The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Melitopol has been kidnapped by Russian forces, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Ukraine’s parliament has claimed Ivan Fedorov was abducted by a group of 10 armed men who put a plastic bag over his head.
Footage posted on Telegram by the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office appears to show Mr. Fedorov being escorted across a square in the city center.
Mr. Zelensky equated the kidnapping to the actions of “ISIS terrorists”, and said Russian forces “have transitioned into a new stage of terror”.
The president warned: “They are trying to physically eliminate representatives of legitimate local Ukrainian authorities.”
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the mayor of the Ukrainian city of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, has been kidnapped by a group of 10 armed men from Russian forces.— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 12, 2022
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Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned the abduction amounts to a war crime, and vowed that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.
“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,” its statement added.