Several hundred people protested outside the city hall in the southern Ukrainian city of Melitopol after the arrest of the mayor Ivan Fedorov by Russian forces Friday.
"Freedom for the Mayor" and "Fedorov," chanted the crowd, according to a short video by Ukrainian state TV on its Facebook page. It reported that more than 2,000 people flocked to the occupied building demanding the official's release
Russian forces occupied Melitopol within days of the invasion beginning in late February, but the city has seen sporadic protests since.
This comes after Fedorov was seen on video Friday being led away from a government building in the city by armed men. A short time later, the Russian-backed Luhansk regional prosecutor claimed that the mayor had committed terrorism offenses and was under investigation.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky called Fedorov's arrest a "crime against democracy" in a Facebook video Friday.
Today in Melitopol the invaders captured mayor of the city, Ivan Fedorov, a mayor who courageously defends Ukraine and the people of his community. Obviously, this is a sign of the weakness of the invaders. They did not find any support on our land, although they counted on it. Because for years they've been lying to themselves that people in Ukraine were supposedly waiting for Russia to come," he said.