DONETSK, February 18. /TASS/. The emergencies ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Friday it plans to evacuate some 700,000 people to Russia’s southern Rostov region; first buses with refugees are heading to the Russian border.
"The DPR emergencies ministry jointly with the local administrations is carrying out the evacuation of people. It is planned to evacuate around 700,000 DPR residents," it said. "First buses with people from Donetsk are already heading to the border with Russia."
The situation along the contact line in eastern Ukraine deteriorated on Thursday morning, when the self-proclaimed republics reported the most intense shelling attacks by Ukrainian troops. One civilian was wounded and several civil infrastructure facilities were damaged.
Following a dramatic deterioration of the situation in Donbass, the self-proclaimed republics on Friday announced evacuation of civilians to Russia. Rostov region governor Vasily Golubev has asked assistance from the federal government. Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed to pay lump-sum allowances of 10,000 rubles (129.4 US dollars) to refugees from Donbass.