A hostage situation in Ukraine ended after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy consented to a gunman's demands and recommended a Joaquin Phoenix film. The man, identified as 44-year-old Maksym Kryvosh, is reported by the Guardian to have seized a bus and taken 13 people hostage.
He demanded that the president endorse a 2005 documentary named Earthlings, narrated by Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix. The film is about humanity's use of animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment. Phoenix is a vocal animal-rights activist.
Watch the trailer of 'Earthlings' here
During the siege, which began on Tuesday, the gunman opened fire and threw a grenade at a police drone. He also spoke to journalists and remained active on his Twitter account, which was eventually deactivated. The president is said to have spoken to the gunman directly, after he released three hostages. The rest were released after the president posted a video endorsing the film.
"The film Earthlings from 2005. Everyone should watch it," Zelenskiy said in the video, released on Facebook. It was deleted after all hostages were secured and the gunman was apprehended. "Human life is the most important value. We have not lost anyone," the president wrote.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said: "The film … is a good one. And you don't have to be so screwed up and cause such a horror for the whole country – you can watch it without that."