(Kyiv) The administration of the city of Avdiivka announced Monday the evacuation of municipal employees from this locality located on the front in eastern Ukraine and regularly bombarded by Russian forces.
“ Avdiïvka looks more and more like a place taken from post-apocalyptic films […] Therefore, a difficult decision was made to evacuate […] municipal workers who at least tried to maintain the cleanliness and vitality of the city,” announced Vitaliy Barabash, head of the local military administration, on social networks.
He “ strongly recommends ” to leave the city, “ because Russian rockets and projectiles spare nothing and no one”, he added.
Russian troops have been trying for months to take Avdiivka, which has been on the frontline since 2014 and the start of the war between Ukrainian forces and Kremlin-led separatists.
Although only 13 km from Donetsk, the Russian-controlled capital of the eponymous region, the city still had 30,000 inhabitants when the Kremlin launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Pounded by artillery and more recently by the air force, it has only some 2,300 inhabitants, including 1,960 registered who receive humanitarian aid, Mr. Barabash had recently told AFP.
Avdiivka is currently one of the two most difficult theaters of combat on the front, with that of the city of Bakhmout, located 60 km further north.
In June, the Russians cut off one of the two main access roads to the city and positioned themselves to the east and south. In recent months, they have advanced and taken villages to the south-west and north, as if to take Avdiivka in a pincer movement, failing to be able to take it frontally.
A Russian bombardment left at least two people dead and 29 injured in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk, the regional governor announced on Monday.
“There are two dead and 29 injured in Sloviansk, administrative buildings and offices have been damaged as well as five buildings and seven houses,” Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Facebook, adding that Russian forces had “hit the center of the city around 10:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. Eastern time) with two S-300 missiles”.
The governor added that another city in the Donetsk region, Druzhkivka, had been targeted by an attack. “Two S-300 missiles hit the Druzhkivka orphanage and almost completely destroyed it”, he said, adding that this strike had no casualties according to initial information.
“Another day that began with the terrorism of the Russian Federation. The aggressor state has hit our city of Sloviansk,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on social media.
“ The enemy must know it: Ukraine will not forgive the tortures inflicted on our people, will not forgive these deaths and injuries ”, he added.
Russian forces have made capturing the Donetsk region their top military priority and announced last year that they had annexed it, although they do not control all of it.