Ivan Fedorov: Ukrainian mayor kidnapped by Russian soldiers says he heard other prisoners being tortured - Bark Sedov

Ivan Fedorov: Ukrainian mayor kidnapped by Russian soldiers says he heard other prisoners being tortured

Ivan Fedorov, mayor of Melitopol who was kidnapped by Russian forces earlier this month and held for five days, recounted his days in captivity and said he heard other prisoners being tortured.

On March 11, Russian forces kidnapped the 33-year-old man from a town square.

A video of the kidnapping was posted to Telegram by Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office.

Video captured by surveillance cameras showed Russian forces putting a black bag over Mr Fedorov’s head and taking him away from the Melitopol Crisis Center where he worked.

He was released on March 17 after a special operation by Ukrainian forces.

In an interview with French broadcaster BFM TV, Mr Fedorov said he suffered “psychological violence” when his phone was taken away and he was cut off from all communication.

“Five soldiers were with me in the interrogation room,” he recalls.

He said that during his detention he heard other prisoners being tortured.

“The next thing I heard in the cells was the screams of the tortured and I understood their level of violence because human life doesn’t count for them,” he said.

Russian forces launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 to “denazify and demilitarize” the region.

Mr. Fedorov said the invasion of Melitopol began as early as 5 a.m. on that fateful day.

“When the whole city was asleep,” an attack by the Russian army aimed at the Melitopol military airfield, about “200 meters from the houses,” he said.

“For two weeks we were in an occupation situation,” he says.

Mr. Fedorov said he realized during his time in captivity that the Russians knew nothing about Ukraine.

“They weren’t prepared at all. They knew nothing about Ukraine and the city of Melitopol. You asked me questions about how the city budget is formed? Or who are the opinion leaders?”

“They said they wanted to liberate the city from the Nazis, they wanted to defend the Russian language,” he added.

“I told them that 95% of us already speak Russian and nobody is stopping us, so there’s no problem,” he was quoted as saying by NPR.

Over a month after the invasion, Ukrainian forces continue to resist the Russian invasion as fierce fighting continues.

Mr Fedorov, who is now in Paris, said he does not see the Russians taking over Ukraine.

“No one expected such resistance,” he said.

“For more than a month, the Ukrainian army has been boldly defending itself.”

“All wars end one day. Either by diplomatic means or by military means. Ukraine will never capitulate by military means.”

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