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Zelensky asks civilians to evacuate Donetsk region

The region, large parts of which are already controlled by Russian forces has seen heavy clashes even as it has greatly slowed the advance of Russian forces.

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Kyiv: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has ordered all civilians still living in parts of the eastern Donetsk region under Ukrainian control to evacuate, BBC reported on Sunday.

Speaking during a late-night address from Kyiv, Zelensky warned the people still living there that there could be an intensification in the fighting.

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“The more people leave the Donetsk region now, the fewer people the Russian army will have time to kill,” he said.

The region, large parts of which are already controlled by Russian forces has seen heavy clashes even as it has greatly slowed the advance of Russian forces.

Zelensky’s intervention comes as Russia invited UN and Red Cross officials to investigate the deaths of 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) in another part of the Donetsk region held by Russian-backed separatists.

The troops were killed in unclear circumstances during an attack on a prison in Olenivka, with both sides blaming each other.

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