Russia - Ukraine War: Russian troops 'abduct' mayor of Melitopol

According to Ukraine's parliament, Mayor Ivan Fedorov was detained by approximately 10 people while in the city center

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, March 12, 2022, 09:36 AM IST
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Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 9, 2022 | AP

The mayor of Melitopol, Ukraine, was abducted Friday by Russians, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, in what it calls "a war crime under the Geneva Conventions."

According to Ukraine's parliament, Mayor Ivan Fedorov was detained by approximately 10 people while in the city center.

"During Fedorov's abduction, they put a plastic bag on his head," the parliament said on its official Twitter account.

The ministry has called on the international community to help free Fedorov.

"Russian troops, who have been launching missile and bomb attacks on civilian facilities and infrastructure in Ukraine, including children's hospitals and schools, over the course of two week, are cynically accusing the mayor of 'terrorism,'" the ministry wrote on its verified Facebook page.

Allegations of war crimes, impossible yet to prove, are mounting and an investigation is underway at the International Criminal Court. Russia’s willingness to use overwhelming force — aerial bombardment and artillery in civilian areas — is already drawing comparisons with its attacks in Chechnya and Syria.

Russian forces entered Melitopol on the second day of their invasion, on February 25, according to the Ukrayinska Pravda news website.

Following the Russian offensive, Fedorov led several rallies against the invasion, according to the news outlet. That included a rally on March 2 that was attended by thousands of people.

On March 5, Ukrayinska Pravda reported Fedorov saying that the situation in the city was getting “difficult” due to food and medicine shortages.

He also said Melitopol authorities had asked Russian forces to open a humanitarian corridor to let the city’s residents leave, but said the request was refused.

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