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EU Sanctions Target 11 Pro-Russian Separatists in Ukraine

  • VOA News

FILE - Alexander Borodai (R), Prime Minister of the self proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic", speaks with the media.

FILE - Alexander Borodai (R), Prime Minister of the self proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic", speaks with the media.

The European Union says it is placing sanctions on 11 leaders of the pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine, including separatist leader Alexander Borodai.

The rebels have declared independence for the region, and have been fighting Ukrainian government troops. Borodai is a Russian citizen who has declared himself the prime minister of the Donetsk region in the east of Ukraine.

The EU had already placed sanctions on scores of other people and businesses involved in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.


Meanwhile, emergency officials in Donetsk say at least four civilians were killed by artillery fire that damaged several apartment buildings in an overnight attack.

Buildings were on fire in Maryinka, a suburb of Donetsk, after being hit by mortar fire.

It is unclear who fired the mortars. But there is a rebel base in the vicinity that may have been targeted by the Ukrainian military.

Torture allegations

On Friday, Amnesty International said it had graphic evidence that pro-Russian separatists have carried out "stomach-turning beatings and torture" in eastern Ukraine.

The Amnesty report also said there is evidence of a smaller number of abuses by Ukrainian forces.

WATCH: related video report on Ukraine / Torture by Henry Ridgwell

Eastern violence

In another development Friday, Ukraine's Defense Ministry said a rocket attack by rebels in eastern Ukraine killed at least 19 troops and wounded 93.

The rebels targeted the village of Zelenopillya in the Luhansk region, near the Russian border.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said those responsible would be "found and destroyed." He said for every Ukrainian soldier killed, the rebels would pay with "hundreds of their own."

Fighting has surged in the east since a Ukrainian government cease-fire expired at the end of June.

Since then, Ukrainian forces have driven the rebels out of several cities, including Slovyansk, which was their main stronghold.