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VALENTYNA ROMANENKO – WEDNESDAY, 6 JULY 2022, 22:43
Up to 12,000 residents of Lysychansk remain in the city, now temporarily occupied by Russia.
Source: Iryna Vereshchuk, Minister for the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, on air during the 24/7 national joint newscast
Quote from Vereshchuk: "If you’re talking about Lysychansk, 10,000-12,000 people remain there. The majority [of Lysychansk residents - ed.] were able to evacuate, and, I have to say, they [the remaining citizens - ed.] had an opportunity to evacuate. The people who remain must have their own reasons, which I won’t judge – but they had both objective and often subjective reasons to remain.
What’s happening to them now is, unfortunately, the sad consequence of people not wanting to listen to or hear what the government was saying, when we organised evacuation opportunities for them."
Details: Vereshchuk also said that the remaining residents of Lysychansk have found themselves in difficult circumstances. Russian occupying forces are rounding them up and taking them to filtration camps, scrutinising their behaviour for any signs of patriotism, checking whether they are part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and beating and torturing them.
The minister added that the Russians are trying to find out "whether their relatives took part in military actions, whether they are members of the territorial defence force, whether they have tattoos, whether there’s anything – a video, a Facebook post – that might even vaguely be interpreted as a pro-Ukrainian stance."
Vereshchuk once again stressed the importance of evacuation from the territories where the threat of Russian occupation is high, whenever opportunities for such evacuation exist.
Vereshchuk also urged Mariupol residents – especially those with small children – to refrain from returning to the Russian-occupied city despite the lies spread by the Russian occupation regime [that it is safe to return to Mariupol - ed.].
Previously: On 3 July, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that after heavy fighting, Ukrainian defence forces had withdrawn from their positions and lines in Lysychansk, Luhansk Oblast.