Pro-Russian separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine have announced that they will evacuate civilians to Russia from today. Russia had arranged the accommodation. Moscow and Kiev have not yet responded.
According to Denis Pushlin – the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic – citizens can go to southwestern Russia. Priority is given to women, children and the elderly. Images from the scene show long queues at gas stations and ATMs. Sirens can be heard everywhere.
Leonid Pasnik from the Luhansk People’s Republic had a similar message. “In order to avoid civilian casualties, I call on the people of the People’s Republic to leave for Russia as soon as possible,” he said in a statement.
The Ukrainian army has been at war for years with the self-proclaimed republics declared by the rebels. The shelling has intensified in recent days as Russian forces have massed along the Ukrainian border.
According to the West, Moscow is abusing tensions by claiming that Ukraine is committing “genocide” against the Russian-speaking population in the east of the country. Ukraine’s defense minister stressed on Friday that the army would not attack the separatists.
put it in
The Russian parliament this week asked President Vladimir Putin to recognize the two regions in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine as independent republics.
Read all about the conflict in Ukraine in our file†
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