Residents of the Ukrainian city of Melitopol took to the streets of the city to protest the “kidnapping” of Russian forces, the city’s mayor.
The demonstrators surrounded the headquarters of the local authorities, in the heart of the city, demanding the immediate release of Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of Melitopol.
Ukrainian officials released video footage on Friday showing Fedorov being taken away from his office while he was blindfolded.
In a message to his people, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of “going to a new level of terrorism”.
Melitopol, in southern Ukraine, was one of the first cities to fall into Russian hands, at the start of the invasion.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine began on the twenty-fourth of last month, claiming that it feared Ukraine’s intention to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO.
In his message, Zelensky said that Fedorov “bravely defended Ukraine and his people.”
“This is a clear sign of the weakness of the invaders, they have moved to a new level of terrorism, they are trying to get rid of representatives of the legal Ukrainian authorities,” he added.
Fodorov had assured the BBC, a few days ago, that his administration would not cooperate in any way with the Russians.
He said that “the invaders stormed his office, searched him, and expelled his staff, and expelled them to other locations”, in an attempt to restore work in the city.
Witness Melitopol Protests It has been going on on a daily basis since the Russian forces entered it.
“Reader. Infuriatingly humble travel enthusiast. Extreme food scholar. Writer. Communicator.”