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People flee from cities under Kiev’s control to Donbass after Zelensky’s decree — lawmaker

Viktor Volodatsky noted that people who agreed to evacuate started living there in poverty and wanted to come back by any possible means

MOSCOW, August 3. /TASS/. Residents of Donetsk Region territories under Kiev’s control flee to Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s decree on evacuation of these regions, says Viktor Volodatsky, coordinator of the group on inter-parliamentary ties with LPR People’s Council and First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS affairs and Eurasian integration.

Zelensky pursued several goals with his announcement, the lawmaker told TASS.

"His first goal is to create unbearable conditions for the people. Second - to inflict as much damage as possible to the territories that will never be Ukrainian again," he explained. The third goal aims is to "show that there are less people who stayed on these territories and more of those who left" ahead of the referendum, "which people will hold anyway."

"However, the situation in the recent days shows that people rather flee from these nationalists towards LPR and DPR," the lawmaker noted.

"As of today, after this so-called decree, the maximum number of people started looking for ways […] to flee to LPR and DPR territory, in order to not find themselves in the same situation as their relatives," Volodatsky said, and explained that people who agreed to evacuate find themselves "abandoned, not needed by anyone; they start living there in poverty and seek to come back by any possible means - with great losses."

On Saturday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree on compulsory evacuation of residents of Donetsk Region territory under Kiev’s control. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereschuk claimed that these areas have no gas supply and proper electricity supply, which poses a threat for the people during winter. According to Vereschuk, if a person rejects evacuation, "they must sign a paper that they understand and comprehend all consequences and is personally responsible for their own life."