More than 80,000 people have been evacuated from areas surrounding Kyiv and Sumy over the past two days, the Ukrainian government said on Thursday as Russian forces closed in on the capital.
“We have evacuated more than 60,000 people in two days” from the northeastern city of Sumy and nearby places, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a video posted on the Telegram messaging app.
“Some 20,000 people have been evacuated” from areas to the northwest of the capital Kyiv, she said.
Another 3,000 were taken “with difficulty” from Izyum, a city in eastern Ukraine, she said.
Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a separate Telegram video that some 60,000 people have been evacuated from various cities around the country.
According to the United Nations, some 2.3 million people have fled Ukraine in the last two weeks, following President Vladimir Putin launching a war on Russia’s ex-Soviet neighbour on February 24.