Ukrainian officials in Donetsk said the first train has departed under a mandatory evacuation of Donetsk imposed after the eastern region has witnessed intense fighting for months as Russian troops attempt to move the front line forward.
The train transferred the 136 evacuees – women, children, elderly, and 44 people with limited mobility – from Pokrovsk to the city of Kropyvnytskyi further west, Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the Donetsk regional military administration has said, adding that evacuation trains will depart every two days.
According to the Ukrainian military General Staff’s daily update, Russian troops had made an advance from the northwest toward the Donetsk city of Bakhmut but have yet to make significant gains since they were pushed back.
The offensive the Russians launched in the area of the western outskirts of Berestove, a village about 30 km away from Bakhmut, was allegedly unsuccessful, and the troops retreated.
The report also tells of a similar situation in the directions northward between Volodymyrivka and Yakovlivka, and eastwards from Semyhiria to Kodema where the fighting continues.
According to the General Staff, Ukrainian forces were also able to target Russian forces moving in from the east and trying to make a push toward Avdiivka.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian strategic southern port city of Mykolaiv was rocked by powerful explosions from airstrikes early on Wednesday, Mykolaiv’s mayor Oleksandr Senkevych informed, noting that the city has come under heavy attack by Russia in recent weeks.
Senkevych wrote on his official Telegram account that the explosions have caused a fire in one of the city’s districts and destroyed a supermarket was destroyed in another during the strongest attacks since the start of the war.
According to Russia’s defense ministry, Russian troops have destroyed a depot containing weapons supplied by Poland in Ukraine’s western Lviv region but the information is yet to be independently verified or confirmed by Ukraine.