A newly installed “mayor” of the Ukrainian southern port city of Melitopol seized by Russia has introduced herself in a disturbing televised local statement after Russian troops reportedly kidnapped the actual mayor.
Elected Melitopol mayor Ivan Fedorov was seen on video Friday with a hood over his head, being led away from a government building by armed men. The Russian-backed Luhansk regional prosecutor claimed that Fedorov had committed terrorism offenses and was under investigation.
Newly installed unelected mayor Galina Danilchenko said in her televised statement that her “main task is to take all necessary steps to get the city back to normal,” CNN reported. “I ask you to keep your wits about you and not to give in to these provocations,” she added.
Danilchenko also ironically suggested organizing a “People’s Choice Committee” to “solve all the critical issues for … the Melitopol region.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday lashed the kidnapping of Melitopol’s legitimate mayor, comparing it to the actions of “ISIS terrorists.” He called it a “crime against democracy.”
“Bring back the mayor! Bring back the mayor!” they chanted. “Freedom to the mayor!”