(Kyiv) “Massive” Russian strikes left 18 dead and 46 injured on Wednesday in the Kherson region (southern Ukraine), according to the prosecution, while the authorities announced a curfew in the main city of the same name from Friday evening.

The death toll from the Russian strikes on the Kherson region climbed to 18 dead, 46 wounded, around 1 p.m. (Eastern time).

Authorities say two strikes on a supermarket and train station in the city of Kherson, near the front line, left at least four people dead and several injured, and another bombardment killed three people who were working on repairing a energy site in the region.

Details on all of the Russian strikes were not immediately available.

According to the head of the local military administration, Oleksandr Prokudin, “Kherson is still under fire from Russian artillery,” he wrote on Telegram.

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

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

Mr. Prokudin also announced on Wednesday a curfew in Kherson, starting Friday evening, for 58 hours, when Kyiv says it is completing its preparations for a major offensive.

“As of 8:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. EST) on May 5, a curfew will be in place in Kherson, and it will last until 6:00 a.m. (11:00 p.m. EST) on May 8. “, he said earlier in the day.

“During these 58 hours, it will be forbidden to move 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 “law enforcement to be able to do their job”.

The authorities’ announcement comes as Kyiv said its preparations for a major offensive to recapture Russian-occupied territories in the east and south “are coming to an end”.

Rumors are rife among analysts about 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.