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Melitopol mayor abducted by Russian forces freed

Ivan Federov, the mayor of Melitopol, Ukraine, was freed on Wednesday, five days after he was abducted by Russian forces.

Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba tweeted that Ukraine conducted a "special operation" and rescued Federov "from captivity in the occupied Luhansk." After Federov was abducted on Friday, the prosecutor's office in the separatist Luhansk People's Republic accused him of terrorist offenses.

The Kyiv Independent reports that Federov was released in exchange for nine captured Russian soldiers.

In a video tweeted by Ukraine's defense ministry, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is heard on the phone with Federov, telling him, "We do not abandon ours." Federov responded that he plans on getting back to work in Melitopol. The city is under Russian control, and following Federov's abduction, Galina Danilchenko was installed as mayor. She is now being investigated by the Ukrainian prosector general for treason.