Honorary consul of Bulgaria kidnapped in occupied Melitopol – mayor

24 April, 02:01 PM
A protest in Melitopol after the abduction of Mayor Ivan Fedorov, on March 12, 2022 (Photo:Courtesy of Deputy Head for President’s Office, Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS)

A protest in Melitopol after the abduction of Mayor Ivan Fedorov, on March 12, 2022 (Photo:Courtesy of Deputy Head for President’s Office, Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS)

Invading Russian forces have kidnapped the honorary consul of Bulgaria in the occupied city of Melitopol in southeastern Ukraine, the city’s mayor, Ivan Fedorov, has said on Ukrainian national television.

"Abductions are widespread,” Fedorov said. “To date, 50 of my colleagues alone have been abducted in Ukraine, and 29 are in the occupiers' prisons today.” 

“As for activists and businessmen, (kidnapping them) is a continuous practice of the occupiers. They kidnap everyone who has an opinion, patriotic sentiments… A few hours ago (on the evening of April 23) it emerged that even the honorary consul of Bulgaria was kidnapped in Melitopol.” 

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On March 11, the Russian occupiers abducted Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov himself. According to Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Interior Minister, the reason was that the mayor refused to cooperate with the occupiers. On March 16, Fedorov was released. The President's Office said he had been exchanged for nine Russian prisoners of war. 

Invading Russian troops are abducting Ukrainian civilians, including government officials, activists, journalists, priests, and forcibly deporting Ukrainian citizens to far-off parts of Russia. According to Ukrainian human rights ombudsperson Lyudmyla Denisova, Russian media report that over 915,000 people have already been forcibly deported to Russia.

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