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IANS

Law enforcement officers in two Ukrainian towns have been authorised to shoot looters "on the spot", the mayors have announced, RT reported.

A significant number of looting incidents have been reported across the country since the beginning of Russia's military operation.

Zhytomyr's mayor Sergey Sukhomlyn in a Facebook video address mentioned an attempted robbery of a store in one area of the city, RT reported.

"I am warning everyone: the police, the National Guard, the territorial defense units - they all received orders not to detain, they can just shoot on the spot. There will be no looting in the city," Sukhomlyn said.

The head of Okhtyrka territorial community, Pavel Kuzmenko, issued a similar warning. Saying that looting had spread in the town's "private sector", he called on people to immediately report any suspicious incidents, RT reported.

"Looting results in shooting on the spot," Kuzmenko said in his Facebook video.

He also underlined that store owners increasing food prices would also be considered looting.

"Chechens will come and you will make a profit from them," he said, supposedly referring to the announcement by Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov about thousands of men from Chechnya being prepared to offer assistance to Russia's armed forces in Ukraine, RT reported.

Some clips and photos on social media allegedly show the looting suspects being tied to poles in Ukrainian cities for the public to see. Other social media channels post videos which they claim demonstrate store robberies by the "Russian occupiers".

In a bid to strengthen their armed forces, Ukrainian authorities, among other measures, decided to release inmates and criminal suspects with military backgrounds.

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