- Russian forces have abducted a second Ukrainian mayor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said.
- Yevhen Matveyev, the mayor of Dniprorudne in southern Ukraine, was abducted, the minister said.
- It comes after the Russians abducted Ivan Fedorov of the city of Melitopol and installed a new mayor.
Russian forces have abducted a second Ukrainian mayor, this time targeting the leader of the southern town of Dniprorudne, the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister said.
"Today, Russian war criminals abducted another democratically elected Ukrainian mayor, head of Dniprorudne Yevhen Matveyev. Getting zero local support, invaders turn to terror," Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet.
—Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 13, 2022
Dniprorudne is about 85 km, or 52 mi, north of Melitopol. The Russian choice for Melitopol's mayor, Galina Danilchenko, was a former member of Melitopol's city council, according to Sky News. She was introduced as the city's acting mayor on local TV, CNN reported.
Josep Borrell Fontelles, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, condemned the two kidnappings in a tweet on Sunday.
"The EU strongly condemns the kidnapping of the mayors of Melitopol and Dniprorudne by Russian armed forces," Fontelles said. "It is yet another attack on democratic institutions in #Ukraine and an attempt to establish illegitimate alternative government structures in a sovereign country."
In an earlier statement, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Mayor Fedorov's abduction was "a war crime under the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocol that prohibit the taking of civilian hostages during the war."