Own report: The mayor of Melitopol in southern Ukraine was abducted by Russian troops on Friday, President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials said.
Ukraine’s parliament said on Twitter that “a group of 10 people have kidnapped the mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov.” They further stated that “he refused to cooperate with the enemy.”
They said the mayor was detained while he was at the center of the city’s crisis to resolve supply problems. In a video message on Friday, Zelensky confirmed the abduction, calling Fedorov “a mayor who bravely protects Ukraine and its members.”
He added: “This is clearly a sign of the weakness of the attackers … they have entered a new phase of terrorism where they are trying to eliminate the legitimate representatives of the local Ukrainian authorities.”
“Detaining the mayor of Melitopol is therefore a crime, not only against a certain person, but against a certain community and not only against Ukraine. It is a crime against democracy … The actions of the Russian invaders will be treated as Islamic State terrorists.”
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The deputy head of Ukraine’s administration, Kirillo Timoshenko, posted a video in the Telegram where soldiers grabbed a man dressed in black and walked out of a building, his head covered with a black bag.
According to the Ukrainian parliament, another regional official, the deputy head of the Zaporizhzhia regional council, 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Melitopol, was abducted a few days ago and later released.
Before the Russian invasion, Melitopol had a population of only 150,000.
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