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Over 100 people rescued from occupied outskirts of Avdiyivka last week

This is an unusual evacuation that took place in cooperation with the Ukrainian military. 

Over 100 people rescued from occupied outskirts of Avdiyivka last week
Archived photo
Photo: National Police

Over the past week, more than a hundred people were evacuated from the occupied outskirts of Avdiyivka. Pavlo Dyachenko, an inspector at the Donetsk Regional Police Communications Department and a member of the White Angel evacuation group, told Radio Liberty.

He noted that this was an unusual case of evacuation, which took place in cooperation with the Ukrainian military. The operation was risky due to constant shelling by Russian troops. People took white rags and walked to the centre of Avdiyivka under fire.

"People were local, they knew where to go. Everything was more or less planned. We understand that it is impossible to ensure one hundred per cent security. Especially in the context of such a powerful war and massive shelling by Russian military formations. Fortunately, we succeeded, and people are relatively safe," says Dyachenko.

He did not elaborate on how exactly the communication with people in the occupied territories took place. However, he noted that there was no direct communication with them because the Russians had taken away their phones.

According to people's testimonies, the occupiers mistreated the local population. The police opened a criminal investigation and are documenting the occupiers' crimes.

"When the Russians came to this street, they just drove them [the residents] into a small basement. There were 13 people there, one of them was an old woman, she needed care, and all the people... And they kept them there in the basement for quite a long time, they did not even let them go outside to go to the toilet, it was not allowed. And they were all there, not understanding what was happening at all," the police officer said. 

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