Ukraine-Russia Crisis: Putin Kidnaps Ukraine’s Mayor

Ukraine has accused Vladimir Putin’s Russian forces of abducting the mayor of Melitopol, a city in southeastern Ukraine that has fallen under Russian control.

Anton Heraschenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry, said 10 soldiers entered the premises of Melitopol’s crisis centre on Thursday, put a bag over Mayor Ivan Fedorov’s head and took him to an unknown location.

Mayor of Metitopol, Ivan Fedorov

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office in Kyiv, shared footage of what he said was Fedorov’s abduction.

The video showed masked men leading another man out of a building.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the footage.

There was no immediate comment from Moscow on Fedorov’s fate.

In a video message late on Friday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the abduction, calling Fedorov a “mayor who bravely defends Ukraine and the members of his community”

“This is is obviously a sign of weakness of the invaders,” he said. “They have moved to a new stage of terror in which they are trying to physically eliminate representatives of legitimate local Ukrainian authorities”

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also denounced the abduction in a statement, saying the incident amounted to a war crime as international law prohibits the taking of civilian hostages during war

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