Mayor of Ukraine taken hostage, released after protesters pushed back troops
Russian troops entered the northern Ukrainian town of Slavutych on Saturday and seized a hospital there, took the mayor hostage and then released him as thousands of residents filled the streets in protest and the troops pushed back into the city’s outskirts.
The city had seen little violence since the war began a month ago, but shelling was reported there on Friday. The city, about 100 miles north of Kyiv near the border with Belarus, was built after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster to house nuclear power plant workers.
Oleksandr Pavlyuk, the head of Kyiv’s regional military administration, said in a post on messaging app Telegram on Saturday that the Russians also kidnapped the city’s mayor, Yuri Fomichev, and then released him.
The governor said hundreds of Slavutych residents carrying a giant Ukrainian flag filled the streets around the confiscated hospital to protest the Russian invasion.
“The Russians opened fire in the air,” he said. “They threw stun grenades into the crowd. But the residents did not disappear, on the contrary, more of them appeared,” said Pavlyuk.
Fomichev addressed the crowd after his release, local journalists reported.
“In captivity, I negotiated with the occupiers,” Fomichev told the crowd, according to video confirmed by the New York Times. “It was agreed that all will be quiet once it is confirmed that our military is out of town.”
“Slavutych remains under the Ukrainian flag!” he said.
But he added that Russian forces had ordered people to hand over weapons and said that the national police and Ukrainian military are no longer in the city, “so we will appoint people on duty to deal with looting, chaos and disorder.” to prevent.”
With postal wires