By The Associated Press
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian authorities say nearly 5,000 people were evacuated from combat areas Wednesday.
Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said 1,171 people were evacuated from the besieged Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, and 2,515 more left the cities of Berdyansk and Melitopol and other areas in the south. She said an additional 1,206 people were evacuated from the eastern region of Luhansk.
Vereshchuk and other officials have been urging residents of eastern regions to evacuate in the face of an impending Russian offensive, saying that people in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions should leave for safer regions.
Donetsk region Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said at least five civilians were killed and eight others wounded by Russian shelling Wednesday.
The Associated Press
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