Residents on Ukraine's frontline refuse to leave, fear for youth

STORY: And despite the devastation surrounding them, with buildings burnt or riddled with bullet holes and the constant noise of shelling in the background, some still refuse to leave their homes.

Ievdokiia, an 84-year-old local resident, said her main concern is for younger generations.

"A whole generation is dying," she said while standing on her porch, near the remains of a projectile. "It doesn’t matter for us, but the children, the children."

Vitalii, 45, told Reuters he cannot bring himself to leave everything he has worked for, despite the danger.

"I was born here. My parents are here. All my relatives are from here. Where do I go? I worked here and am still employed at my job. And where do I go there? Everything would be from scratch. Everything I worked for is here. How could I leave it?" he said.

Ukraine aims to evacuate two thirds of residents from areas it controls in the eastern battleground region of Donetsk before winter.

Authorities describe the evacuation as "mandatory", but residents can opt out by filling in a form declaring their intention to stay.