“There is simply no safe place in the Donetsk region”: how is the evacuation from the hottest spots of Ukraine

Ukraine continues to evacuate citizens from the most shelled cities in the Donetsk region — Bakhmut, Toretsk, Avdiivka, Krasnogorivka. But often the inhabitants of the region do not want to leave their property and land, although they themselves have long been in an unsafe area in the line of fire. Oleksandra Gavrilko, head of the communication department of the police of the Donetsk region, told about this on the air of the FREEDOM TV channel.

According to her, the police are constantly receiving requests for evacuation – from different settlements. Often they write, including on social networks, relatives of people who need to be saved.

“We receive requests for help from different points and in different ways: people even write on social networks. Mostly relatives who somehow managed to get in touch with their loved ones. We try not to miss a single message. Also, if there is a connection, they can call the backup numbers. People can apply when they come to them with a humanitarian aid. Or to their military administrations. That is, they can transmit information about the evacuation through them, ”said Gavrilko.

She also noted that there are different evacuations depending on the situation: planned or extreme.

“It was the last time in Bakhmut. Volunteers drove up to us right at the police station, turned to the chief and said that they had information that a family, a father and daughter, were in the basement. They are in a panic, live in very poor conditions and urgently need evacuation. We didn’t even get to know it for a long time. Immediately there was a command to leave. We didn’t even understand at first what kind of territory it was. Volunteers themselves could not get there, because they are not local. And our policemen know every path, every turn, they know where it is safe, where the territory is more visible, shot through, where you can go around,” said the head of the communications department.

The situation turned out to be difficult, but people were taken out safely, she specified. There are also such evacuations when the police receive in advance the addresses given by people. Then communication begins, including with military units, and an analysis of the operational situation is carried out.

“There are still cases when, for example, we come to people, and while they are gathering, we can go from house to house, ask others who else needs evacuation, who needs help. People often refuse. But we communicate, carry out preventive work, tell in more detail. The main thing is that the person believes you. Then some already think and ask to come in three or four days, in a week, ”Gavrilko shared.

She spoke about a recent case in Avdiivka. People lived in very difficult conditions and did not leave just because they thought that no one would help them.

“There are two children, a grandfather with limited mobility, a father with a disability, and a lot of other animals. They were afraid that no one would take them with animals. They were afraid that they would not be able to pick them up because they live on the ninth floor. And we arrived, evacuated this family. Now they are doing well, ”said a police spokeswoman.

Also, according to her observations, people agree more often to evacuation if there are children in the family. You just need to reach out to them and explain that the child is suffering, but he does not make decisions himself.

“Children live here who say that their dream is just to run now. And they say: “We want to learn.” The children have printouts with the schedule of school classes that they attended before, before the war. Therefore, we always say: even if you, adults, do not want to leave, think about your children, they cannot make decisions, they will do what their parents do. And you know, basically, people react to this, ”said Gavrilko.

She emphasized that people are offered different options and are not forced to leave by force, even if it is a mandatory evacuation.

“We do not have a forced evacuation, there is a mandatory one. But even now we offer different options for evacuation. For example, not to other regions, not very far, on the territory of the region to safer cities. Although there is simply no safe place in the Donetsk region. But, nevertheless, there are cities in which you can more or less be. And our task is to save people’s lives. To begin with, at least we can take them to the territory of Pokrovsky, Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, since it is simply impossible to be in Avdiivka, Krasnogorivka, Bakhmut. Therefore, our goal is to first take people out of the center of shelling, ”Gavrilko noted.

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