200,000 civilians, including 52,000 children, called for people to leave the Donetsk region
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday evening called on residents of the Donetsk region to evacuate to escape “Russian terror” and bombing in this area in the east of the country, which is largely under Moscow control.
“A government decision has been made on mandatory evacuation of the Donetsk region,” Zelenskyy said in an evening video address. Please evacuate. (…) The more residents now leave the Donetsk region, the fewer people the Russian army will kill. »
“At this stage of the war, terror is Russia’s main weapon,” he said.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk earlier announced the mandatory evacuation of the entire population of Donetsk Oblast, one of two administrative regions in the Donbass industrial zone where Russia is gaining ground.
She justified this decision in statements on television with the destruction of the gas networks and the lack of heating in the region in the coming winter.
Russian attacks on cities in the region claim civilian casualties almost daily. During the night from Saturday to Sunday, the Ukrainian army reported Russian artillery attacks, especially in Bakhmout and Kramatorsk near the front line.
According to estimates by the Ukrainian authorities, at least 200,000 civilians still live in the areas of the Donetsk region that are not under Russian occupation.
“In total, there are currently about 52,000 children in the Donetsk region. The police explain to the parents that their evacuation will include the provision of shelter and the provision of all necessary assistance,” said the national police in charge of the operation.