Up to 500 civilians remain in monastery in Russian-occupied Sviatohirsk

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The city of Sviatohirsk in Donetsk Oblast has been captured and occupied by Russian forces, but fighting is continuing in the villages of the hromada (amalgamated territorial community) of Sviatohirsk. As of 30 July, up to 500 civilians remain in the Sviatohirsk lavra (monastery).

Source: Volodymyr Rybalkin, head of Sviatohirsk Hromada Military Administration, cited in Novyny Donbasu (Donbas News)

Quote from Rybalkin: "The administrative capital of the hromada – the city of Sviatohirsk – is currently occupied [by Russian forces]. Fighting is continuing in three villages: Bohorodychne, Krasnopillia and Mazanivka. Each of these villages is being relentlessly shelled, but they are fully controlled by Ukraine…

We cannot establish an evacuation schedule because the villages are being regularly and chaotically shelled…

I can say that around 450 people remain in the [Sviatohirsk] monastery – three weeks ago there were many more. We have been able to evacuate around 150 people over the course of the past three weeks…

The roads to and from the monastery are currently not in use. Further evacuation and its route, as well as humanitarian aid [for civilians remaining in the Sviatohirsk monastery] are currently under discussion."

Details: Rybalkin said that nearly 1,000 out of Sviatohirsk’s 2,068 residents are staying put.

Background: The Ukrainian government will introduce mandatory evacuation of residents of unoccupied areas of Donetsk Oblast before the start of the heating season.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has once again urged civilians to evacuate Donetsk Oblast and has stressed that the Ukrainian government is doing everything within its power to facilitate the evacuation.

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