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Cabinet of Ministers approves mandatory evacuation of families with children from active combat zones

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 7, 2023 4:33 PM 1 min read

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the mandatory evacuation of families with children from active combat zones, according to the Ministry of Reintegration.

The ministry holds oblast administrations and military officials responsible for both reaching an agreement and implementing the policy, according to a statement published by the ministry on March 7.

Children being evacuated from active combat zones must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, the ministry said. Furthermore, parents are not allowed to refuse.

Speaking at a press conference on March 3, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal reiterated that mandatory evacuation laws did not allow state bodies to forcibly take children away from parents.

Currently, only the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast falls under the criteria for mandatory evacuations.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on March 7 that 38 children remain in Bakhmut, which was once a prosperous industrial city that 70,000 people (including 12,000 children) called home.

"The duty of the state is to protect the life and health of the child. Today's decision should encourage parents to take a more serious approach to the issue of evacuating their children," Vereshchuk said.

"If adults are unable to take care about the safety of the child, the state should do it." she added.

Bakhmut, the outskirts of which have been captured by Russian forces as of early March, has experienced some of the most intense fighting during the war. Russia has heightened their efforts to capture the city for the past seven months as part of its broader strategy to gain control of the entire Donbas region, which encompasses both Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts.

One night in Bakhmut: Civilians wait for the end as Russia draws closer
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