A mandatory evacuation has been ordered in 37 settlements in the Kupyansk district in north-eastern Ukraine due to an increase in Russian attacks in the region.
Oleh Synegubov, the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, said on Thursday afternoon the evacuation could affect more than 11,000 civilians, including approximately 600 children.
"The enemy has intensified shelling of border settlements and those close to the front line, and continues terrorising the local population, including with airstrikes,” he said.
“Our goal is to save the lives of our civilian population, so this evacuation is carried out as a protective measure.”
Major General Oleksandr Syrsky, who leads the Ukrainian Ground Forces, recently shared that the main area where the Russians are attacking is in the Kupyansk direction, saying Russia had created an offensive group consisting of eight Storm-Z assault units
He added: “In this region, there's intense fighting happening, and some important spots have switched hands multiple times due to the ongoing battles.
"The enemy's goal is to break through the defences of our troops and advance directly to Kupiansk. The fighting is now extremely intense. Some positions have changed hands several times these past days.”
The Russian army on Thursday said it had improved its positions on the front line around Kupyansk, adding: “In the course of offensive operations near Kupiansk, assault teams of the Western battle group improved their positions along the forward edge of the front line.”
Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Anna Malyar, reported that in the past week that Russian artillery activity in the eastern part of the country has increased.
The focal point of these hostilities remains the Kupyansk region, where Russian forces are reportedly attempting to regain positions previously held.
"The ongoing clashes have been most concentrated in the Kupyansk sector. The enemy tried to regain the positions lost there last fall," Malyar stated.
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