Exiled mayor claims Russian soldiers stationed in Melitopol under occupation are experiencing panic.

Ukraine’s armed forces are preparing for a counter-offensive to reclaim the territory currently occupied by Russia.

Alongside the military, civilian administrations in exile are also making plans for their return. ’s correspondent Gulliver Cragg met with the exiled mayor of Melitopol, the city that is currently acting as the capital of the Russian-occupied area of Zaporizhzhia region. But, according to the mayor, not for long.

In an exclusive interview with in Kyiv, the exiled mayor Ivan Fedorov revealed the main task of his administration when they return to Melitopol: “After our soldiers ‘de-occupy’ our city, we– as a team– have to make it livable again as quickly as possible.” He added that Russian soldiers typically “take everything” when they leave, from ambulances to police cars to medical equipment.

Although Ukrainian officials are not revealing when or where a counter-offensive may occur, Fedorov stated that Russian soldiers occupying his city are growing increasingly nervous:

“They are starting to panic and as a result they are increasing the pressure on our residents.”

Fedorov also stressed the importance of evacuating as many civilians as possible before the counter-offensive to help the Ukrainian military.

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