Ukraine's Avdiivka becoming 'post-apocalyptic', city shuts down -official

FILE PHOTO: A view shows a residential building, cars and a church damaged by a Russian military strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the frontline city of Avdiivka, in Donetsk region, Ukraine March 20, 2023. REUTERS/Alex Babenko/File Photo

KYIV (Reuters) - Russia is turning Ukraine's Avdiivka into "a place from post-apocalyptic movies", intensifying shelling and forcing a nearly full shutdown of the frontline city, the top local official said on Sunday.

Some 2,000 civilians are left in Avdiivka, a Donetsk region city some 90 kilometres (56 miles) southwest of the besieged Bakhmut, according to officials. The city had a pre-war population of more than 30,000.

"I am sad to say this, but Avdiivka is becoming more and more like a place from post-apocalyptic movies," the city's military administration head Vitaliy Barabash said on the Telegram messaging app.

The evacuation of the utility workers that were still left in the city has begun and mobile reception will be turned off soon, "because there are informers of the Russian occupiers in the city," Barabash added.

With Russian forces making recent gradual gains on the flanks of Avdiivka, the Ukrainian military warned last week that the city could become a "second Bakhmut" - where months-long fierce fighting has turned the town into rubble.

On Sunday, Russian shelling targeted two high-rise buildings in Avdiivka, which is just 10 km from the northern outskirts of the city of Donetsk, which has been under Moscow's control since 2014.

One person was injured in numerous air strikes on Avdiivka on Saturday, according to Ukrainian military.

"You have to go, you have to pack your things, especially with your children," Barabash said.

Russia has denied targeting civilians in the now 13-month war it has waged against its neighbour. The war, which has no end in sight, has seen thousands killed, millions displaced and tens of Ukrainian cities nearly or partially wiped out.

(Reporting by Nick Starkov; Writing by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Jamie Freed)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

In Zimbabwe, female rugby team seeks to keep girls off the streets
South American presidents led by Lula seek new shared agenda
Lawsuit: US Amazon drivers allege peeing in bottles, defecating in bags to meet delivery goals
MACC believes 1MDB fugitive Jho Low is in Macau, says report
Denmark plans defence investment of $21 billion over next decade
Sudan refugees strain cash-strapped Chad's hospitality
WhatsApp testing new feature to allow screen-sharing during video call
What do we know about the drone strike on Moscow?
South Korea, Australia agree to step up defence cooperation
Alberta premier Smith takes aim at Trudeau after winning provincial election

Others Also Read