Lviv, Ukraine, Mar 8 (EFE).- Ukraine has started evacuating civilians from the city of Irpin, adjacent to the capital Kyiv, authorities said on Tuesday.
“The evacuation of people from Irpin to Kyiv is underway. Almost 3,000 people have been already evacuated. The process is ongoing,” Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said in a statement.
The evacuation of Irpin, a northwest suburb of Kyiv that is home to 43,000 people, comes following three days of intense Russian shelling that forced authorities to abandon earlier attempts to clear the town of civilians.
On Sunday, a family of four was among at least eight people who were killed when Russian forces opened fire as civilians were evacuated across a bridge leading out of Irpin. Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to seek “revenge” on those responsible for the attack.
The mayor of Irpin, Oleksandr Markushyn, has denied that the town is surrounded by Russian forces and while he admitted that some parts had been overrun, fighting was ongoing and positions were being held in other areas.
Despite the bombardments, local police and the Ukrainian army have managed to extract 200 civilians, including 50 children, from the combat zone, the interior ministry said.
On Monday another 200 people were safely evacuated from the area, authorities said.
Markushyn said in statements on social media that he had received death threats and messages from enemy forces urging him to surrender.
I am surprised that these monsters still do not understand that Irpin does not surrender, Irpin is not for sale, Irpin is fighting!,” he said.
Markushyn added a “counter offer” to “leave the territory of Irpin community within 24 hours and save the lives and health of several thousand Russian conscript soldiers, whose mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, beloved are waiting at home. Return to Russia”. EFE