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Ukraine evacuates children from Kharkiv Oblast's Zolochiv border area

by Kateryna Hodunova June 5, 2024 4:12 PM 3 min read
Photo for illustrative purposes. Evacuation centre in Kharkiv, Ukraine on May 14, 2024. The centre started its operations on May 10th, serving as a primary aid facility. (Olena Zashko/The Kyiv Independent)
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Authorities are trying to evacuate all children from the Zolochiv community in Kharkiv Oblast, which lies less than one kilometer from the Russia-Ukraine border, Zolochiv's military administration head Viktor Kovalenko said on June 5 in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

Moscow launched a new offensive on May 10 in northern Kharkiv Oblast. In late May, the Ukrainian military reported that the Russian advance in the sector had been halted and that Kyiv's troops were conducting counterattacks.

Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov announced on May 29 that local authorities were preparing for the evacuation from the town of Zolochiv, which lies around 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of the Russian border and 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of embattled Vovchansk.

Local authorities have launched mandatory evacuations for children in six villages in the Zolochiv community: Ivashky, Oleksandrivka, Perovske, Basovo, Tymofiivka, and Vidrodzhenivske, according to Kovalenko.

People are either relocated to live with their relatives in other settlements or are placed in dormitories designated by the authorities.

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All children left the village of Ivashky, located around 800 meters (0.5 miles) from the state border, while 140 adults remained in the settlement. According to Kovalenko, only one child out of 47 remains in the village of Oleksandrivka.

"Yesterday (June 4), children were relocated from Tymofiivka, and today, another child will be evacuated from Vidrodzhenivske," the governor said.

"Some of them (local citizens with children) wanted to return. But there is a certain responsibility, including a criminal one. Everyone has been warned about it."

The situation on the border is not as dangerous as it was a week ago when Syniehubov expressed concerns about the future of Zolochiv, Kovalenko said, citing the Ukrainian military.

"Even if the situation has improved… I still believe that we need a month and a half, even more, to avert a (dangerous) situation, to make sure that people are safe," Kovalenko said.

Local authorities plan to evacuate 1,740 people from the border area of the Zolochiv community.

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