During this dark hour for Europe, we can share some positive news – the mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, has been freed yesterday from captivity. ALDA celebrates this news together with Melitopol and all of Ukraine.
The abduction of Ivan Fedorov, however, is not the first case of attacks at the democratically elected representatives of Ukrainian local governments.
On March 11, the Russian army abducted Vasyl Mytko (the head of Nikolske); on March 13, the head of Dniprorudne Yevhen Matvyeyev and the head of the Melitopol rayon council Serhiy Pryima had been kidnapped. Yesterday, the mayor of the Velykoburlutska community, Viktor Tereschenko, has been abducted, and unfortunately, the kidnappings continue.
Many mayors, heads of municipalities, and regions all over Ukraine are threatened for fulfilling their democratically assigned duties, and courageously serving their country under the hardest possible conditions. As a European Association for Local Democracy, we strongly condemn Russian attacks on the local governments of Ukraine and call for European local government leaders to publicly support their Ukrainian counterparts.
We recognise the LEADING ROLE PLAYED BY MAYORS AND Local GOVERNMENTS IN in the WAR IN UKRAINE. They are at the front and do not give up. Local government and local governance with civil society show the importance of local democracy as a back bone of the resilience of democracy in Ukraine and in other crisis.
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