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Ukraine Orders Civilians To Leave Villages Near Northeast Front

Local residents react next to the site hit after Russian strikes in Zmiiv, Kharkiv region. Sergei Bobok / AFP

Authorities in Ukraine's northeast region of Kharkiv on Tuesday urged residents of more than two dozen villages near the front line to evacuate, citing worsening Russian attacks in the area.

Russian forces captured swathes of the Kharkiv region shortly after invading Ukraine in February 2022, and have kept up efforts to wrest the region despite losing ground there.

"Given the security situation, we are introducing mandatory evacuation of the population from the Kindrashivska and Kurylivska communities of the Kupiansk district," the Kharkiv regional governor announced on social media.

Governor Oleh Syniehubov said the order would affect some 3,043 people in the settlements, including 279 children. He did not elaborate on the Russian threat.

Russian forces have however been pushing to capture the regional hub of Kupiansk, an important railway junction that had a pre-war population of around 30,000 people.

Ukraine routinely orders civilians to evacuate from towns and villages under Russian attack but does not always enforce the orders.

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