The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Melitopol has been arrested by the Russian military as part of its invasion into Ukraine, Deputy Head of the Office of President Kyrylo Tymoshenko said, according to Interfax Ukraine.
“According to preliminary information, the mayor of the city of Melitopol, Ivan Fyodorov, was abducted an hour ago by the invaders,” Tymoshenko wrote.
Separately, CNN showed video that it said showed Fyodorov being taken away by Russian soldiers outside a government building in his city.
Adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko corroborated Tymoshenko’s claim, writing that “in Melitopol, a group of invaders of 10 people abducted the mayor of the city, Ivan Fedorov, who refused to cooperate with the enemy.”
“During the abduction, they put a plastic bag over his head. The enemy detained him in the city crisis center, where he dealt with the life support of the Ukrainian city. There was a Ukrainian flag in Ivan Fedorov’s office, ”he said.
The city of Melitopol, located in the Zaporizhia region of Ukraine, has been occupied for more than a week, according to The New York Times.
Russia has broken multiple temporary ceasefire agreements with Ukraine in its recent attacks, accelerating the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
As of late Thursday, over 2.5 million Ukrainian refugees had fled from the war-torn nation into neighboring countries such as Poland.
—Updated at 3:10 pm