Lviv, Ukraine, Aug 2 (EFE).- The evacuation of residents of the Donetsk region began on Tuesday amid an ongoing assault by Russian forces in Ukraine’s eastern province, the Ukrainian government said.
Ukrainian deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced women, children and the elderly would be transported first, according to the Ukrinform news agency.
The first train has already left the region and is expected to arrive in Kropyvnytskyi in central Ukraine on Wednesday, Vereshchuk said.
She stressed that civilians were receiving the physical support required for the operations and that their relocation to safe areas was guaranteed.
Other citizens are to be taken to Lviv and other cities in the west of the country, where accommodations have been set up.
The Ukrainian government ordered the mandatory evacuation of Donetsk over the weekend, as intense fighting continued there.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged all residents to leave Donetsk in a statement on Telegram on Saturday.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people, tens of thousands of children, who are refusing to go.
“Trust me, the more people leave the Donetsk region now, the fewer people the Russian army will have time to kill.” EFE