Conflicting reports of curfew in Ukraine's Kherson

A woman walks along a street in Kherson

(Reuters) - A Russian-installed official in the Ukrainian region of Kherson said on Friday that a curfew had been imposed in the city but then swiftly backtracked and said no such limits were in place.

The Russian-installed deputy governor of the region, Kirill Stremousov, said in a video message on Friday that a round-the-clock curfew had been imposed ahead of an expected Ukrainian offensive.

But an hour later, he posted another video in which he said that no limits had been imposed and reposted an edited version of his earlier video message without any reference to a curfew.

It was not immediately clear why Stremousov denied his own remarks. Reuters was not able to immediately verify if a curfew was or was not in place in Kherson.

Stremousov repeated earlier calls for civilians to leave Kherson city, saying that columns of Ukrainian vehicles had been spotted on areas of the frontline and that an attack was possible.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that civilians should be evacuated from Kherson, a strategically vital region bordering annexed Crimea that Russia has held since the early days of its campaign in Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces have in recent drawn closer to Kherson city, the only regional capital to fall to Moscow since it deployed tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24, with Russia's overall commander in Ukraine acknowledging difficulties in the region.

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)