As a humanitarian truce winds down on Friday, the UN refugee agency reported that fighting in eastern Ukraine has displaced nearly 1 million people inside the country, and some 600,000 in neighboring countries.
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According to the UN, Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy puts the number of registered IDPs around 980,000 but that number is only on the rise. The Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian rebels agreed to two days of a humanitarian truce, today’s window lasting 9 hours with an additional 10 hours on Saturday to allow civilians to evacuate from Debaltseve in Eastern Ukraine.
"Local authorities have begun to evacuate people from conflict areas, but many are still trapped by the fighting, including in basements and buildings under constant bombardment. The evacuations are being organized by the government helped by local volunteers,” UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards said.
More than 2,800 civilians have been evacuated from the towns of Debaltseve, Avdiivka and Svitlodar, according to the UNHCR, and the Associated Press said local authorities expected to evacuate some 1,000 today.
The UNHCR snapped this photo of Alex and his puppy, Babay.
And here, Yuliya, her son Andriy & her mom pose after fleeing the violence.