Russian “orcs” have taken control of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kreminna, Serhii Haidai, head of Luhansk Regional Military Administration, said in a briefing on Tuesday.
“Kreminna is under the control of the 'orcs.' They have entered the city,” Haidai said.
The word “orc” refers to the elf race of brutish fighters in the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy “Lord of the Rings” and is a commonly used derogatory term in Ukraine to describe the Russian army.
Haidai added that troops had withdrawn from the city and taken up new positions.
The evacuation of civilians continues as Russia attacks from “from all directions in the way of mass shelling, intense bombardment, air bombardment on all defensive lines,” according to the military governor.
He estimates around 350,000 people lived in the region prior to it coming under Russian control. He believes only around 70,000 are left.
“They have either left on their own or with the help of volunteers or religious organizations … They're going to the west of Ukraine,” Haidai said.
“People can decide whether they want to go to Europe and receive refugee status or whether they would like to get a job where they are, or whether they like to wait until victory and the end of occupation and they can come back to their own homes. If those homes are still standing. If not, the government is developing a program on accelerated construction,” he continued, adding that Russian shelling had “destroyed almost all critical infrastructure” and that it was “impossible” to restore water and electricity supplies.
“Everything is destroyed completely. Our repair teams can fix a little bit but then an hour later, new shelling severs communication again. It’s the same process every time. It's a huge problem.”
Regarding the number of civilian deaths, Haidai said it was “impossible” to give a number.