Local authorities around the Ukrainian city of Kupyansk in Kharkiv region have issued a mandatory evacuation order for the city and surrounding areas due to intense Russian shelling of the area.
Kupyansk was one of several cities and towns liberated last September in a lightning Ukrainian offensive, but in recent weeks Russia has stepped up its efforts to capture the city for a second time.
The order says that the mandatory evacuation has been announced for the residents of the city, as well as of Zaoskilya, which lies on the east bank of the Oskil River.
In recent weeks, Russian forces have intensified attempts to break through Ukrainian front lines east of the Oskil river and have increased the frequency of air strikes and artillery barrages against settlements on both sides of the river.
The order says that "taking into account the constant shelling...and the security situation in the territory of Kupyan district," mandatory evacuation is also required of a number of settlements to the north and east of the city where some civilians are still living.