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People's Daily Online

Facts about Russia-Ukraine conflict: Zelensky asks for help, heavy weapons from Portugal

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:09, April 22, 2022

BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Addressing the Portuguese parliament via video link, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday called on Portugal to send "heavy weapons" and strengthen the sanctions on Russia.

"I am grateful for the opportunity in this difficult time because you know how we are feeling, fighting for our independence, but also our survival," said Zelensky, referring to what Portugal experienced in history.

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Zelensky on Thursday discussed assistance for Ukraine with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

At a meeting in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, the parties touched upon the issues of strengthening Ukraine's defense capabilities, supporting Ukraine's integration into the European Union and the post-conflict recovery, the Ukrainian presidential press service said.

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Ukraine and Russia on Thursday conducted their sixth prisoner exchange since the start of the conflict, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

Ten Ukrainian soldiers, including two officers, and nine civilians held by the Russian military were released as a result of the exchange, Vereshchuk said on Telegram.

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Russia has imposed personal sanctions on 29 U.S. citizens, including U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and 61 Canadian citizens, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

A total of 29 U.S. citizens are included in Russia's "stop list" in response to the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the U.S. Joe Biden administration, the ministry said.

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The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday voted to extend the martial law in the country for another 30 days, until May 25, lawmaker Yaroslav Zheleznyak said.

The presidential proposal on the prolongation of the martial law was supported by 300 lawmakers in the 450-seat assembly, Zheleznyak wrote on Telegram.

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President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the United States will provide Ukraine with an additional package of security assistance worth 800 million U.S. dollars to help it defense against Russia's military operation.

The announcement came as Russia said the military operation had entered the second phase, focusing on Ukraine's eastern Donbass region.

In remarks delivered from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Biden said the package "includes heavy artillery, weapons, dozens of howitzers and 144,000 rounds of ammunition to go with those howitzers," as well as "more tactical drones," adding that his country will continue to share "significant timely intelligence" with Ukraine.

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Russia has ordered the closure of Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian consular missions in St. Petersburg in a tit-for-tat move, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

The ambassadors of Latvia and Estonia and the Lithuanian charge d'affaires were summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry Thursday in protest over the closure of Russian consulates and expulsion of staff in these countries.

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