Ukraine urges civilians to flee Donetsk

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A Ukrainian official on Wednesday called for civilians in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine to flee as Russian forces shelled the area.

“Russia has turned the entire Donetsk region into a dangerous hotspot for civilians as well,” Governor Pavlo Kirilenko told the Telegram, adding, “I urge everyone to evacuate. Evacuation saves lives.”

In Sloviansk, which is said to be among the main targets of Russia’s military operation in Donetsk, Mayor Vadim Lyakh said buses and trains are ready to transport civilians to the western part of the country. He added: “Do not take any chances … pack your belongings.”

The focus of the fighting shifted to the Donetsk region of Donbass, after the Ukrainian army largely withdrew from neighboring Luhansk, where Russian forces took control of the capital, Lychansk, on Sunday.

Earlier Wednesday, the Ukrainian military said it had repulsed Russian attacks near Lyschansk and “inflicted heavy losses on the enemy.”

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