Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov spoke to the European Parliament in Brussels Wednesday, saying that Ukrainians today "are not thinking about comfort. They're thinking about mere survival” and urged European lawmakers “to help Ukraine” through all possible means.
In an emotional address, the elected mayor of the occupied city of Melitopol said that the conflict in Ukraine was “a full-scale war — not only against Ukraine, but against the entire civilized world.”
If there isn't an appropriate response to Russia's “significant threat” in a timely fashion, he cautioned that “war will come to European cities and households.”
Remember: Mayor Fedorov was detained by Russian forces for five days in March and was later freed as part of a prisoner exchange. Melitopol fell to Russian control in early March and a new, pro-Russian mayor was installed. The unelected mayor has since instituted a number of pro-Russian moves, including mandating the broadcasting of Russian news outlets.
On Wednesday, he said the city of Melitopol had been “building an island of Europe in our city,” since 2014.
“We started renovating schools, kindergartens, medical establishments, and we started building the best possible roads so that our residents could indeed feel that life is getting better in our city and in our country,” he added, saying the mentality of people in Melitopol had been changing and “they started perceiving themselves, and feeling themselves as free Europeans.”
Now, the “dreams of millions of Ukrainians today have been shattered because they see how cities are being methodically destroyed," he continued.
CNN's Tim Lister and Paul P. Murphy contributed to this reporting.