Russia has been accused of kidnapping Ukrainian Mayors and has even reportedly installed a new Mayor in one city.
Ukrainian officials have claimed Mayor of Dniprorudne Yevhen Matveyev was arrested by Russian soldiers earlier today.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: “Today, Russian war criminals abducted another democratically elected Ukrainian mayor, head of Dniprorudne Yevhen Matveyev.
Today, Russian war criminals abducted another democratically elected Ukrainian mayor, head of Dniprorudne Yevhen Matveyev. Getting zero local support, invaders turn to terror. I call on all states & international organizations to stop Russian terror against Ukraine and democracy. pic.twitter.com/jEPTBTLikY— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 13, 2022
“Getting zero local support, invaders turn to terror. I call on all states & international organisations to stop Russian terror against Ukraine and democracy.”
Meanwhile, in the city of Melitopol, a new Mayor has been introduced to replace the elected Ivan Fedorov, who is reportedly being held by Russian soldiers.
Galina Danilchenko was announced as the new Mayor and gave a televised statement in which she said her ‘main task is to take all necessary steps to get the city back to normal’.
She claimed people in Melitopol would try to 'destabilise the situation' and 'provoke a reaction'.
She said: “I ask you to keep your wits about you and not to give in to these provocations.
“I appeal to the deputies, elected by the people, on all levels. Since you were elected by the people, it is your duty to care about the well-being of your citizens.”
Hundreds of people took to the streets in Melitopol, demanding the release of Fedorov, who had refused to cooperate with Russian troops since they took control of the city.
Speaking before he was detained, he told the BBC: "We are not cooperating with the Russians in any way.
"They have not tried to help us, they cannot help us, and we do not want their help."
Ukrainian officials shared footage of Fedorov being dragged away by armed men with a bag over his head. Officials said the men were Russian soldiers.
In Melitopol, defiant residents gathered near occupied district administration demanding that Russians release the kidnapped Melitopol mayor Ivan Fedorov - video by Odessa reg governor Maksym Marchenko pic.twitter.com/nCrE6OtQd0— Myroslava Petsa (@myroslavapetsa) March 12, 2022
As of yet, Russia has not commented on his disappearance.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has demanded Russia release Fedorov.
He said: “The capture of the mayor of Melitopol is therefore a crime, not only against a particular person, against a particular community, and not only against Ukraine. It is a crime against democracy itself... The acts of the Russian invaders will be regarded like those of Islamic State terrorists.”
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Featured Image Credit: Twitter
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