Putin’s invaders kidnap another mayor as Kremlin installs replacement mayor in port city of Melitopol

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Russian Federation troops have allegedly kidnapped at least two Ukraine mayors as the war in that country continues, with both sides accusing each other of terrorism in this context.

Video shared on social media purports to show a detail of Russian soldiers hustling Melitopol Mayor Ivan Federov from the city’s crisis center with a plastic bag over his head after he reportedly refused to cooperate with the occupying military.

Troops also subsequently arrested Dniprorudne Mayor Yevhen Matveyev, according to reports.

On Saturday, ex-Melitopol city council member Galina Danilchenko, reportedly installed by the invaders, appeared on local televised as Federov’s successor.

During the TV appearance, Danilchenko said, in part, that “Our main task now is to adapt all the mechanisms to the new reality so that we can begin to live in a new way as soon as possible.”

Dmytro Kuleb, Urkaine’s foreign minister, took to Twitter to describe what happened to the two elected officials, implying that Russia is committing war crimes in this scenario.

“Russian war criminals abduct democratically elected mayors of Ukrainian towns. On March 11 they abducted mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov. Locals hold protests demanding to free him. I call on states & international organizations to stop Russian terror against Ukraine & democracy.”

On Sunday, he provided this disturbing update:

“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.”

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has demanded Federov’s release (and a similar demand on behalf of Matveyev is forthcoming, if not made already). He also called for a hands-off policy when it comes to any elected official in Ukraine.

“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,” Zelenskyy reportedly declared.

On Saturday, as alluded to above, thousands of Melitopol residents gathered outside of the city’s administrative building in the southeastern part of the country to protest Federov’s arrest.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Ukraine’s foreign ministry declared that “The abduction of the Mayor of Melitopol is classified as a war crime under the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocol that prohibit the taking of civilian hostages during the war. We call on the international community to respond immediately to the abduction of Ivan Fedorov and other civilians, and to increase pressure on Russia to end its barbaric war against the Ukrainian people.”

“The prosecutor’s office of the Luhansk People’s Republic, a Moscow-backed rebel region in eastern Ukraine, claimed there was a criminal case against Fedorov, accusing him of ‘terrorist activities,'” the New York Post reported.


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