Ukraine on Wednesday told residents of the country’s eastern regions to evacuate “now” or “risk death” due to a feared Russian attack.
“The governors of the Kharkiv, Lugansk and Donetsk regions are calling on the population to leave these territories and are doing everything to ensure that the evacuations take place in an organised manner,” Deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, wrote on Telegram.
The call for urgent evacuation comes as Ukraine warned of Russian forces regrouping to launch a fresh offensive in the country’s east after retreating from the Kyiv region.
Prime Minister, Vereshchuk, asked residents to cooperate with authorities, saying Kyiv will “not be able to help” them after an attack.
“It has to be done now because later people will be under fire and face the threat of death. There is nothing they will be able to do about it, nor will we be able to help,” she said.
“It is necessary to evacuate as long as this possibility exists. For now, it still exists,” she added.
The Kremlin had declared that Ukraine’s Donbas was now a priority for the Russian army.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) believed Moscow aimed to take control of the whole Donbas region in eastern Ukrainein order to create a corridor from Russia to annexed Crimea.
The German government said on Wednesday that satellite pictures from last month provided strong counter-evidence against Russian denials of involvement in civilian deaths in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
Government spokesman, Steffen Hebestreit, told reporters that the “evaluation of satellite images” led Berlin to conclude that “Russian declarations” that images of civilian deaths “were posed scenes or that they were not responsible for the murders are in our view not tenable.”
Ukrainian officials say hundreds of civilians were found dead in areas vacated by Russian troops and images of bodies in streets sparked global outrage.
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky , described the killings as “war crimes” and “genocide.”
The Kremlin has denied the accusations of mass killings and claimed the images emerging from Bucha and other towns were fake and produced by Ukrainian forces, or that the deaths occurred after Russian soldiers pulled out. -BBC