Voluntary evacuations for residents from the recently liberated port city of Kherson are underway, with the first train carrying away 100 people, the Ukrainian government said.
The train is bound for the western city of Khmelnytskyi, according to the country's Ministry of Reintegration of Ukraine. Among residents who “took advantage of the free evacuation” are 26 children, seven bedridden hospital patients and six people with limited mobility, it said in a statement.
Authorities in Kherson are urging residents to leave the city, which is still mainly without power, before temperatures plunge further. Kherson has also come under renewed shelling since Russian troops were forced to leave the west bank of the Dnipro River.
Evacuees will receive financial support, accommodations and humanitarian aid once they reach Khmelnytskyi, according to city officials.
Authorities say there are also buses running from the Kherson region to the cities of Odesa, Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih, where people will be “accommodated in specially equipped shelters and then evacuated to safer regions of Ukraine by car.”