Croatian state media reported today that the Russian army has arrested a Croatian citizen who fought alongside Ukrainian forces in Mariupol.
The Croatian Foreign Ministry also confirmed that it was “aware of a Croatian citizen being detained” and said it was working with the Ukrainian authorities to resolve the situation, without providing further details due to the “sensitive” nature of the situation.
Croatian state television HRT reported that the citizen tried to flee from Mariupol with other Ukrainian fighters, but was captured by the Russians.
Another Croatian media, regional TV 1 said the arrest was reported by the Russian press.
The strategic port of Mariupol faced weeks of intense Russian bombing and attacks against resistance forces at the city’s steel mill.
Russian forces aim to invade Mariupol in time for Russia’s Victory Day celebrations on Monday, to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, and the military offensive has already killed more than 3,000 civilians, according to the United Nations, which warns that the real number is likely to be much higher.
The military offensive has caused more than 13 million people to flee, including more than 5.5 million outside the country, according to the latest United Nations data.
The Russian invasion was generally condemned by the international community, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and strengthening economic and political sanctions against Moscow.