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Updated March 17th, 2022 at 10:08 IST

Ukrainian mayor in Moscow's custody released in exchange for 9 Russian soldiers

The mayor of Southern Ukraine's Melitopol city Ivan Fedorov was released from the captivity of the Russian soldiers in exchange for nine Russian servicemen 

Russia Ukraine war
Image: Twitter/@DmytroKuleba | Image:self
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The mayor of Southern Ukraine's Melitopol city, Ivan Fedorov, was released from the captivity of the Russian soldiers in exchange for nine servicemen of the Russian Federation born in 2002-2003. According to German news outlet DW, the spokesperson of the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andriy Yermak, on the combined television said, "These are actually children. Conscripts. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, there are none in Ukraine."

Melitopol mayor Fedorov was kidnapped on March 11 by the Russian soldiers, who were carrying out their military actions in the Ukrainian city. Yermak's spokesperson said, "For more than five days, the kidnappers detained the mayor, forcing him to cooperate, but Fedorov did not surrender."

Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, had informed that Fedorov was abducted after he refused to co-operate with the Russian military. He was detained at the city crisis centre where he was in charge of the city's life support.

Confirming the same, the Ukrainian Parliament also took to Twitter and said that a group of 10 occupiers have kidnapped the mayor of Melitopol in the Zaporizhzhya region, Ivan Fedorov. It also added that a plastic bag was put on his head. 

Reacting to the development, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also confirmed the abduction and called it a "war crime against democracy". On Saturday, President Zelenskyy has also claimed that the mayor who had been in the custody of Russian forces since March 11, was being tortured. He also said that his abduction was an attempt to "bring down the city on its knees".

Latest update on Russia-Ukraine war

The war between Russia and Ukraine has now entered the 22nd day and humanitarian crises are soaring with each passing day. Reportedly, Russian forces in Sumy Oblast are evicting civilians from homes and stealing food. According to The Kyiv Independent, on March 16, Sumy governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky detailed the looting via Telegram. It is also pertinent to note here that the area has sustained heavy fighting since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.

As peace talks between Russia and Ukraine continue, Zelenskyy also said, "My priorities in the negotiations are absolutely clear: the end of the war, security guarantees, sovereignty, restoration of territorial integrity, real guarantees for our country, real protection for our country."

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Published March 17th, 2022 at 10:08 IST

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