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Ukraine imposes curfew in Kyiv till March 17

Residents allowed to go outside only to head to bomb shelters

Ukraine imposes curfew in Kyiv till March 17
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As heavy shelling continued in the Ukrainian capital by the Russian forces, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Tuesday imposed a 36-hour curfew till March 17. As per the new order, the curfew in Kyiv will last from 8 PM on March 15 until 7 AM on March 17. "The residents will only be allowed to go outside to head to bomb shelters," The Kyiv Independent reported, quoting Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

The move came after several apartment blocks were struck by Russian forces based outside the city, Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko announced. Two people were killed in the latest bloodshed, he said.

The Russian offensive in Ukraine edged closer to central Kyiv on Tuesday even as the two countries kept open a narrow diplomatic channel with more planned talks.

Shortly before dawn, large explosions were heard across Kyiv. A series of Russian strikes hit a residential neighborhood in the capital, igniting a huge fire and a frantic rescue effort in a 15-story apartment building. At least one person was killed and others remain trapped inside.

Shockwaves from an explosion also damaged the entry to a downtown subway station that has been used as a bomb shelter. City authorities tweeted an image of the blown-out facade, saying trains would no longer stop at the station.

When Russia launched the war nearly three weeks ago, fear of an imminent invasion gripped the Ukrainian capital, as residents slept night after night in subway stations or crammed onto trains to flee. But as the Russian offensive bogged down, Kyiv saw a relative lull. Fighting has intensified on the outskirts in recent days, and sporadic air raid sirens ring out around the capital.

There was a rare glimmer of hope in the encircled port city of Mariupol after a convoy of 160 civilian cars left along a designated humanitarian route, the city council reported. Over the past 10 days or so, the lethal siege has pulverized homes and other buildings and left people desperate for food, water, heat and medicine.

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