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  • Russia plans to abandon Ukrainian fighters captured in Mariupol for Viktor Medvedchuk, a detained ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “We will explore the possibility,” said Leonid Slutsky, a senior member of Russia’s negotiating team on Ukraine, speaking from the separatist city of Donetsk in southeastern Ukraine, reported. the RIA Novosti news agency.

  • Russia has banned 963 Americans, including President Joe Biden, from entering the country. The list also includes Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA chief William Burns.

  • Biden signed a funding bill which will provide nearly $40bn (£32bn) in aid to Ukraine.

  • Zelenskiy met with the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, and described the meeting as “important and significant”. Portugal then announced an agreement to provide 250 million euros ($264 million) in financial assistance to Ukraine.

  • the The Ukrainian President also had a telephone conversation with the Italian Prime MinisterMario Draghi, and said he stressed the importance of more sanctions against Russia and the unblocking of Ukrainian ports.

  • Russia destroyed a Ukrainian special operations base near Odessa, Ukraine’s main Black Sea port, as well as a large cache of Western-supplied weapons in the north Zhytomyr region, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday. There was no confirmation from the Ukrainian side.

  • Ukraine has ruled out a ceasefire or concessions to Moscow. Councilor Zelensky Mykhailo Podoliak said that kyiv would not accept any agreement with Russia involving the cession of territory. He said making concessions would backfire on Ukraine because Russia would retaliate harder after any break in the fighting. “The war will not end [after concessions]. It will just be paused for a while,” Podolyak, Ukraine’s chief negotiator, told Reuters on Saturday. “They are going to launch a new, even more bloody and large-scale offensive.”

  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdoganwho opposed Sweden and Finland join NATO, had phone calls with executives of the two countries on Saturday and raised his concerns about terrorist organizations. Turkey surprised its NATO allies last week by opposing the two countries joining the military alliance, but Western leaders said they were confident that Ankara’s objections would not be an obstacle to the membership process.

  • Russian gas company Gazprom has suspended gas exports to Finlandwho refused Moscow’s demands to pay for Russian gas in rubles after Western countries imposed sanctions over the invasion.

  • Canada has imposed sanctions on Russian-born billionaire and newspaper owner Alexander Lebedev. The former KGB agent is the owner of British newspapers The Evening Standard and The Independent.

  • theguardian Gt

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