Ukrainian governor urges evacuation of 350,000 residents

KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) – A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in seizing an eastern Ukraine province essential to his wartime aims, his troops escalated their offensive in a neighboring province.

The governor of Donetsk urged the province’s more than 350,000 remaining residents to evacuate Tuesday.

A city in the path of Moscow’s offensive came under sustained bombardment. The mayor of Sloviansk reported “massive shelling” that killed at least one person and wounded seven in the city. He urged residents to take cover instead of trying to evacuate.

The barrage underscored fears that Russian forces were positioning to advance farther into Ukraine’s Donbas region.

The mostly Russian-speaking industrial area is where Ukraine’s most experienced soldiers are concentrated.