Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk: "Do not rush back." (file photo)
KYIV -- Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has urged people not to rush back to newly liberated settlements in the Kharkiv region and to allow authorities to restore security measures as shelling continues in the area.
"Our first task is to restore state and local authorities in de-occupied settlements,” she said on September 17 in a national broadcast.
Authorities are “about to start working in the Kharkiv region.... Shelling continues there. The situation has improved, but not enough to return,” she added. “My request and recommendation is to wait.
“Do not rush back. Allow the authorities to do everything to ensure that the territories are cleared, power is restored, and that Ukrainian [authority] is fully in place.”
In a massive counteroffensive, the Ukrainian military has pushed Russian forces out of hundreds of cities and towns in the northeast of the country, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said the stabilization of the liberated communities is under way.
Russia recently has increased its missile attacks on civilian critical infrastructure in Ukraine. As a result of Russian strikes, many cities and towns in the area have been with without water or electricity.