About 2,000 civilians are reportedly trapped by fighting in the front line town of Popasna in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, the main focus of Russia’s attempt to gain territory.

Local officials have said food supplies in Popasna are expected to run out within a week – but all rescue efforts have been halted after three evacuation buses entered the region – but only one returned.

Five volunteer drivers and staff are either missing or captured by Russian troops, authorities have said.

Across the Donbas region, small groups of civilian volunteers in cars and buses are playing a key role in helping to evacuate those – particularly the elderly and infirm – who have struggled to leave towns and villages in the path of the Kremlin’s new offensive.

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