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100 Civilians Remain in Vovchansk as Russia Restricts and Targets Evacuation Efforts

The Head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration Oleh Syniehubov reported that around 100 people remain in Vovchansk, as Russian soldiers are preventing them from evacuating and threatening them with execution.

“We are continuing evacuation efforts. A total of 10,700 people have been evacuated from the Izium and Vovchansk directions. According to our information, around 100 people remain in the town of Vovchansk. Russian troops have essentially taken them hostage and are not allowing them to evacuate under threat of execution,” Syniehubov said.

He also noted that when the opportunity arises, all those who remain in Vovchansk will be evacuated.

Additionally, the Head of the Main Department of the National Police in Kharkiv region Volodymyr Tymoshko reported on May 21 that Russian forces struck a police car with an FPV drone while the law enforcement officer was evacuating people in the Vovchansk community. As a result of the strike, one of the police officers sustained a concussion, and the other one was killed.

Earlier, Yevhen Ivanov, Deputy Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, stated on the air of Radio Svoboda that the pace of evacuation from the northern districts of Kharkiv region is slowing down, but it continues around the clock.

Russian troops began shelling border settlements in Kharkiv region on May 10th and launched a ground offensive on two sections: towards Izium and Vovchansk. The latter was heavily shelled by MLRS, artillery, and aircraft, prompting local authorities to declare an emergency evacuation.

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