was added ZelenskyIn a midnight televised speech, hundreds of thousands of people were in the fighting zones of the greater Donbass region, which includes Donetsk and Luhansk Neighborhood, need to leave.
“If more people leave the Donetsk region now, the Russian army will kill fewer people,” Zelensky said, adding that residents would be compensated.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian media quoted Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vershichuk as saying that the evacuations must take place before the winter months begin, as the region’s natural gas supply infrastructure has been destroyed.
The Ukrainian president said hundreds of thousands of people are still fighting in the Donbass region.
“Many refuse to leave, but they have to leave,” Zelensky added.
“If you get a chance, talk to people who are still in the fighting areas of Donbass. Please convince them that it is necessary to leave,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, Ukraine’s military said it had killed more than 100 Russian soldiers in fighting in the south of the country, including in the Kherson region, the focus of Kiev’s counteroffensive and a key link to Russia’s supply lines.
The army’s Southern Command said rail transport across the Dnipro River to Kherson had been halted, which could further isolate Russian forces west of the river from supplies in occupied Crimea and to the east.
South of the city of Baghmut, in Donetsk, which Russia has described as a key target, the Ukrainian military said Russian forces had “partly succeeded” in taking control of the city of Semirya from three axes.
Defense and intelligence officials in Britain, one of Ukraine’s strongest Western allies, have assessed Russian forces as having difficulty keeping up their pace since the Russian offensive began on February 24.
Ukraine has used long-range missile systems sourced from the west in recent weeks to severely damage three bridges across the Dnipro River, isolating the city of Kherson and leaving the Russian 49th Army stationed on the river’s west bank highly vulnerable.
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