EU Slaps Sanctions on Separatist Leaders in East Ukraine

EU Slaps Sanctions on Separatist Leaders in East Ukraine

The European Union previously threatened very harsh sanctions against Russia if the violence in east Ukraine did not die down. Now, the EU has decided to target eleven Ukrainian separatists with travel bans and asset freezes, and the men on the list have minimal ties to the West.

From an EU press release:

In view of the gravity of the situation in Eastern Ukraine, the Council has today expanded the list of persons subject to targeted sanctions for actions undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.

Another 11 persons responsible for and supporting such activities in Eastern Ukraine will be targeted with a travel ban and a freeze of their assets within the EU. This brings the number of individuals subject to sanctions in connection with Ukraine’s territorial integrity to 72. At the same time, two confiscated entities in Crimea and Sevastopol remain under asset freeze.

The EU did not specify if the asset freeze is from one of the men on the list.

The only significant man is Alexander Borodai, the self-proclaimed prime minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic. The 41-year-old man is a Russian citizen from Moscow, but he denies any ties to Moscow even though “he was a political advisor who helped Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea in March and then moved to eastern Ukraine to help separatists there.” The EU also named Alexander Khodakovsky, a member of the Ukrainian forces before he defected who now leads the security forces for the rebels.

Over 30 people have died on Friday and Saturday, including at least 19 soldiers. Pro-Russian forces blew up bridges between Dzerzhinsk and Horlivka to block any advancement by the Ukraine army to Donetsk.