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Governor: Chasiv Yar 'almost destroyed' but 679 people still live there

by Chris York May 8, 2024 6:51 PM 2 min read
A screenshot from the video of Chasiv Yar released by Ukraine's Kraken unit (YouTube/Kraken)
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The embattled town of Chasiv Yar is "almost destroyed," but 679 people are still living there and have no desire to leave, Governor Vadym Filashkin said on May 8.

Speaking to national television, Filashkin said it was becoming increasingly difficult for rescue and humanitarian workers to reach those that remained due to Russian shelling, with attempts only being made at night or early in the morning.

Russian forces shifted their focus toward Chasiv Yar in Donetsk Oblast, an elevated town that potentially opens the way to further advances into the oblast, after capturing Avdiivka in February.

"The town of Chasiv Yar is almost destroyed," Filashkin said, adding: "Unfortunately, 679 people still live there and have no desire to leave."

Before Russia's full-scale invasion, the town was home to around 12,000 people. As Russia stepped up attacks in the area, all remaining children were evacuated from Chasiv Yar by the Ukrainian authorities last year.

Those left are thought to be mostly elderly residents, unwilling or unable to leave.

On May 7, Ukraine's Kraken special forces unit released a video from the town showing ongoing fighting amid a devastated landscape.

In a post accompanying the video, Kraken – a unit of Ukraine’s military intelligence (HUR) – writes: "Fighters heroically hold the defense, daily destroy numerous enemies, set fire to enemy armored vehicles and take prisoners.

"The enemy is trying to advance from different directions, but thanks to the coordinated work of the unit, there is currently not a single occupier in the city."

Nazar Voloshyn, the spokesperson of the Khortytsia group of forces, said on May 6 that Russian forces are unlikely to capture Chasiv Yar as they do not have enough strength for a full-scale offensive.

His comments are at odds with those made by a military intelligence deputy head, Major General Vadym Skibitsky, who said in a media interview on May 2 that the fall of the embattled Donetsk Oblast town in a way similar to Avdiivka is probably a matter of time.

"Not today or tomorrow, of course, but all depending on our reserves and supplies," the general added.

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