The situation in Ukraine has changed a lot as Russian soldiers are trying hard to take back the northeastern Kharkiv area. This is happening at the same time as the conflict in Ukraine has been going on for 550 days.
The Ukrainian leaders have told people to leave a bunch of villages and about 36 other places where people live. The Russian soldiers had taken control of these areas earlier in the war, but the Ukrainians managed to get them back in September.
The leaders in the Kupiansk district, where this is happening, say that around 12,000 people should find somewhere else to stay because the Russian soldiers are getting close again.
This message to leave was first given on August 10th, but a lot of people haven’t gone away even though the Russian soldiers are trying to take over again. This is all happening while the invasion by Russia has been going on for more than 550 days.
The Kharkiv area has the city of Kharkiv, which is the second biggest city in Ukraine. One of the places where people are being told to leave is Kupiansk, which is on the edge of the area and about 70 miles away from the main city. The Russian soldiers were in control of Kupiansk for more than six months last year.
Even though they were told to leave, only a few hundred people have done it, the Ukrainian leaders said. Some people don’t want to move because it’s hard to do, while others don’t want to leave their homes where they’ve saved up a lot of money. Some are worried they’ll be poor and alone in faraway places, and some want to take care of their gardens and animals.
Many of the people who are staying have signed papers saying that they know it’s risky. Katarina Chesta is one of them. She works at a school in the area and says she’ll stay even if everyone has to leave. She’s tired of the war and wants to help her city, so she’s not going anywhere.
Katarina had to leave another city in 2014 when Russia started fighting in Ukraine. She came to Kupiansk where her parents were. She doesn’t want to leave again, even though Russian planes have attacked Kupiansk and even hit her school in October and December. Instead of leaving, Katarina is getting ready to teach online.
The Kharkiv area is next to Russia, and the fighting got worse when the Russian army started getting soldiers and tanks ready near Kupiansk in the middle of July.
Right now, there’s a lot of fighting close to a village called Synkivka, which is about nine miles from Kupiansk. The Russian soldiers are trying to take this place back from Ukraine. The people in charge of the area around Kupiansk say that the Russian soldiers are shooting at houses and other buildings, and this has been happening a lot. People are getting hurt and killed because of this.