Ukrainian Mayor Freed by Prisoner Exchange

It has been sixteen days since Russian forces took over Melitopol. The battle for the city lasted roughly four days. After an initial Russian advance into the city led to the city’s leadership reportedly handing over control to the Russians, Ukrainian forces responded by launching a counterattack. Then, after around two days of fighting, Russian forces completely seized Melitopol on the 1st of March.

Ten days later, on March 11 Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of Melitopol, found himself abducted by Russian troops after he was reluctant to cooperate with the Russian occupying force and reportedly kept a Ukrainian flag up in his office. The Russians then installed their own handpicked mayor who is much more cooperative and supportive.

Nothing else was heard about the former mayor until yesterday when the Ukrainian government announced they secured his release but with no initial explanation of how. However, press aide to the Ukrainian president Darya Zarivanya was later quoted as saying, “Ivan Fedorov was released from Russian captivity … for him, Russia received nine captured soldiers who were born in 2002 and 2003. These are actually children.”

Chase Baker
Chase Baker
Chase is a seasoned journalist and former resident of Iraqi Kurdistan. With a background in English and Philosophy from the College of Charleston, Chase covered the 2022 conflict in eastern Ukraine, including cities like Kharkiv, Bakhmut, and Kramatorsk. He has also produced short documentaries in Ukraine and the U.S., and has been with Atlas for three years.


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