On April 10, it was reported, by Vitaliy Barabash, head of the Avdiivka city military administration, that two children remain in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, in spite of a Cabinet of Ministers’ ruling on forced evacuation.

 

Notwithstanding the increased danger caused by constant shelling in the Donetsk region by Russian troops, civilians in Avdiivka are refusing to evacuate and are hiding their children who remain in the city - said Barabash talking to the Radio Liberty program.

 

"They are burying them [children]. One child is dead. I don't know what's in the mind of the mother who survived and is now looking to be evacuated. Why couldn't she have done this a week ago? Now there is no grandmother, no 5-month-old Danylo. Unfortunately, there are still other children here," Barabash said.

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Since March 7, The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has endorsed the forced evacuation of children from the areas of active hostilities. Under their decree, children can be taken out of the combat zones accompanied by one of their parents, a person in loco parentis, or another legal representative. In theory, parents cannot refuse the legally-mandated evacuation of their children. At the end of March, the authorities announced their intention to forcibly evacuate children who remained in Bakhmut and Avdiivka.

 

"Officially, the forced evacuation of children from Avdiivka has begun, but in fact, it has not. We are still having to look for children. Currently, we believe we have two children left. Over the weekend, we managed to evacuate another two children that were found. We know that parents are hiding those children who remain in the city. They do not want to say why or where they are hiding them. We are looking for them," he said.

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On April 8, the Donetsk regional police reported that police were looking for children in Avdiivka whose parents were hiding them from forced evacuation.

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