Russia declares travel ban on 963 Americans

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Including Biden and Blinken
Travel bans have only symbolic impact but form part of a constant downward spiral in Russia’s relations with the US
LONDON
Russia said on Saturday it was banning entry to 963 Americans including US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA chief William Burns
The travel bans have only symbolic impact but form part of a constant downward spiral in Russia’s relations with the United States and its allies since its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Russia says in full control of Mariupol
Russia has claimed to have fully captured Mariupol in what would be its biggest victory yet in its war with Ukraine, marking an end to a weeks-long attack that left the strategic port city in ruins.
Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin on Friday the “complete liberation” of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, and the city as a whole, spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
“The territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant … has been completely liberated,” the defence ministry said in a statement. It said a total of 2,439 Ukrainian fighters who had been holed up at the steelworks had surrendered since Monday, including more than 500 on Friday.
A defence ministry video purporting to show the surrender showed a line of unarmed men approaching Russian soldiers outside the plant and giving their names. The Russians then carefully searched each man and their possessions and also appeared to be asking them to show their tattoos.
Hours earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the last defenders at the steelworks had been told by Ukraine’s military that they could get out and save their lives. The Ukrainians did not immediately confirm the Russian figures on Azovstal.