Ukraine has told some residents to leave Kupiansk, as Russia seeks to re-take the city it left last year.
Kharkiv’s military command urged families and those “with limited mobility” to leave due to “constant” shelling by Russian forces.
Russia took the city, an important supply hub, early in the full-scale invasion, with Ukraine re-capturing it last September.
Meanwhile, Wagner group says it troops have “practically encircled” Bakhmut.
Earlier this week, President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted the situation in Bakhmut – around 130km (80 miles) south of Kupiansk – was becoming “more and more difficult”.
In Kupiansk, the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration said the evacuation order was due to the “unstable security situation” caused by Russia’s shelling of the town and its surroundings.
It said those evacuated would be provided with assistance, including accommodation, food, humanitarian aid and medical support.
Other citizens are also permitted to leave the region, it added. The city had a pre-war population of around 25,000.