More than 70,000 residents of Luhansk region have not yet left for safe cities, according to Serhii Haidai, head of the Luhansk regional administration.

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About 330,000 people lived in the parts of Luhansk not under separatist control before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Haidai said on his Telegram account on Saturday.

More than 32,000 people have been evacuated in 52 days by organized transport, and more than 200,000 had left on their own.

It is extremely dangerous to stay in the cities now. The shelling intensified, Haidai said.

He also accused the Russian forces of attacking civilian areas in the worst-affected towns of Rubizhne, Popasna and Hirske, which he said had been "destroyed beyond recognition."

About 70% of Severodonetsk -- the main city in the area under Russian attack -- was destroyed, but about 20,000 of the 130,000 citizens who lived there before the war remained in the city, he said.

Shelling in Kreminna and Lysychansk continued day and night, Haidai added. A CNN team in Lysychansk Saturday morning witnessed the shelling of a market in the town.

"Destruction of the area on a ​​terrible scale. It becomes extremely difficult to help those who remain. Volunteers die," Haidai said.