The Zaporozhye regional administration has announced that a new mayor has been installed in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Melitopol, where the elected mayor was detained on Friday, CNN reported. 

Ivan Fedorov, the elected official, faced detention as armed men took him in, and the prosecutor’s office for the separatist Luhansk region, whose independence Russia recognized, accused him of terrorism offences. 

As per the statement on the Zaporozhye regional administration website, the new mayor is Galina Danilchenko, a former city council member. 

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Danilchenko, who was introduced as the new mayor, didn’t win by the people’s mandate. The new mayor’s statement was televised, and the administration put it on Telegram, as Danilchenko stated her first goal was to “take all necessary steps to get the city back to normal”. 

She further claimed that there were still people in Melitopol who’d try to destabilize the situation and get a reaction of bad behaviour. Danilchenko said, “I ask you to keep your wits about you and not to give in to these provocations. I appeal to the deputies, elected by the people, on all levels. Since you were elected by the people, it is your duty to care about the well-being of your citizens”. 

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The new mayor also proposed that a People’s Choice Committee should be created to solve all critical issues for Melitopol and the Melitopol region.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s foreign ministry has classified the detention of the previous mayor as a war crime and accused Russia, saying, “The abduction of the mayor of Melitopol is classified as a war crime under the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocol banning the capture of civilian hostages during the war”. 

This is not the first time Ukraine has accused Russia of war crimes. Since President Vladimir Putin sent in troops, there have been reports of civilians being targeted, and the recent shelling of the Mariupol maternity ward, which Russia denied responsibility for, has also sparked global outrage.