Evacuations from the frontline city of Bakhmut have slowed to a trickle, the city’s deputy mayor has told CNN.
Speaking over the phone from a neighboring town, Oleksandr Marchenko said five to 10 people were being evacuated each day, down from the up to 600 who were leaving the city when evacuations were at their peak.
“The enemy blows everything to the ground, strikes at multi-story buildings, and the residential sector. There are air raids, artillery shelling, mortar shelling. The enemy is striking the city with everything they can,” the deputy mayor told CNN.
“There is no way we can get there,” Marchenko stressed.
Approximately 4,000 to 4,500 people are still in Bakhmut, but Marchenko said it was difficult to persuade those there to leave.
Most, he said, “fear having nowhere to go and nothing to go with.”
He said four medical workers remain in the city and there are heating points available for residents.
Russia has been pressing hard to capture Bakhmut for months and appears to be closing in on the city.
One soldier inside the city told CNN Sunday that the situation remains “difficult,” as the Russian assault continues to cause “a lot of destruction” and losses for the Ukrainian side.