The ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia on Friday of kidnapping the mayor of the city of Melitopol, comparing it to the actions of the “Islamic State terrorists”.

“They have entered a new stage of terrorism in which they try to physically liquidate the representatives of the legitimate local authorities of Ukraine” Zelensky said in a video address Friday night.

The deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Kirill Timoshenko, published a video on the Telegram social network in which, according to him, a group of armed men was seen taking the mayor, Ivan Fedorov, through a square.

Russian forces seized the port city of Melitopol, population 150,000, on February 26.

The prosecutor’s office of the Luhansk People’s Republic, a Moscow-backed rebel region in eastern Ukraine, reported on its website that there is a criminal case against Fedorov. The prosecution accused Fedorov of “terrorist activities” and to finance the nationalist Right Sector militia for “commit terrorist crimes against the civilians of Donbás”.

The office said it was looking for Fedorov and called on anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact them.

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