Around 1,000 residents remain in Donetsk Oblast's town of Avdiivka, which has recently come under intense attacks by Russian forces, Deputy Prime Minister and Reintegration Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Oct. 24.
"Avdiivka – now, according to our data, about 1,000 people still live there," Vereshchuk said on the air.
The official called on people to leave the besieged town for their own safety. Vereshchuk also noted, citing the Donetsk Oblast Military Administration, that all children have been evacuated from Avdiivka.
Russia intensified its attacks on Avdiivka in the past weeks in an effort to encircle the front-line town. According to Vitalii Barabash, the head of the town's military administration, Russian forces are shelling a crucial road connection, thus disrupting the evacuations and the flow of humanitarian aid.
Kyiv reported that despite the ongoing onslaught, Ukrainian defenders are holding the defenses and inflicting heavy losses on Russian troops and equipment.
The heavily fortified town of Avdiivka lies several kilometers north of occupied Donetsk and has stood on the front lines of the Russia-Ukraine war since 2014.