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Ukranian Mayor Held Captive Shares What Russian Soldiers Think Putin's 'Special Operation' Really Is
Featured Image Credit: BFMTV/Alamy

Ukranian Mayor Held Captive Shares What Russian Soldiers Think Putin's 'Special Operation' Really Is

Ivan Fedorov speaks about his experience being held captive by Russian soldiers.

Ukrainian mayor Ivan Fedorov, who was kidnapped by Russian forces on 11 March and held captive for five days, has now spoken about his experience.

The mayor of Melitopol, a city in southeastern Ukraine, was abducted earlier this month, with a video of his kidnapping being posted on Telegram by the deputy head of Ukraine's presidential office Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

In the video the mayor can be seen with a black bag over his head as Russian forces take him away from the crisis centre where he was working.

Fedorov was released on 16 March and has now spoken about his experience, including what Russian soldiers think Vladimir Putin's invasion is really about.

Speaking to BMF TV, the mayor said that during the time he was held captive he came to understand that the Russian forces didn't know much about Ukraine.

"They weren’t prepared at all. They didn’t know anything about Ukraine and the city of Melitopol. They asked me questions about how the city budget is formed? Or who are the opinion leaders?" the mayor noted, as per the Independent.

"They said they wanted to liberate the town from the Nazis and where were they, and I told them in my 30 years in this town I've never seen a single Nazi."

Fedorov also noted that the soldiers told him they wanted to defend the Russian language, to which he is said to have responded (as per NPR): "95 percent of us speak Russian already and nobody’s stopping us, so there’s no problem."

Ivan Fedorov was received by the French President at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France today (1 April).

Reportedly, the forces also told Fedorov that they had heard veterans of World War Two were beaten during commemoration day, which he quickly cleared up.

He said: "I told them I know these men personally, because there aren't many of them left, and they're treated as heroes."

The mayor also told of how he suffered 'psychological violence' having his phone taken away and communication cut off.

He said: "Five soldiers were with me in the interrogation room.

"I heard in the cells next, cries of the tortured, and I understood their degree of violence because human lives do not count for them."

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to the rescued mayor on a call earlier this month.

Speaking further about the war in Ukraine, Fedorov noted that the invasion of his city started as early as 5am on February 24, when Putin declared a 'special military operation' in Ukraine.

With the mayor recalling that a strike targeting the military airfield of Melitopol occurred 'when the whole city was asleep'.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Topics: Ukraine, Russia, Volodymyr Zelensky, Vladimir Putin, World News