Ukraine’s president said he has appealed to several Western leaders for help to free the mayor of a southern Ukrainian city who he says was kidnapped by Russians.
Mr. Zelensky denounced what he described as the abduction by Russian forces of the mayor of the southern city of Melitopol, who had refused to cooperate with occupying troops and continued to display a Ukrainian flag in his office.
“We talked to the leaders of France, Germany, Israel,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video early Saturday. “Our city leader should be released.”
The mayor, Ivan Fedorov, was at work when Russians took him away with a plastic bag over his head, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said.
“We need the world’s leaders to show how they can influence the situation,” Mr. Zelensky said.
The Russian Embassy in London wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Some 2,000 people had gathered in the central square in Melitopol on Saturday to protest the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian president said. “Russians must hear that they are foreigners in our land and will never be accepted,” he added.