -- but not Putin himself.