In the face of Russian attacks, the authorities in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk have urged the civilian population to flee. “Russia has turned the entire Donetsk region into a dangerous hotspot, including for civilians,” Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Wednesday via the Telegram news service. “I call on everyone to evacuate! Evacuation saves lives!”

The mayor of the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk, Vadym Lyakh, announced buses and trains to transport civilians to the west of the country. “Don’t take any risks! Pack up!” said Ljach. A total of 17 people have been killed and 67 injured since the fighting began in Sloviansk. “Yesterday there were two dead and seven wounded in attacks,” said Lyakh.

In eastern Ukraine, following the extensive withdrawal of the Ukrainian military from the Luhansk region, the focus of the fighting has shifted to the neighboring Donetsk region.