IRYNA BALACHUK – THURSDAY, 28 JULY 2022, 13:28
Russian occupying forces in the occupied city of Melitopol are ramping up pressure on the local residents ahead of the so-called "referendum" [a referendum organised by the Russian occupation regime on Zaporizhzhia Oblast joining the Russian Federation - ed.]. More and more civilians are being kidnapped and tortured.
Source: Ivan Fedorov, Mayor of Melitopol, during a Ukraine – Ukrinform press briefing
Quote: "Lots of people are being kidnapped, many Ukrainians are being tortured – as a result, videos of people admitting to doing things they definitely could not have done are beginning to circulate."
Details: Fedorov said that Russian forces are officially holding nearly 20 Ukrainian prisoners in the city of Melitopol alone.
He added that this number is likely to be a lot larger in reality since the Russians are threatening the families of kidnapped citizens not to report anything to the Ukrainian government if they want their relatives and loved ones to return alive. As a result, many people do not report the kidnappings.
The mayor also added that the Russians are continuing to compile lists of all local residents, including their names, addresses, the property they own, and other similar information.