Fewer than 5,000 civilians remain in eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, military says

Fewer than 5,000 civilians remain in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the head of Ukraine's Donetsk region military administration said on Tuesday, News.az reports citing CNN.

[Evacuations] are literally taking place under constant shelling, and armored capsules are saving the evacuation crews," said regional military head Pavlo Kyrylenko in a television interview, adding that "the number of people staying in Bakhmut should be minimized, and the military should do their job."

Entry to Bakhmut is restricted for civilians who are not locals, but people who are registered there are able to leave and enter the city. 

Kyrylenko also noted that more than 12,000 children have been evacuated from Bakhmut.

"There are less than 140 children," he said. "Children from orphanages, children from difficult families whose parents were deprived of parental rights — all such children were evacuated."

Regarding the ability of volunteer organizations to reach the city, Kyrylenko added, "The residents have everything they need, stock of food and water. If we see that delivery is necessary, we will do it through military administration."

Bakhmut remains the focus of Russia's main attacks, according to one official for the Eastern Grouping of the Ukrainian Armed Forces who spoke to CNN on Monday. 

In mid-January, CNN reported that Ukrainian officials said perhaps only 10% of the pre-war population remains in Bakhmut. On the western side of the city, which slopes down to a valley out of view of Russian positions, some civilians have been trying to carry on as best they can.

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