The Associated Press reports the evacuation efforts in Bakhmuteastern Ukraine.
He quotes Mark Poppert, an American volunteer working with British charity RefugeEase.
“The Russians are right there, and they’re closing in on that place,” he said during an evacuation on Friday.
“Bakhmut is a high-risk area right now,” he said. “We are trying to get as many people out as possible in case the Ukrainians have to fall back.”
Bakhmut is in the Donetsk region in the industrial east of Ukraine. Donetsk and the neighboring region of Lugansk form the Donbass, where Moscow-backed separatists have controlled some territory for eight years.
Poppert and other Ukrainian and foreign volunteers working with Ukrainian charity Vostok SOS, which was coordinating the evacuation effort, hoped to get about 100 people out of Bakhmut on Friday, Poppert said.
Many evacuees are elderly, ill or have severe mobility issues, meaning volunteers have to slowly navigate their way through narrow hallways and down stairs in apartment buildings.
Most people have already fled Bakhmut: only about 30,000 people remain out of a pre-war population of 85,000. And more are leaving every day.
However, some want to stay.
Svetlana Lvova, the 66-year-old manager of two buildings in Bakhmut, reflected on the last resident who refused to leave.
“I can’t convince them to go,” she says. “I told them several times that if something landed here, I would transport them – injured – in the same buses” that have come to evacuate them now.