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Ukraine imposes sanctions on Russians over Kerch bridge, seizure of naval vessels

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (Michał Józefaciuk/Wikimedia)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Ukraine has imposed economic and other sanctions on hundreds of individuals and entities for their alleged roles in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia over the Crimea region and the war in eastern Ukraine.

President Petro Poroshenko on March 20 signed the order to implement the sanctions against 294 legal entities and 848 individuals, overwhelmingly Russian, as approved by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine the previous day.

Some of the sanctions target people and entities connected with the construction of the Kerch Strait bridge between Ukraine’s annexed Crimea region and Russia.

Others are applied against people and entities believed to have played a role in the detention in November 2018 of two Ukrainian naval vessels and their 24 crew members by Russia near the Kerch Strait. The 24 Ukrainian sailors are still being held by Moscow.

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Still others are applied to people and entities that organized and held unauthorized and unrecognized “elections” within the separatist entities occupying parts of Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions in November 2018.

Others included in the new sanctions list are accused of violating Ukrainian travel legislation by visiting Crimea or of playing a role in the relocation or use of museum collections belonging to Ukraine.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been at a nadir since Moscow annexed Crimea in March 2014 and began providing military, political, and economic support to the separatist formations waging a war against Kyiv in parts of eastern Ukraine.

Some 13,000 people have been killed in that conflict, which the International Criminal Court ruled in November 2016 was “an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.”