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    Children among 44 severely wounded people trapped in Ukraine’s Chernihiv city – mayor

    LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) - The mayor of Ukraine's northern city of Chernihiv said on Saturday 44 severely wounded people, including three children, could not be evacuated to safer areas for treatment since the city had been cut off by Russian forces.

    The city near the Belarusian border has been effectively surrounded, local authorities said on Friday, warning that it had become impossible to evacuate civilians or bring in humanitarian aid because a bridge linking the city to Ukraine's capital to the south had been destroyed by bombing.

    Speaking on national television, Chernihiv Mayor Vladyslav Atroshenko said the situation was particularly critical for 44 wounded people needing emergency treatment.

    "They can't survive here due to the severity of their wounds, they need urgent evacuation," he said.

    He said there were still up to 130,000 people without heating, electricity or water supplies in Chernihiv, which he said was under heavy bombardment by Russian forces. The city had a pre-war population of around 290,000, he said.

    Reuters could not independently confirm his accounts.

    On Friday, Russia's defence ministry said Russian forces had "blocked" Ukrainian cities, including Chernihiv, to tie down the Ukrainian military while Russia focused on taking control in the eastern Donbass region.

    Russia has denied targeting civilians since its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a "special military operation."

    (Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Writing by Alessandra Prentice, Editing by Timothy Heritage)




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