Ukraine's president urged civilians yesterday to evacuate the frontline Donetsk region, the scene of fierce clashes with the Russian military, as Kyiv called on the Red Cross and UN to gain access to its soldiers being held by Moscow's forces.

Iran PressEurope: The governor of the eastern Donetsk region, where Moscow is focusing the brunt of its offensive, said that six civilians were killed and 15 wounded by strikes on Friday.

“There’s already a governmental decision about obligatory evacuation from the Donetsk region,” he said in his daily address. Zelensky warned that thousands of people, including children, were still in the battleground areas of the Donetsk region.

“The decision to leave should be taken at some point. The more people who leave the Donetsk region now, the fewer people they will get injured,” he said.

Logistics and support operations were being handled by the authorities “from A to Z”, he added.

Russia's defence ministry accused Kyiv of striking the Olenivka prison with US-supplied long-range missiles, in an "egregious provocation" designed to stop captured soldiers from surrendering.

It said Saturday that the dead included Ukrainian forces who had surrendered after weeks of fighting off Russia's brutal bombardment of the sprawling Azovstal steelworks in the port city of Mariupol.

The defence ministry said 50 Ukrainian prisoners were killed and 73 were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

"All political, legal and moral responsibility for this bloody massacre of Ukrainians lies with Zelensky personally, his criminal regime and Washington, which backs them," it said. 219


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