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Russian capture of Avdiivka prompts departure of elderly in nearby towns

21/2/2024 19:14
        Russia's capture of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine has alarmed people in nearby towns and many are now leaving for safer areas after hunkering down for months from constant hostile fire.
        
        Most of those fleeing are elderly. Having watched districts turn into rubble, they now see the 1000-km (600-mile) front line in the nearly two-year-old war moving ever closer.
        
        In many cases barely mobile, they have help from an evacuation charity called "East SOS". But that does not make it easy.
        
        In the town of Selydove, Maryna Batrak, bundled up against the cold, is helped down the stairs and loaded into a minibus waiting in the courtyard to take her to a train station in the town of Pokrovsk.
        
        "They have reached Nevelske," Batrak says of Russian forces, referring to a town to the east. "Another 20-30 km and that's it. They will destroy us too. Have you seen how those cities were wiped off the face of the earth?"
        



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