(Kyiv) Ukrainian local authorities on Wednesday announced a curfew in Kherson, near the southern frontline, starting Friday evening for 58 hours, as Kyiv says it is completing preparations for an offensive. of magnitude.

“As of 8 p.m. (1 p.m. EST) on May 5, a curfew will be in place in Kherson, and it will last until 6 a.m. (11 p.m. EST) on May 8. “, said on Telegram the head of the local military administration, Oleksandr Prokudin.

“During these 58 hours, it will be forbidden to move around and be on the streets of the city. (Kherson) will also be closed to entry and exit,” he added.

Mr. Prokudin justified “ these temporary restrictions ” by “ the need ” for “ the police to be able to do their job”, without giving further details.

This announcement by the authorities comes at a time when Kyiv has said that its preparations for a major offensive to reconquer the territories occupied by Russia in the east and in the south “are coming to an end”.

Rumors are rife among analysts as to when this assault will take place and in which area exactly, the grounds being more or less favorable.

The region around Bakhmout in the Donbass, epicenter of the fighting for several months, is for example more hilly, while those in the south of Kherson and Zaporijjia further south are made up of large agricultural plains.

Russia still occupies nearly 20% of Ukraine, including the Crimean peninsula, annexed in 2014.

Kherson, a city occupied for several months in 2022 by troops from Moscow, was liberated last November following a successful counter-offensive by Kyiv in the region.

Since then, the city has been under regular bombardment, with the Russian army only being located on the other side of the Dnieper River, which acts as a natural front line.

A Russian strike on a supermarket in Kherson on Wednesday left at least three civilians dead and five injured, Interior Minister Igor Klimenko said on Telegram.