Germany and France hold calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin as the war in Ukraine persists
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded with Western nations Saturday to help him free a captured mayor from the southern town of Melitopol after he was taken by Russian forces.
“We address all the world leaders that talk to Moscow: France, Germany, Israel and others,” Zelenskyy said in an address. “I personally called the Chancellor of Germany Sholtz and talked to him as well as to Macron.
“I’ll talk to whoever I need to talk to in order for our people to be freed,” he added, urging top nations to use their global standing to “influence this situation.”
Zelenskyy’s plea for help came just hours after the Ukrainian parliament announced that Mayor Ivan Fedorov had been detained by roughly 10 Russian forces in the city’s center.
“During Fedorov’s abduction, they put a plastic bag on his head,” the Ukrainian parliament said through its official Twitter account.
In addition, Ukrainian parliament member Inna Sovsun told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Saturday morning that Fedorov was being tortured by the Russians.
“Now we have information that he is being tortured. That is another level of evil. Putin is a terrorist, this is a terrorist state we’re talking about,” she said.
“There are no boundaries to him, there are no limits to his cruelty, and he needs to be stopped.”
France and Germany held calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin Saturday and demanded an immediate cease-fire to Moscow’s deadly invasion.
The conversation is part of ongoing international efforts to end the war in Ukraine,” a spokesperson told Germany news outlet DW, but declined to add anything additional on what was discussed during the call.
Russian forces have invaded Ukraine from the North, East and South with defense officials warning they may attempt to encircle the capital city of Kyiv to overthrow its democratically elected government and install a “puppet regime.”
“Our Armed Forces are doing everything to deprive the enemy of the wish to continue the war against Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said as fighting continues.
“It’s the most powerful fighting against Russia in decades,” he added. “Ukrainians, I want you to understand me correctly – we are having extraordinary successes. The way all of Ukrainian people are resisting the invaders already has entered history.”
The exact number of causalities and those who have surrendered or been captured remains ambiguous as violent fighting and shelling persists.
Russia and Ukraine have maintained roughly 90% of their fighting forces despite the roughly 810 missiles that have been launched by Russian troops.
Half of the missiles levied at Ukrainian forces have come from Russian troops within Ukraine. Just under half of the missiles have been fired from Russia and roughly 80 have been launched from Belarus, a senior defense official confirmed.
They are attempting to take us by quantity, quantity of combatants, quantity of equipment,” Zelenskyy said Saturday. “They are using terror to break us, to break our faith in our victory and Ukraine. I’m sure they will fail.”
The U.S. and its NATO allies have promised to continue to supply Ukraine – which is slightly smaller than the size of Texas – with defensive arms as Russian forces continue to pummel cities across the nation.