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A house damaged by shelling in Kherson DPA/PA Images
War in Ukraine

Ukrainian city of Kherson to go under curfew this weekend

The curfew will last 58 hours from Friday evening.

LAST UPDATE | 3 May 2023

THE CITY OF Kherson near the front line in southern Ukraine will be under curfew for 58 hours from Friday, a local official has said, as Ukraine prepares for a spring offensive.

Long curfews have been used by Ukrainian authorities in the past to facilitate troop and arms movements.

The head of Kherson’s regional military administration Oleksandr Prokudin said the curfew would last from 5pm GMT on Friday until 3am GMT on Monday.

“During these 58 hours, it is forbidden to move on the streets of the city. The city will also be closed for entry and exit,” Prokudin said on Telegram, advising residents to stock up on food and medicine.

Prokudin said residents could go for short walks near their houses or visit shops but should carry identity documents with them.

“Such temporary restrictions are necessary for the law enforcement officers to do their job and not put you in danger,” he wrote.

The curfew announcement came as officials said three people were killed and five injured in a Russian strike on Kherson’s only working hypermarket.

The city was captured by Russian troops last year in the first days of the invasion and remained under Russian occupation until November 2022.

Russian forces withdrew from the city, crossing to the eastern side of the Dnipro River which now delineates part of the front line in southern Ukraine.

Fuel depot fire

Meanwhile, a fuel depot has caught fire overnight in the Russian village of Volna, close to the bridge to the annexed Crimean peninsula, according to the local governor.

“A tank with petroleum products caught fire in Volna village of Temryuksky district. The fire has been assigned the highest level of severity,” Krasnodar Krai governor Veniamin Kondratyev said on Telegram, without mentioning the cause of the blaze.

“According to preliminary information, there are no dead or injured,” he said, adding there was no threat to residents.

“Everything possible is being done so that the fire does not spread further.”

Volna is at the end of the bridge over the Kerch Strait linking Russia to Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

In October 2022, the Russian-built bridge was partially destroyed by a truck bomb in an attack Moscow blamed on Ukraine, although Kyiv has denied it.

The bridge serves as a vital link for transporting supplies to Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

Russia and Crimea have been the target of a series of attacks in recent days ahead of an expected counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces, although Kyiv has also not claimed responsibility for the incidents.

A suspected drone attack hit an oil depot in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol on Saturday while explosive devices derailed two Russian freight trains near the border with Ukraine on Monday and Tuesday.

EU ammunition 

The EU presented a proposal today to boost ammunition production in Europe in order to replace depleted stocks as it arms Ukraine in its war against Russia.

The European Commission put forward draft legislation that would pour €500 million from the EU budget into increasing ammunition production.

EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said he hoped the proposal would become law by the end of next month.

The spending proposal comes as the bloc seeks to supply one million artillery shells to Ukraine over the next 12 months, at a cost of €2 billion.

The plan “will help supply more ammunition for Ukraine to defend its citizens and it will also strengthen our European defence capabilities,” commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said.

“We stand by our promise to support Ukraine and its people, for as long as it takes,” she said.

© AFP 2023

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