Donetsk, Mar 16 — DAN. Kiev gunmen have launched forced evacuation of Avdeyevka residents, said the mayor of Yasinovataya which is located near the town.

“We maintain contact with remaining Avdeyevka residents, ” Dmitry Shevchenko told the Donetsk News Agency on Thursday. “At present, they are trying to forcibly evacuate people from the town. Ukrainian servicemen drive up and order to evacuate. They push those who refuse into vehicles and drive them away.”

After the forced displacement, some townsfolk returned to Avdeyevka on their own, he added.

Avdeyevka is located some 1.5 kilometers west of Yasinovatya. Before the war, it was actually a metropolitan area within the Yasinovataya district. It accommodates a coking plant, one of the largest in Europe which produced some 30 kinds of chemical products before 2014. Kiev forces turned the town into a heavily fortified area in Donbass. They shelled Donetsk, Yasinovataya and Makeyevka from this axis for more than eight years. There are some 3,000 civilians remaining in the town at present.*jk