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Ukraine’s parliament bans Russian symbols used for promoting war.

Click to play video: 'Ukrainian soldiers surrendering from Mariupol considered prisoners of war: Red Cross'

The Kremlin said the last Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant have surrendered on Friday, amid concerns about how Russia will treat them. The International Committee of the Red Cross registered them as prisoners of war, as part of its role in ensuring the humane treatment of POWs under the Geneva Conventions. Redmond Shannon has the latest developments on the situation in Ukraine.

Ukraine‘s parliament on Sunday banned the symbols “Z” and “V”, used by Russia‘s military to promote its war in Ukraine but agreed to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy‘s call to allow their use for educational or historic purposes.

Yaroslav Zheleznyak, an opposition member, announced the decision on the Telegram messaging app, saying 313 deputies had voted in favour in the 423-member Verkhovna Rada assembly.

Zelenskyy had vetoed an earlier version of the bill and called for the two symbols to be allowed in displays in museums, libraries, scientific works, re-enactments, textbooks and similar instances.

Neither of the two letters exists in the Russian alphabet. They have been widely used, particularly on Russian military vehicles and equipment, to promote the aims of the conflict.

Moscow calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation” to disarm its neighbour and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West say the fascist allegation is baseless and the war is an unprovoked act of aggression.

Over the weekend, Russia pummelled positions in the east of Ukraine, pounding the Donbas and Mykolaiv regions with air strikes and artillery fire. Read full story

The new bill bans the creation of non-governmental organisations using Russian war symbols or undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty.

The Ukrainian parliament on Sunday also extended for another 90 days, or until Aug. 23, the period of martial law in the country.

(Reporting and writing by Ronald Popeski in Winnipeg; Editing by Chris Reese)

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