Residents in Donetsk urged to evacuate as fighting in eastern Ukraine rages

Olga Voitovich, Yulia Kesaieva and Vasco Cotovio

Ukrainian officials are urging the remaining residents in the Donetsk region to evacuate to safer areas, as Russian forces inch closer to the eastern territories.

“Russia has turned the entire Donetsk region into a hot spot where it is dangerous to remain for civilians,” the head of the Donetsk regional military administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko said, commenting on a missile strike in Toretsk on Wednesday.

“I call on everyone to evacuate. Evacuation saves lives,” he added.

Ukraine still controls 45% of Donetsk, but after taking over Lysychansk in the neighboring Luhansk region, Russian forces are now pushing towards Kramatorsk and Slovyansk. Renewed strikes have increased the pace of evacuations but most people have already left the city, according to the head of the Slovyansk military-civilian administration, Vadym Liakh.

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