Civilians again urged to flee eastern conflict zone
Ukrainian authorities have again called on the civilian population to leave areas of eastern Ukraine where a new Russian offensive is feared.
Russian forces have “damaged the railroad in Shastya. From now on, the evacuation will take place only by bus”, said the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai.
“All the horrors we have known are likely to get worse. Do not sentence yourselves to death! Leave! The next few days will be the last chance” for an evacuation, he said on Facebook.
And in Donestk, the head of the regional military administration Pavel Kirilenko said that three evacuation trains had been temporarily immobilised after a Russian strike against a railway line.
Another new call concerned the town of Severodonetsk, the most easterly held by Ukrainian forces, which has been pounded by Russian troops. On Thursday AFP journalists saw civilians evacuated by buses, while explosions rang out regularly on the outskirts.
A “large number” of evacuees have already arrived in Dnipro, said the mayor of the industrial city of a million inhabitants on the Dnieper river.