Mar 16, 2022 - World

Melitopol mayor freed after kidnapping by Russian forces

Ivan Fedorov

Ivan Fedorov, in gray suit, in 2020, prior to becoming mayor. Photo: Dmytro Smolyenko/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov, who was abducted by Russian forces last week, has been freed, Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba confirmed via Twitter on Wednesday.

Driving the news: The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs decried Fedorov's kidnapping as a war crime and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that his capture could signal "a new stage of terror" in the war.

  • Days after Fedorov, a second Ukrainian mayor, Yevhen Matveyev, from the southern city of Dniprorudne, was also kidnapped.

What they're saying: "Ukraine conducted a 'special operation' and rescued Melitopol mayor Ivan Fedorov from captivity in the occupied Luhansk! Melitopol is Ukraine!" Scherba tweeted.

  • Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Zelensky’s office, confirmed on Telegram that "Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov is already safe!" Tymoshenko then posted a video of Zelensky speaking by phone with Fedorov.
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