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You're reading: Civilians Caught In Crossfire: Safer to stay home or leave?
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Anatoly, who asked that his last name not be used for fear of reprisals by Kremlin-backed separatists, runs to the dark space 10 feet underground and curls up in the fetal position. The walls of the cellar are lined with shelves stocked with sausage, salo and preservatives, and his makeshift bed there is merely a thick piece of styrofoam with a sleeping bag laid over the top.

He is one of the few residents in his Donetsk neighborhood who decided to stay behind. Hundreds of thousands of others have skipped out of the regional capital with a pre-war population around one million residents.

On Aug. 4, Kyiv announced that it would open “humanitarian corridors” from Donetsk and Luhansk for people like him to escape to safety. 

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