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Heavy shelling continues in Kostyantynivka, Chasiv Yar, New York, and Kurakhove, people are being evacuated — Korniyenko

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Estimated Reading Time: 2 min

Over the past two months, two thousand more residents have returned to Donetsk Oblast than were evacuated. What is the reason for this, and which cities do people continue to leave?

Yaroslav Kornienko, coordinator of the evacuation program at the East SOS charity foundation, discussed this on Hromadske Radio.

«Compulsory evacuation has been declared for the entire Donetsk region, but it varies. While Sloviansk and Kramatorsk function as full-fledged cities, Kurakhovo is currently under heavy shelling, and that is where we are focusing our evacuation efforts. While it was possible to stay there for the last year and a half—I have been there myself—the situation has deteriorated, and most of the applications for evacuation are from there.

So, when people return to Kramatorsk, it’s entirely understandable; the city is operational and supporting the rear. Evacuating the entire Donetsk region is unrealistic. However, Chasiv Yar, specific areas of Kostyantynivka, New York, and Kurakhove are currently under heavy shelling, and evacuations continue from these areas», — explains Kornienko.

Some individuals remain unwilling to evacuate, particularly from the most dangerous areas, especially the elderly.

«We are dealing with people with limited mobility and the elderly, making it even more challenging. They typically leave when they feel entirely hopeless, or when their homes have been hit, their conditions have deteriorated, and they need to go somewhere with fully functioning hospitals where they can receive assistance.

In frontline areas, there are no Administrative Service Centres, hospitals are scarce, and pharmacies are few. If there’s no one to take care of them, they leave. A full-scale war has been ongoing for two years, and those who haven’t evacuated before are now forced to do so due to the extremely desperate situation», — the coordinator explains.

There is a practice of forced evacuation from certain settlements and a ban on returning there. This is employed, particularly in certain regions of the Kharkiv region.

«As a charity organisation, we cannot forcefully evacuate people; we do so only with the person’s consent. Forced evacuation applies to children with one parent in cities designated by the civil-military administration. If they are not allowed back, it makes sense to avoid putting people in mortal danger. There are areas with hostilities, where the Armed Forces are located, and allowing civilians in is akin to putting their lives at risk. I cannot recall a situation where we were not allowed to go anywhere as evacuators. However, in the Kherson region, it is challenging to navigate, and at checkpoints, they always ensure that you have a valid reason for going there, not wanting to jeopardize anyone’s safety once again», — Kornienko adds.

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