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EU Blacklists Nine People Over Ukraine Separatist Vote

Leonid Pasechnik

BRUSSELS – The European Union has blacklisted nine individuals involved in the organization of last month’s elections in the areas controlled by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Meeting in Brussels on December 10, the EU's foreign ministers said the individuals were added to the bloc's sanctions list because of their “actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine.”

A total of 164 people from Russia and Ukraine are now subject to EU asset freezes and travel bans.

The bloc has also frozen the assets of 44 entities from both countries since Moscow's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region in March 2014 and its support for separatists in a conflict that has killed more than 10,300 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

Kyiv and its international backers, including the European Union and the United States, have denounced the November 11 polls in the areas held by the separatists in the Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk regions as a sham.

The nine individuals added to the EU sanctions list include Olga Pozdnyakova and Olena Kravchenko, who head the separatists’ electoral commissions in Donetsk and Luhansk, the two bodies’ deputy heads, and their secretaries.

The heads of the separatist legislatures in Donetsk and Luhansk, Vladimir Bidyovka and Denis Miroshnichenko, as well as Leonid Pasechnik, who became leader of the separatists in Luhansk, were also added.

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    Rikard Jozwiak

    Rikard Jozwiak is the Europe editor for RFE/RL in Prague, focusing on coverage of the European Union and NATO. He previously worked as RFE/RL’s Brussels correspondent, covering numerous international summits, European elections, and international court rulings. He has reported from most European capitals, as well as Central Asia.