Donetsk Governor Urges Residents to Evacuate

The Governor of Donetsk Pavlo Kyrylenko urged the 350,000 residents of the city to immediately evacuate as Russian forces continue to push through the surrounding regions.

According to Kyrylenko, the evacuation of the remaining residents will save lives and allow the Ukrainian army to effectively defend communities against the Russian invasion.

“The destiny of the whole country will be decided by the Donetsk region,” Kyrylenko said on Sunday, and added that once the civilians have evacuated, the Ukrainian forces “Will be able to concentrate more on our enemy and perform our main tasks.”

Donetsk is the only remaining portion of Ukraine’s eastern region that is still substantially under the control of Kyiv. 

In a Telegram post on Tuesday, Kyrylenko reiterated his plea for local residents to leave the area, highlighting that a Russian attack on a market in Sloviansk had left at least two people dead and seven injured.

“I call on everyone: evacuate! Now the most important thing is to save life!” wrote Kyrylenko. 

Kyrylenko referred to the strike in Sloviansk as “pure terrorism” and claimed that Russia was “Purposefully hitting places where civilians are gathered.”

The United Nations refugee agency estimated that more than 7.1 million Ukrainians are internally displaced, with more than 4.8 million who already fled the nation since Russia’s invasion started in late February.

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