Ukraine’s Cabinet calls for mandatory evacuation from Donetsk Oblast before cold season

30 July, 08:57 PM
Ukraine’s Cabinet calls for mandatory evacuation from Donetsk Oblast before cold season (Photo:Reuters)

Ukraine’s Cabinet calls for mandatory evacuation from Donetsk Oblast before cold season (Photo:Reuters)

The Government of Ukraine will introduce the compulsory evacuation of residents of unoccupied areas of Donetsk Oblast ahead of the heating season, said Deputy PM and Minister of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk on Ukrainian national television on July 30.

"There is absolutely no gas supply in Donetsk Oblast, all the gas pipelines that could be repaired have been repaired, but, unfortunately, the enemy again and again destroys everything that could keep people warm in winter," Vereshchuk said.

“There is no proper electricity supply. In a word, there will be no heating in Donetsk Oblast in the winter. The 33rd article of the Code of Civil Protection stipulates exactly that this form of evacuation is mandatory.”

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According to Vereshchuk, 200,000-220,000 people remain in the region today, including 52,000 children.

“I believe that (the evacuation of children) is the duty of every adult family member,” the minister said.

“There are 52,000 children in Donetsk Oblast. They need to be evacuated. They cannot be exposed to mortal danger in the winter without heat, electricity, without the possibility of warming.”

However, Vereshchuk added that it would possible to refuse to evacuate. For this, residents of Donetsk Oblast will need to confirm in writing that they understand and are aware of all the consequences and that they bear personal responsibility for their own lives.

“We are a democratic country, we cannot force someone (to evacuate), but such a (refusal document) will be obligatory and will have to be signed," she said.

According to Vereshchuk, Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya Oblast, 65% of which does not have gas supplies, may be next to receive a mandatory evacuation order.

The Cabinet of Ministers on July 29 created a coordination headquarters to oversee the evacuation of Donetsk Oblast.

Earlier in July Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported that 340,000 people are still staying in war-torn Donetsk Oblast.

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