KHPG calls for evacuation measures from ATO-affected areas
In an open appeal to Ukraine’s prime minister Yarseny Yatsenyuk, the parliamentary speaker and head of the SBU [security service], the Kharkiv Human Rights Group has called for urgent measures to evacuate all residents of areas where the authorities’ anti-terrorist operation is underway.
They point out that according to media reports, the anti-terrorist operation [ATO] in the cities of Slovyansk, Krasny Liman and other populated areas of the Donetsk oblast has entered an active phase. Grenade throwers and heavy artillery are being used, as well as military aviation. Despite all efforts by the Ukrainian authorities to avoid hurting the population, there have been cases where civilian buildings have been destroyed and there have been civilian casualties.
Since the Ukrainian military are blocking the above-mentioned populated areas in order to stop the terrorists from getting away, their residents, including families with children, are prevented from leaving territory engulfed by military action, and there are no conditions available, such as bomb shelters, to ensure people’s safety. There is a real threat to people living in these areas.
KHPG has received information from residents of areas where military action is underway reporting that they are unable to leave for temporary accommodation in other places during the ATO.
In view of the above-mentioned circumstances, we ask you to take all necessary measures to organize and carry out the evacuation of civilians from areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts wishing to leave.
The appeal is signed by Ludmila Klochko, Head of the KHPG Public Advice Centres and Gennady Tokarev, Director of the KHPG Centre for Strategic Litigations