Zelensky imposes sanctions against Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad, other officials

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President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on March 18, approving a proposal by the National Security and Defense Council to impose sanctions on 141 legal entities and 300 individuals, including Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad.

Sanctions were also imposed against Syrian Prime Minister Husein Arnus and the country’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad.

Sanctions have been introduced for 10 years and include the blocking of assets, restrictions on trade operations, and suspension of economic and financial obligations.

A number of Russian citizens were sanctioned as well.

Ukraine cut diplomatic ties with Syria in June last year after Damascus recognized the Russian-occupied areas of eastern Ukraine as independent states.

On March 17, Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate reported that it had returned two Ukrainian women and six children from Syrian captivity.

According to the report, the Ukrainians were kept in "terrible conditions" in Syria.

"Even in the conditions of Russia's aggressive war, Ukraine does not forget about its citizens in trouble and will come to help anywhere on the globe," the intelligence directorate wrote.

On March 10, Zelensky imposed sanctions against 120 individuals — mainly Russian citizens — and 287 legal entities, including those related to gambling.