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19 June, 12:56 PM

Civilians refuse to evacuate from Azot shelters in Severodonetsk, says regional governor

Civilians sheltering at the Azot chemical plant in the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk have refused to evacuate, according to a statement made by the head of the Luhansk Oblast State Administration, Serhiy Hayday, on Ukrainian TV on June 18.

"We are in constant contact with them,” Hayday said.

“They have been offered an evacuation many times, but they do not want to.”

Hayday says that the regional authorities have asked the National Guard to take video evidence of conversations with civilians refusing to leave the plant.

He also noted that, according to the latest data, there are 568 people currently hiding in the shelters under the plant, including 38 children.

"People are in shelters, there are a few of them,” he reported.

This cannot be compared to Azovstal. It's not an underground city, it's a few vaults that are separate from each other and are in no way connected. And there are different numbers of people are in different shelters."

He also added that there are still evacuation routes out of Luhansk Oblast, despite the three bridges in Severodonetsk over the Siversky Donets River having been blown up.

On June 17, Hayday stated that evacuations from the Azot plant were no longer possible.

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