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People forced to flee Donetsk Oblast as Russia bombards region nonstop (PHOTOS)

August 27, 2022 7:58 pmby Oleksiy Sorokin
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People forced to flee Donetsk Oblast as Russia bombards region nonstop (PHOTOS)A five-story apartment building, destroyed by Russian shelling in Toretsk, Donetsk Oblast, was photographed on Aug. 26, 2022. (Stas Yurchenko / The Kyiv Independent)

As Russian forces continue to bombard Donetsk Oblast in an attempt to capture and destroy the region, Ukrainian authorities are forcing the remaining civilians to evacuate.

The city of Toretsk, with a pre-war population of 70,000, has been at the war's front since 2014. Located only 10 kilometers from Russian-occupied Horlivka, the city has seen heavy fighting since June 2014, when it was briefly occupied by Russian-led troops. Since February, Russia has bombarded the city with mortars, artillery, rockets, and aircraft in an attempt to capture the eastern city.

As the situation worsens, Ukraine has enacted mandatory evacuation from Donetsk Oblast. President Volodymyr Zelensky urged all remaining residents in the war-torn region to flee their homes. 

Toretsk, where the sound of artillery is heard nonstop, has been left without running water, gas, and electricity, making the conditions for residents abysmal.

According to Vasyl Chynchyk, head of Toretsk, approximately 17,900 people remain in the city despite Russian bombs and shells flattening the city. He added that over the past weeks, nearly 400 families with multiple children were relocated to safety.

A retiree awaits evacuation from the severely damaged city of Toretsk, Donetsk Oblast, on Aug. 26, 2022. (Stas Yurchenko / The Kyiv Independent)

A couple awaits evacuation from the severely damaged city of Toretsk, Donetsk Oblast, on Aug. 26, 2022. (Stas Yurchenko / The Kyiv Independent)

People board a bus to evacuate from the severely damaged city of Toretsk, Donetsk Oblast, on Aug. 26, 2022. (Stas Yurchenko / The Kyiv Independent)

A family awaits evacuation from the severely damaged city of Toretsk, Donetsk Oblast, on Aug. 26, 2022. (Stas Yurchenko / The Kyiv Independent)

A woman walks past the rubble left after Russia bombarded Toretsk, Donetsk Oblast, on Aug. 26, 2022. (Stas Yurchenko / The Kyiv Independent)

A woman walks past the rubble left after Russia bombarded Toretsk, Donetsk Oblast, on Aug. 26, 2022. (Stas Yurchenko / The Kyiv Independent)

An evacuation sign is placed next to a destroyed building in Toretsk, Donetsk Oblast, on Aug. 26, 2022. (Stas Yurchenko / The Kyiv Independent)


Oleksiy Sorokin
Author: Oleksiy Sorokin

Oleksiy Sorokin is the political editor and chief operating officer of the Kyiv Independent. Following a BA from the University of Toronto, Oleksiy became a political writer at the Kyiv Post. He broke stories on government and judiciary topics and investigated the former president and the current Prosecutor General.

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