In both cases, the risks are huge.
At least 17 people were killed when shells struck their convoy – burning some alive inside – on Aug. 18 when they tried to escape from Novosvetlovka, some 20 kilometers from Luhansk. Several eyewitnesses interviewed by Ukraine’s Army TV said that Russian-backed insurgents were behind the attack on fleeing refugees, whose truck flew white flags. The rebels, however, accused Ukrainian troops of killing the civilians.
The following day, only 100 people had the courage to use the humanitarian corridor to leave Luhansk, which is five to seven times fewer than usual, says Iryna Veryhina, executive governor of Luhansk Oblast.