14 March, 2022 – Ukraine’s invasion, which is unprovoked and unjustified, represents a relapse into the most brutal form of power politics, in the middle of Europe. The aggression is directed not only against military targets, but explicitly against civilians, hospitals, and homes. Its goal is the complete subjugation and replacement of democratically elected representatives with compliant proxies of the Russian president.

“We strongly condemn the kidnapping of the mayors of Melitopol and Dniprorudn and demand their immediate and unconditional release. The kidnapping is an act of barbarism aimed at destroying democratically legitimate structures at the local level. This is all the more serious because it is precisely the cities and their mayors that organize civil defense for the suffering population in the current situation,” said GPM Chair Mayor Dr Peter Kurz of Mannheim (Germany). He further said, “Whoever allows mayors to be kidnapped is not only trampling on democracy. He deliberately aims to prevent humanitarian aid to civilians from taking place.”

“The heroism of ordinary citizens in Ukraine in defending their homes, their neighborhoods, their villages, towns, and cities against the barbarism of Russia is extraordinary and deserves our fullest support,” said Ambassador Ivo Daalder, Chair of the Advisory Committee of the GPM. “Ukraine stands at the frontline against Putin’s brutal war against everything we hold dear: democracy, freedom, independence.”

The Global Parliament of Mayors welcomes and supports the great solidarity that mayors around the world are showing with their counterparts in Ukraine. These days, many new twinning arrangements with Ukraine are emerging, cities are organizing civilian aid shipments to Ukraine and providing funding.