Melitopol mayor Ivan Fedorov, who had been taken hostage by Russian occupiers and spent six days as a prisoner, has addressed city residents with the words of gratitude.

Today, he was set free in exchange for six Russian prisoner-of-war soldiers.

‘First of all, I would like to thank every Melitopol resident who, despite the threat of detention and repressions, rallied to prove that Ukrainians are free people’, Fedorov said.

The mayor also thanked international community and president Zelensky who made all necessary steps to free him from Russian occupiers.

‘I am absolutely sure that together with our team in the very near future we will raise our Ukrainian flag over the main square of Melitopol. And those who lowered it down will definitely not live in our beautiful city’, Fedorov stressed.